Entertainment

Nightmare Alley is a solid scare for the holidays

Nightmare Alley is the latest film from Oscar winner and mermaid advocate Guillermo del Toro, co-written by him and Kim Morgan, and starring Bradley Cooper. What tricks does the movie have, and is it worth the money? Get in there.

Starting with the obvious, the movie has a great visual look. Del Toro places great emphasis on darkness and the contrast between light and shadow. Some people complain about never being able to watch anything in his movies, but I don’t feel that too much in this one. It’s never too dark to be understood, and the lighting fits well with the film’s theme.

That grit is a plus for me. I like movies that don’t shy away from showing the depths to which humanity can sink, and this one qualifies. Bradley Cooper plays our leading man, who discovers how the festival attracts its patrons. He’s good, but I invested more in the supporting cast: Willem Dafoe as the vaguely menacing barker, Toni Collette as the good-natured hunter, David Strathairn as the drunken husband and magician hers, and more. These performances add an interesting layer of detail to the world.

Problems with Nightmare Alley

While the movie has the actors and vibe to draw you in and keep you there, it has a problem with the script. There are no major holes in the logic, but there are a few things missing. For example, once Bradley Cooper joins the circus, you feel a lack of urgency. The first half of the film is mostly staged; he meets these characters and learns the tricks of the trade, which is fun, but at some point I start to wonder, ‘What does the protagonist want? What is the end goal? What is the big problem that needs to be solved? ‘ The lack of clear direction in the story upon initial viewing may cause some people to glance at their watches.

The movie tries to distract us with a love story. Bradley Cooper’s character has a budding romance with co-worker Molly (Rooney Mara) in the first half. While there’s nothing glaringly wrong with this subplot, it doesn’t move me or deliver a strong sense of direction that I felt was lacking in the first half. It’s too bland; Bradley Cooper looked over and saw Molly, and he had that look on his face that said, “That’s where the love of the movie is.” It all feels a bit perfunctory.

Another problem was that the film telegraph itself was a bit too much. For example, we see that David Strathairn’s character is an alcoholic and frequently asks Dafoe for bottles of wine. Later, when Dafoe showed Cooper the ropes, he showed him two boxes containing identical-looking bottles of liquid. One box was filled with bottles of cane juice, and the other was deadly poison. Geez, it’s definitely going to be a bummer if someone confuses them right?

To be fair, it doesn’t follow the super obvious path of someone chaotic mixing them up. However, I could have known something was going to happen, which ruined the fun. We see the big turning point at the end also coming. I’m not saying this to gloat about my great perception, just to express my disappointment.

Do I recommend going for a walk? Nightmare Alley? I do. While the story might be a bit frivolous at first, it’s a lot of fun. I certainly don’t think it’s as climactic as some of del Toro’s earlier films – it certainly isn’t. Pan .’s Labyrinth or Shape of water – but there’s some good stuff here.

So if you don’t go Spiderman exaggerated trains but still want a reason to go to the cinema, Nightmare Alley is a definite choice. Lord knew it could use help considering its competition.

Grade B

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https://winteriscoming.net/2021/12/19/review-nightmare-alley-solid-scare-for-the-holidays/ Nightmare Alley is a solid scare for the holidays

Dais Johnston

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