Nightmare Alley is an extremely powerful and disturbing psychological thriller. It is by far one of the best films I have watched in a really long time. Packed with striking cinematography and utilises a bruised palette which develops perfectly throughout with its display and focus points of colour. The film was directed by Guillermo del Toro and had a massive array of characters that was perfectly cast. Don’t just walk, run down this cinematic nightmare that is a complete visual feast. The story unravels itself in a beautiful and haunting way. There is no-doubt that this film will win at least one Oscar. It is captivating, spiraling, fatalist, and while it was 150-minutes – I would happily watch it again.
The story follows a charismatic Stanton Carlisle (played by Bradley Cooper) who endears himself to clairvoyant Zeena (Toni Collette) and her has-been mentalist husband Pete (David Strathairn) at a traveling carnival. After learning the tricks of the trade, he takes his new skill to grift the wealthy of 1940s New York. Playing a dangerous game and balancing a fine line, Stanton is the plague of his own life and we follow eagerly as his life unfolds in front of us.