We’ve got the final trailer for Nightmare Alley, the new thriller movie from Guillermo del Toro, and it’s a bloody affair. Cate Blanchett and Bradley Cooper lead the gothic drama movie, about a seedy carnival and the creepy underworld of 1940s carnivals.
This last trailer focuses on all the sordid manipulation and Machiavellian character work that’ll punctuate the story. At the start, Cooper’s Stan Carlisle is strapped in for an interrogation, about his ability to speak to ghosts. His responses have over various scenes demonstrating his grift, investigating circus performers, and turning around a lot of cold, hard cash. Blanchett plays Dr Lilith Ritter, a psychologist who, according to the synopsis, is “even more dangerous” than Stan.
Though it has many of the trappings of the del Toro’s previous work, and there’s some definite suggestion this could become a ghost movie, the director’s been adamant it’s not about that. “This has no supernatural element. It’s based completely in a reality world,” he tells Vanity Fair. “There is nothing fantastic. It’s a very different movie from my usual.”
That is, indeed, very different from del Toro’s usual. In 2018, he won the Academy Award for Best Picture for his monster movie The Shape of Water, and his other work, like Crimson Peak and Pan’s Labyrinth, leans heavily on fantasy elements.
The official synopsis reads: “an ambitious carny (Bradley Cooper) with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) who is even more dangerous than he is.”
Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Ron Perlman, and Rooney Mara are among the long list of supporting castmembers. In addition to directing, del Toro co-wrote the screenplay with Kim Morgan
The film is based on a book of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham, and it’s been R-rated. You can see what kind of show del Toro has wrangled when Nightmare Alley opens in theatres December 17.