Here’s the trailer for Nightmare Alley:
Based on the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham, Nightmare Alley is del Toro’s follow-up to Best Picture winner The Shape Of Water, which also won him the Academy Award for Best Director.
The film follows a former carnival worker who becomes a big-city nightclub performer by convincing people that he can read minds. A psychiatrist who first tries to expose him as a charlatan instead becomes embroiled in his schemes.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, del Toro stressed that Nightmare Alley is not the kind of horror or fantasy fans have come to expect from him. The director said the film is more of a classic film noir than a horror movie:
“It has happened to me in the past with Crimson Peak, where people went in expecting a horror movie. I knew it was a gothic romance but it was very difficult to put that across. But yes, this has no supernatural element. It’s based completely in a reality world. There is nothing fantastic. It’s a very different movie from my usual, but yes, the title and my name would create that impression.”
Bradley Cooper stars as Stanton Carlisle, the former carnival worker who becomes a big-city star as a nightclub performer, using cold-reading tricks he picked up in the sideshow to create the impression he is a powerful mind reader. Now the marks and rubes he targets are millionaires.
Cate Blanchett plays Dr Lilith Ritter, the psychiatrist who first tries to expose him as a charlatan, then becomes embroiled in his schemes.
The supporting cast includes Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Rooney Mara, Holt McCallany, Clifton Collins Jr., Tim Blake Nelson, Mary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn.
Searchlight Pictures is set to premiere Nightmare Alley in theaters on December 17th.