Review: ‘Nightmare Alley’ Is Visually Stunning, but Emotionally Unengaging

Guillermo del Toro’s latest film immerses us into the shady world of a late 1930s traveling carnival. 

The neo-noir thriller Nightmare Alley begins and ends in a world where madmen locked in cages eat live chickens in front of an audience and dead fetuses soaked in wood alcohol are displayed in glass jars. 

It’s a richly designed, unsettling world in which the monsters are not del Toro’s normal fantastical creatures, but the men themselves. 

Del Toro and Kim Morgan’s screenplay is based on the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham. 

A year after the book was released, Edmund Goulding directed a popular noir film adaptation starring Tyrone Power. 

Now, del Toro is back with another adaptation of the story of Stan Carlisle.