Tagged: He Says/She Says Film Reviews Podcast

Summary:  An ambitious carny with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  20th January 2022 (Australia), 27th January 2022 (Thailand), 21st January 2022 (UK), 17th December 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, Mexico

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Screenwriter: Guillermo del Toro, Kim Morgan

Cast: Paul Anderson (Geek #1), Dian Bachar (Fee Fee The Birdgirl), Jim Beaver (Sheriff Jebediah Judd), Cate Blanchett (Dr. Lilith Ritter), Lara Jean Chorostecki (Louise Hoatley), Toni Collette (Zeena the Seer), Clifton Collins Jnr. (Funhouse Jack), Bradley Cooper (Stanton Carlisle), Willem Dafoe (Clem Hoatley), David Hewlett (Dr. Elrood), Mike Hill (Dogboy JoJo), Troy James (The Snake Man), Richard Jenkins (Ezra Grindle), Matthew MacCallum (Human Skeleton), Peter MacNeill (Judge Kimball), Rooney Mara (Molly Cahill), Holt McCallany (Anderson), Sarah Mennell (Abigail), Drew Nelson (Humphries), Tim Blake Nelson (Carny Boss), Ron Perlman (Bruno), Linden Porco (Brofo the Small), Mark Povinelli (The Major), Samantha Rodes (Zizi the Pinhead), Mary Steenburgen (Mrs. Kimball), David Strathairn (Pete)

Running Time: 150 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (Thailand), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR NIGHTMARE ALLEY REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Nightmare Alley Review:

I am probably committing a sin against cinema by admitting this but I have never really been someone that has fallen for the whole ‘del Toro is one of the greats film directing’ claim. Sure he has made a couple of films that I have enjoyed but I stand by my claim that The Shape Of Water is one of the most over-rated films to ever hit cinemas and I will never really forgive him for making me endure Pacific Rim.

But something sparked inside of me when I saw the trailer for Nightmare Alley. There was something about this film that seemed appealing to my inner film geek. It looked dark, it looked slightly Gothic in theme and it seemed to remind me of one of my favourite TV shows – Carnivale. I was more than willing to take a look at the film off the back of what had teased me and I am so glad that I did.

Nightmare Alley centres around Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born) a man who is left homeless and jobless after deciding to run from his past. His journey soon brings him to a carnival run by Bruno (Ron Pearlman – Hellboy), where he lands a job through Odditorium owner Clem Hoatley (Willem Dafoe – Spiderman) who quickly teaches him the secrets of the trade.

But it is the ‘grifting’ work of Zeena the Seer (Toni Collette – Muriel’s Wedding) and her husband Pete (David Strathairn – Godzilla) that captures Stanton’s attention and soon he begins to learn everything he needs to become a ‘psychic’ himself. At the same time Stanton becomes infatuated with the ‘electric woman’, Molly Cahill (Rooney Mara – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), and finds himself drawn into a new game thanks to psychiatrist Dr. Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine).

My first thought when watching Nightmare Alley was the feeling of how epic it was. Not epic in the sense of a film like Lord Of The Rings but epic in its scale of storytelling. This is based on a novel from 1946 and you can feel that nostalgia rush through your body as del Toro creates a film that really is only comparable to Scorcese’s Shutter Island. No matter how much you enjoy this film there is something dark and sinister that bubbles along just under the surface the whole time you watch this film.

This is a film that tests your morals. The treatment of the ‘geek’ by Clem is horrendous and the fact that the rest of the carnival staff know about it means there is not really a redeemable one among the lot. Then there is the film’s hero, Stanton Carlisle, a man whom the audience is shown the dark sins of in the opening of the film and a man that you know will screw anyone over to live another day yet somehow del Toro presents him in the film in such a way that you find yourself siding with him. It is quite sick when you think about it but it also shows me that del Toro has learnt so much about good screenwriting over the years that he is now a pro who can easily control his audience like a puppet in a pretty remarkable way.

Del Toro and his cinematographer, Dan Lausten (The Shape Of Water), give this film the dark, foreboding look and feel that it deserves and needs. There is never a moment during the film when the audience gets a chance to relax, like the characters in the film they are kept on their toes as they never know what is around the corner when it comes to the plot or who is going to be played next. If having your emotions heightened during a film is your thing then this is certainly the film for you.

What I also found impressive with this film was the performances. Bradley Cooper is in career best form and he gets to play the anti-hero Stanton and his scenes alongside Cate Blanchett are some of the best ‘theatre’ that you are ever likely to see. The dialogue between the two is like cat and mouse and their scenes together are some of the cinematic highlights of 2022. Dafoe is also at his sinister best while Rooney plays the vulnerable Molly well and is never over-shadowed by the bigger names around her.

I never really thought that I would say this but del Toro has delivered a real masterpiece here. The film takes its audience down a haunted rabbit burrow that they are not likely to forget for a long time. The film is kind of left wanting during a dry middle act but it is bookended by some of the best cinema that you will see in 2022.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Lee Griffiths’ Nightmare Alley Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Home Reviews:

None

Trailer:

Summary:  Six people unwillingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive. Joining forces with two of the original survivors, they soon discover they’ve all played the game before.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  1st July 2021 (Australia), 16th July 2021 (UK), 16th July 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: Available in all regions.

Country: USA, South Africa

Director: Adam Robitel

Screenwriter: Will Honley, Maria Melnik, Daniel Tuch, Oren Uziel

Cast: Thomas Cocquerel (Nathan), Nick Dodani (Flashback – Danny Khan), Jay Ellis (Flashback – Jason Walker), James Frain (Henry/Puzzlemaker), Isabelle Fuhrman (Claire), Renee Harbek (Priscilla), Anton David Jeftha (Orrie), Tyler Labine (Flashback – Mike Nolan), Logan Miller (Ben Miller), Indya Moore (Brianna Collier), Carlito Olivero (Theo), Holland Roden (Rachel Ellis), Taylor Russell (Zoey Davis), Corin Silva (Ensler), Derick Siow (Paramedic Jarrod), Tanya van Graan (Sonya), Yorick van Wageningen (Flashback – Games Master WooTan Yu), Deborah Ann Woll (Amanda Harper)

Running Time: 88 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 15 (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR ESCAPE ROOM: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ and Lee Griffiths’s Escape Room: Tournament Of Champions Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Lee’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Escape Room: Tournament Of Champions Reviews:

Nil.

Trailer:

LEE G

Lee G is a lifelong movie lover who lives for going to the cinema and loves to attend events such as Comic-Con and Supanova where she gets to sit down and hear her favorite filmmakers and stars talk about their careers.

Lee is happiest when she gets to talk about cinema so working for Subculture Entertainment is the perfect match.

Currently Lee G has 24 reviews on Subculture Entertainment

Currently Lee G features on 24 episodes of He Says/She Says Film Reviews