News is starting to trickle in for acclaimed Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro’s psychological noir-thriller, Nightmare Alley.


The Searchlight Pictures film was initially slated for a December 3rd theatrical release, but it was recently pushed two weeks and will now be in theaters on December 17th. As of this writing, Nightmare Alley will be exclusive to theaters.

The film has received the highly coveted R-rating for strong/bloody violence, some strong sexual content, nudity, and language.

[Nightmare Alley from Guillermo Del Toro] Official movie poster

If Nightmare Alley sounds familiar to you, you may have read (or at least heard of) the source material, the 1946 novel of the same name from William Lindsay Gresham. The year following the book’s publication, the 20th Century-Fox film noir Nightmare Alley, directed by Edmund Goulding and adapted from Gresham’s novel, arrived in theaters. 

This latest adaptation, penned by del Torro and Kim Morgan, stars an ensemble cast that includes Bradley Cooper (replacing Leonardo DiCaprio), Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn. 

Here’s the official synopsis: 

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.

This movie-goer is particularly excited for Nightmare Alley because it’s a departure for del Toro from his supernatural/fantasy horror (see films such as Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water and Crimson Peak).

The fact that we’re getting a star-studded noir-thriller from del Toro a week before Christmas? That’s something to celebrate. Del Toro is sure to give us a unique (and visually stunning) interpretation of a sketchy and seedy carnival/nightclub underbelly filled with shady dealings.

In a September 14th Awards Insider Exclusive Preview with Vanity Fair, del Toro revealed “…this [film] 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…” Del Toro also revealed that he aims to “invert some of the archetypes of classic film noir,” labelling Cooper’s character a “homme fatale” – no classic hero here. The Vanity Fair preview also features exclusive photos of some of the film’s main characters, including Stanton “Stan” Carlisle (Cooper) with Dr. Lilith Ritter (Blanchett), Molly Cahill (Rooney Mara), Clem Hoately (Willem Dafoe), and Zeena Krumbein (Toni Collette).

Bret Laurie

Bret Laurie


Bret Laurie is an editor, writer, and longtime horror fan living in Massachusetts. He received his B.A. in English at Worcester State University and currently has six years of editing and social media marketing experience.

Follow Bret on Instagram

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
My cart
Your cart is empty.

Looks like you haven't made a choice yet.