The final trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s latest movie, Nightmare Alley, has arrived. Considering that the Mexican auteur’s last directorial effort was 2017’s The Shape of Water, which notably — and controversially — won the Best Picture gong at the Academy Awards that year, the hype is high for this one. Especially as it’s such a stark departure for the filmmaker. Despite being known for his horror and fantasy films, Nightmare Alley is a neo-noir psychological thriller with no supernatural elements. Catch the trailer above.
Like the best trailers, this one emphasizes the tone and style of the film, as well as the talent of its cast, over revealing too many plot details. In fact, you could easily come away from this promo without any real idea of what the movie’s about. So here’s the official one-sentence synopsis: “Stan Carlisle (Bradley Cooper), an ambitious carny with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words, hooks up with Dr. Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett), a psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is.”
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The trailer gives us a taste of just how good Carlisle is at manipulating people, as we see him successfully hoodwink a lie-detector test by claiming to be a genuine psychic who can read the minds of others. Clips interpreted throughout showcase how Carlisle uses his “gifts” to earn himself great notoriety and success. However, by the looks of things, he’s destined for a major fall from grace.
Nightmare Alley is based on the 1946 novel by William Lindsay Gresham. Though the book was previously brought to the screen in the acclaimed 1947 movie of the same name starring Tyrone Power, del Toro has touted his version as a closer adaptation of the novel and less of a remake of the earlier film. Alongside Cooper and Blanchett, it features a supporting cast that only del Toro could bring together, including Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins and Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman.
Don’t miss Nightmare Alley exclusively in theaters from this Dec. 17.