Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

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Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

Post by Smaragd »

This is a "TV" series (the term is quite obsolete already, I know) of individual horror stories with different directors, curated by Guillermo del Toro. The presentation seems to pay tribute to my favourite form of horror genre: literary anthologies of short stories. Short stories often manage to catch a glimpse of an essence, a fleeting moment, without streching the ideas too much, and the usual form of publication in anthologies touches this collective buzz of creative powers teeming with all these different sides of the underworld of shadows to be revealed.

If you have not been a fan of del Toro's work in the past (I have disliked his too technical use of mythological creatures which seems to attach quite clumsily to the depth axis of things, although this is partly only an aesthetic preference), I advice not to miss on this one on that account.

I suggest you watch the show before reading my following introductions and notions of some of the episodes.

My favourite episodes were:
1. Lot 36
A fantastic tale in the vein of Lovecraft, whose inspiration and mythos usually provides a rare formula allowing handling themes of ritual magic with a literal sense without feeling shallow or superimposed in falsifying manner.

3. The Autopsy


8. The Murmuring
Perhaps the most realistic portrayal of horror elements in real life I have seen on movies and the potential beauty behind them. Also the alchemical potentialities of the empty vessels that are abandoned houses, as well as unresolved pshychic knots and their fiery pressure housed in these vessels were masterfully portrayed. I tip my hat to the director Jennifer Kent, whose movie The Babadook has also been praised on these forums some years ago. I must go and find her The Nightingale soon!
"Would to God that all the Lord's people were Prophets”, Numbers 11:29 as echoed by William Blake
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Re: Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

Post by Mars »

I'm about halfway through. I've enjoyed all of them up to the moment when the CGI monster makes its inevitable appearance.
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Re: Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

Post by Nefastos »

Smaragd wrote: Thu Nov 17, 2022 12:24 am 1. Lot 36

Sister Astraya showed this to me yesterday, and it was very enjoyable. I felt that there was only about 15 percent Lovecraft, 20 percent Silent Hill, and the rest was Tales from the Crypt -like but very smoothly done run of the mill horror story.

In Toro's works things are very polished and beautiful, and even the slightly plastic-like clarity of things is something I personally enjoy, even though it is closer to the antithesis of horror. This coach-comforty approach to the darkness of the mind leaves a Toro experience a bit surficial and lacking of those more intense feelings that can be felt with many other less good films. For example, we also watched the Prey for the Devil film, and its clumsiness and its clear inability to realize what it was actually discussing left the experience disturbing, also in a good horror story way. In such a nightmare mood one has to return thinking the story later again, because there is too much (para-/)psychological reality among all the cheap jumpscares and idiotic fallings of the story. With Toro, I always feel that things fit so smoothly that the story is more like a fairytale with dark elements.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"