Nightmare Alley – It is a Nightmare

Rating (2 out of 5)

Summary: 2 1/2 hours of boredom, and you know where we are going to end, after the cafe scene when Stan (Bradley Cooper) and Clem (Willem Dafoe) discuss how a “geek” is obtained. I haven’t seen the original, but if you forecast out that far in advance all the major key points, then all the in-between has to be super interesting. It isn’t.

Director Guillermo del Toro pulls out the same vivid colors, set designs, and costumes. Been there done that, still doesn’t make the story any less boring. Yes, we all noticed Molly (Rooney Mara) wearing red, offsetting everyone else’s black costume. You know it doesn’t really matter when I fall asleep from boredom.

In fact, as I write this, why am I giving this movie a 2. Seriously, “The Fable” was more original better-paced than this regurgitation of a film from 1947. The “Lost Daughter” offered more emotions, and I understood how some viewers would be moved by the story. “Lost Daughter” wasn’t my cup of tea, but there was an audience. Maybe drugs would make this story better. Unfortunately, they might wear off after 2 1/2 hours.

Any critic who gives this a good score is afraid to say when art stinks or is being paid to say good things. I usually don’t pick on acting very much, but all the performances felt flat. These are great actors, so it must be the terrible direction. Only Willem Dafoe stood out to me in this crapfest.

Revised Rating (1.5 out of 5) – Guillermo, you wasted my Saturday night. It is the day after, and I am now more upset about losing 2 1/2 hours.

Plot: Stan learns the art of mentalism at a traveling carny. He moves on to have a big show in Chicago, and he gets in over his head.