Review : Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiousities / Episodes 1 & 2

Review by R L Merrill

Greetings Horror Addicts! I feel like this spooky season has been packed chock-a-block full of excellent horror offerings. I am nearly done with The Midnight Club, I fiendishly binged The Watcher, and I’m completely enamored of Interview With The Vampire, which I’m on my second viewing at this time. But there was one series I knew I could get my non-horror-tolerating husband to watch, and I’m excited to share my reactions with you. 

Like most fans of Guillermo Del Toro, I was anxious to check out Netflix’s Cabinet of Curiosities. There are eight episodes, which are all introduced by the man himself, and I’ll be posting reviews of them here on the blog. The episodes are directed by folks he handpicked, they seem to all be period pieces spanning the past 150 years, and two are from his original stories. The collection has a Twilight Zone vibe—if directed by Sam Raimi. The actors are folks you’ve seen before, including some beloved actors like F. Murray Abraham, Crispin Glover, and Andrew Lincoln, and the characters are put through the proverbial ringer in each episode. The cinematography and attention to minute details is unbelievably well done. No corners were cut for this limited series. 

Lot 36, starring Tim Blake Nelson, explores the world of storage unit auctions. If you’ve ever seen this phenomenon—bidders are shown the unit briefly, then they are asked to pay, sometimes thousands, for who knows what—you know you’ve always wondered just what hell might be hidden behind old dressers and gaudy lamps. In this episode, you find out just what hell can be lurking in the darkness. This episode also teaches you that karma is real and will keep you locked in with the baddy when you scoff at its power.

I thought Stephen King’s Graveyard Shift, both the story and the film, had made me terrified of rats. Uh uh. Graveyard Rats introduces us to the world of grave robbing, which in this case is done as an inside job by a habitual gambler named Masson. This episode had me simultaneously thinking genius and holy shit, don’t ever bury your loved ones with valuables. Including their gold teeth. Shudder. Masson discovers a horrific world under the cemetery where huge rats are chewing through coffins and dragging the freshly buried bodies deep into the bowels of the earth. Being the desperate man he is, he follows. Definite trigger warning if you have issues with tight spaces. Or rats. Or…well, you get the picture. Also by episode two, you’ll realize that nudity is a part of the series in bizarre and disturbing ways. Just saying.

I’ll be back with the next two episodes, and I’d love to hear from folks who have watched. What did you think? Which stories were your favorites? Stay Tuned For More…

 

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2 thoughts on “Review : Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiousities / Episodes 1 & 2

  1. This is on my “watch list” that is ever growing. After your review on it, I have pulled it to the top of my list because it just sounds so good. I love the creepy crawlies, the suspense, the thrill. Thank you so much for sharing your review 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice reviews! Graveyard Rats, by the way, was written by Henry Kuttner, an amazing pulp writer in many genres who died much too young in 1958, while mowing grass at the age of only 42. He was married to legendary fantasy and SF writer C.L. (Catherine Lucille) Moore, who wrote the best SF-vampire story ever, “Shambleau”. I need to do a Historian of Horror post on this genre power couple one of these days.

    Liked by 2 people

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