‘Nightmare Alley’: New Trailer Teases Bradley Cooper as a ‘Snake Charmer’ Who ‘Displeases the Wrong People’

To the delight of Guillermo Del Toro fans everywhere, the final Nightmare Alley trailer finally dropped. Moreover, it offers a compelling look into a highly stylized psychological thriller with a neo-noir look. A Star is Born’s Bradley Cooper and Ocean’s Eight’s Cate Blanchett figure prominently in the moody movie shots. Here’s what to know about Nightmare Alley and its latest trailer.  

The movie is an adaptation of a 1946 novel 

Bradley Cooper of 'Nightmare Alley'
Bradley Cooper | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The movie owes its vintage appeal to the fact that it’s an adaptation of the 1946 novel by Lindsay Gresham. Bradley Cooper stars as a carny/con man named Stan Carlisle. He says he’s a medium and can read minds. But when he comes face to face with a psychotherapist who can see right through him, he realizes he’s dangerously deep into his own game. 

Literally towering over him in the trailer, Cooper’s shadowy face appears both terrified and arrogant. Moreover, Blanchett clearly brings her icy brand of perfection to the role of Dr. Lilith Ritter.

“You don’t fool people Stan,” a strikingly red-lipped Blanchett warns him in a pre-trailer clip. “They fool themselves.” 

In the full trailer, Cooper’s character, Stanton Carlisle, finds himself hooked up to a lie detector. In the wintery, secluded location, Stan responds to questions posed by a disembodied male voice. 

“I’ll ask you simple questions,” says the voice. “You’ll answer in short sentences, only what you believe to be absolute truth.” Stand then responds: “Absolute truth… I can do that.” The voice proceeds to ask him if he’s a “true medium,” he responds “Yes, I am.” Furthermore, when the voice asks if he can read minds, he claims he can “under the right circumstances.” 

Cooper’s ‘Nightmare Alley’ character appears to be under hypnosis in the trailer

In a darkly romantic addition, we also see Stan dancing at the big top with Rooney Mara’s Molly Cahill. He subsequently lands in Dr. Ritter’s office, where she asks him “what do I want?” to which Stan replies “To be found out, same as everybody else.”

She also seems to have him under hypnosis. Additionally, we see Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, and Ron Perlman. According to the trailer, the movie drops December 17, 2021. And according to Wikipedia, producers pushed it back from the original premiere date of December 3. 

Per People magazine, a plot summary from Searchlight Pictures reads “an ambitious carny with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is.” 

The movie comes on the heels of Del Toro’s latest horror offering, Antlers. 

‘The Shape of Water’s’ Richard Jenkins appears prominently in the ‘Nightmare Alley’ trailer

Academy Award nominee Richard Jenkins also appears rather ominously in the Guillermo Del Toro trailer. Jenkins previously appeared in the acclaimed Pan’s Labyrinth director’s awards-sweeping The Shape of Water, earning a supporting actor nomination for the 2017 role. 

However, he’s nearly unrecognizable in his role. 

​​”We’ve had our share of snake charmers in the past,” Jenkins sneers. “We deal with them.” Jenkins co-stars in the impressive ensemble cast as Ezra Grindle, a brutal automobile tycoon. 

The scenes offer a glimpse into what is likely to be a spectacular holiday season offering from Del Toro. Between the all-star cast and the impressive lineup of violence in the trailer, it seems to be a nail biting psychological thriller with spectacular visual appeal. And that’s typical excellence in entertainment for horror and fantasy director Guillermo Del Toro. 

We’ll definitely be there for it on December 17. 

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