‘Nightmare Alley’ Trailer: Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett Lead the Dark Mystery

It all begins with a question in the teaser of Guillermo del Toro’s star-studded thriller Nightmare Alley. The movie is led by Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett. It is a remake of the 1947 noir classic of the same name. 

The producers dropped a quick first teaser of the film, a day after releasing the first look of the movie. A tiny portrait of the dark thriller, the trailer leaves the viewers with many questions that only the movie will be able to answer. 

Cate Blanchett, in a black dress, at the Venice Film Festival in 2020.
Cate Blanchett | Stefania D’Alessandro/WireImage

Is it a man or beast?

As Willem Dafoe questions at the beginning of the teaser, describing “a supreme oddity” of a creature in a “world of unexplained mysteries.” The teaser piques the interest of the viewers as Defoe lays out the details of an unknown creature that he offers a chance to witness. 

Set in an old carnival, with Defoe as the barker, the teaser takes the audience through a bunch of carnival attractions. From a Ferris wheel to a fortune teller and live electrocution — the whole spiel. But what leaves a lasting impression is Cooper’s devolving quest which seems to get darker and more gruesome with every passing frame. 

Cooper plays the role of Stanton Carlisle an ambitious carny who has a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words, as the Searchlight Pictures’ premise suggests. Blanchett plays a psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than Cooper. 

When the two team together, a tumultuous journey begins.

The movie is based on a 1946 novel of the same name

A psychological thriller, the novel by William Lindsay Gresham looks at the devious and murky nature of carnivals and their participants. From the looks of the trailer, the monster referred to throughout Defoe’s narration seems to be Cooper’s Carlisle. 

Defoe confirms it himself in the teaser when he reveals that the monstrous creature has been “unequivocally” deemed a man and not a beast. 

While no supernatural elements appear in the trailer, the dark green and red color palette drive home the ominous feel of the entire movie. While Defoe’s narration suggests the hint of the beast’s traumatic past, the last images of Cooper sitting in a burning room, suggest the same.

The teaser ends, as it began with Defoe questioning if it’s a man or a beast, suggesting del Toro’s use of the humans as a metaphor for beasts. 

Apart from Cooper and Blanchett, several other Hollywood big names star in the movie

With the star power of Academy award-nominated Cooper, and Academy award winner, Blanchett, the movie has generated much buzz. But that’s not all, the movie also stars, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Rooney Mara, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, and David Strathairn.

Toro has co-produced the movie with his Shape of Water co-producer J. Miles Dale. Del Toro also reunited with Alexandre Desplat for the music in the film. Desplat previously worked with del Toro in Shape of Water and won the Oscar for his score in the movie. With a string of multiple Academy Award winners, including del Toro, in its cast and crew, it is likely that the movie will find a place in a few 2022 nominations. 

Nightmare Alley is slated to release in theaters on Dec. 17. 

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