Spoilers can’t open the drawers on this nightstand.
Let’s cast the obvious aside and state this is going to be a mixed bag. Anthologies are hard to review as a whole, but besides the obvious horror theme you do feel Guillermo del Toro’s influence in a lot of the stories adapted here. Nothing is particularly outrageously original, but the execution varies from decent to enthralling in some cases. I think overall it is a rather well-made series along the lines of classic anthology shows along the lines of the Twilight Zone, Amazing Stories or The Outer Limits. The closest comparison I can make is Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (2022) is created by Guillermo del Toro. The series highlights stories written by several authors notably including Guillermo del Toro and H.P. Lovecraft. All the stories share a theme of collection ranging from salvage and scrap to art, ancient and the complete alien. I was tempted to itemize each story as some depart from the theme to becoming more standalone both in theme and focus, but that would be a disservice. Best way is to go in blind and not know what to expect. There are strong performances from F. Murray Abraham, Kate Micucci (shoutout to Garfunkel and Oates fans!), Crispin Glover, Rupert Grint, Peter Weller and Essie Davis.
There is an attention to detail throughout. The episodes often share the same warm colors of a cinematic palette. Horror wise is probably the element that plays in the widest range. You do have the revenge angle, the gothic horror, the Grand Guignol tradition, the slow burn, body horror and definitely some eldritch frights courtesy of the H.P. Lovecraft adaptations. Because of this range, I found some stories burn more brightly than others. You will get the ones that lull you into a false sense of security and warmth and the ones that have horror permeating every scene. Gore is the same, sometimes intense and sometimes just a few strokes.
Strongly recommended. Every story hits differently, with different levels of fright and even shock. Chances are some will just be plain scary, others will feel more dreadful and others will haunt you for a long time. While some stories are engaging a few will feel a little bit more unpolished. Original or derivative as it may be, it’s very solid entertainment. Worth a watch more than enough to add it to your collection.
That will do for now.