FearTASTIC Vault O’FUN #114
Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (2002)
Welcome back! Or if this is the first time your presence has graced my vault, WELCOME my friend to part 2 (of 3) of my review of the horror Anthology series, Cabinet of Curiosities by my pal, Guillermo del Toro…at this point, I’ll assume if you’re new I’ll just try to give you the impression that I’m beloved by the horror community to the point where a horror icon such as Mr. del Toro (did I get you for a least a second?). This collection of macabre tales that share the same whimsical terror that’s on brand for its creator started strong and kept that energy going throughout the middle of the series.
Interesting thing though was that I had seen the first couple episodes during a business trip in a hotel (along with some DELISH Chinese takeout) so my enjoyment was heightened by being outside of my home and being able to project my phone to the hotel TV (oh technology how I love thee). With free lodging and grub (thanks day job!), watching a horror series was even more enjoyable since in my wacky head, it was almost as if I rented a room just to enjoy horror stories all night!
However, soon after my business trip, I was on my way to a giant ship for a cruise adventure! It dawned on me that although cruises are all about the food, booze, seeing the sites, booze, events, booze, swimming, gambling, booze, booze and booze; there are some free time right before bed, right when I wake up and when I hit the gym (need to balance out that booze somehow right?). I realized I’ve never enjoyed some horror goodness while on a ship before so that exciting feeling of watching monsters terrorize the innocent on a trip where ocean is the only escape seemed like a FANTASTIC idea! So let’s see how these eps held up between cocktails on a pirate ship!
Director(s): David Prior
Writer(s): David S. Goyer, Guillermo del Toro, Michael Shea (short story)
Starring: F. Murray Abraham
I watched this entry early since I’m used to waking up at six in the morning for work so imagine my glee when this tale unfolded and ended up being a battle battle of wits between a sharp coroner and and a deviant parasite from out of this world! The dialog alone was exciting as the situation played out and it caught my attention enough so that I was WIDE awake by the time the story ended. Mr. Abraham showed off his seasoned chops with some great delivery of lines which makes you want to cheer for him against his other-worldly opponent and the ending was quite satisfying which set my good mood for the rest of the day!
Director(s): Ana Lily Amirpour
Writer(s): Haley Z. Boston (teleplay by), Guillermo del Toro, Emily Carroll (short story)
Starring: Kate Micucci, Martin Starr
This entry was a slow burn and enjoyable for its visuals and eventual payoff. The makeup/effects of this entry was very impressive and I’m always a fan of Kate Micucci and Martin Starr in all their comedic efforts. Okay, having said that, I must admit that it was a mistake watching half of it while inebriated and almost ready for bed and the other half while I was at the gym. The only reason is the slow burn felt even LONGER while drunk Jamal was watching the flick and then workout Jamal thought the ending/payoff came too soon so I shall assume that with both parts combined with a sober Jamal just sitting/laying down and enjoying the ep, the story unfolded just fine. This story was part Shining, part cautionary tale about fatal the price of beauty and the ending was very satisfying in an unsettling sort of way which is right up my alley!
Director(s): Keith Thomas
Writer(s): H.P. Lovecraft (based on story by), Guillermo del Toro, Lee Patterson (teleplay)
Starring: Ben Barnes, Crispin Glover
I would like to believe that del Toro intended to make this classic Lovecraft story into a movie and then for one reason or another it was easier to sell as a short entry to which he decided right there and then that he’d rather make a SERIES of horror flicks that has his touch rather than just one entry and thus this series was born. This entry is what I imagine was del Toro’s favorite because his style and vision has always been aligned with Lovecraft and this was his opportunity to give his idol a love letter in the form of a horror entry. The visuals teeter that line between beautiful and terrifying with enough victorian flare to make the horrific parts pop out even more in the most suspenseful moments. This entry was enjoyed right after a nice session in the gym and sauna right before dinner time so in short, my body was relaxed and high on endorphins while I let this terrifying tale whisk me away to monster-filled fantasy.
Alright, so I enjoyed some eps in a hotel and then during the first half of the cruise…the last half of the cruise…in which I enjoyed the last three episodes, was during a time of where I wanted to jump out of my body and therefore end my miserable existence.
…and on that POSITIVE NOTE, I’ll see you all for part THREE (of three) of my review!
Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us.