Ambition and nightmares fuse rather nicely throughout Nightmare Alley, a modern spin on the defiant, dormant neo-noir genre. Every so often, a creative will come along and be so sure of their abilities in reviving it. Naturally, whether the work they offer is great or godless, they are met with stirring reviews and a box office bomb. Nightmare Alley is on that course regardless and probably knew it. To know that and persevere is bold and inevitable because Nightmare Alley is a certainly grand film and far closer to the top of the Best Picture pile than any of the others to be given such a nod. It is at least filled with worldbuilding and experimentation, which is no surprise since Guillermo Del Toro helms this delightfully twisted feature.
Love from across the department store floor, Carol showcases a relationship that simply cannot be. Todd Haynes’ direction lingers on that simple fact, cemented sufficiently enough at the opening, and carried through with the sombre, inevitable realisation that it will blow up and fade away. But Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) and Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) don’t care to think like that. They live in the moment, for doing anything beyond that would be fatal to the sudden relationship they strike in the bustling streets of 1950s New York. Crisp and articulate the streets of the Big Apple may look, love is often at the heart of its big-screen appearances. Carol sets itself apart, though, and it is not just because of the dynamic relationship between its two leading ladies.
It would be rather bold of me to ask producers to leave dormant horror series’ alone, but at the same time, a reboot of Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street was inevitable. We live in a horrid timeline where anything that has a vague sense of popularity, items that have survived the memories of children from the 90s, will be adapted into scant rehashes of the original source material. It happened to Friday the 13th, it happened to Halloween, and, of course, it happened to A Nightmare on Elm Street. Holding a candle to the Craven classic is no small task, so pooling the correct talent for such a dangerous task is crucial.