I didn’t see Guillermo Del Toro’s Nightmare Alley in theaters – something I share in common with more than a few people, apparently. It’s currently on Hulu in the United States, where I hope it reaches a larger audience because it deserves it.
That being said, I think that I understand why it underperformed in the first place.
First, you have Spider-Man: No Way Home capturing most movie goers in it’s web (which isn’t to say that one can’t see more than one movie in theaters though with Covid still a very real issue that people were in theaters to see even one movie is victory of sorts).
Then you have Bradley Cooper’s performance, which is a bit of a cypher in that it’s almost Keanu Reeves-adjacent in an effort to seemingly express as few human emotions as possible (I suspect that this was because Cooper’s Stanton Carlisle appears to be a sociopath though the tendency to not more obviously play to this makes his motivations appear somewhat murky).
Though when Nightmare Alley gets it’s footing – by my reckoning a little more than halfway through – it’s nearly unstoppable.
Is it worth watching? Of course, despite the odd acting choices made by the lead, it’s a fascinating and gorgeous looking movie, despite being somewhat disappointing.