The last two episodes of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities are wonderful for entirely different reasons.
Panos Cosmatos’ The Viewing – by my reckoning – revolves primarily around a very atypical alien invasion, though it so strongly embodies the stylistic flourishes he brought to movies like Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010) and Mandy (2018) that if you’re not a fan already you’re just a likely to be repelled as attracted.
And I have to admit that I was prior in the former camp though The Viewing gave me a glimpse of what I might be missing, so look for a review of Beyond the Black Rainbow soon!
The Murmuring is the polar opposite, a very gentle ghost story revolving around a couple – played by Essie Davis and (a virtually unrecognizable) Andrew Lincoln as ornithologists who are investigating a behavior of certain types of birds, called murmuring, where they fly in groups of hundreds or even thousands of birds, performing sometimes complex aerial stunts in synchronicity that almost seems choreographed.
The Murmuring was directed by Jennifer Kent (The Babadook), which also starred Essie Davis, and she seems to enjoy having children torture her in various ways though beyond that penchant she’s created a beautiful, touching ghost story (which was written by Guillermo del Toro, which is interesting because I think it worked better than Lot 36, which he also wrote).
And if Guillermo del Toro can keep getting talented collaborators to work with him, I’m in for Season Two!