Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities is a new horror anthology streaming on Netflix that defies expectations through eight genre-bending tales of cosmic horror.
Each episode, led by a different director, is tied together by a series of thoughtful opening narrations by Del Torro on greed, perfection, art and other forms of darkness that reside within the human psyche.
In many ways, you might even call it a spiritual successor to classic anthology series like The Twilight Zone.
THE MARKETING MATERIAL
It’s no surprise the TV series has garnered a lot of press.
While the marketing team does take full advantage of the name brand Del Torro has built for himself as a stand-out writer and director, I love that each project has created a unique opportunity to market the episodes individually to stunning effect.
In some ways, this might even be the beginning of a golden age for Mexican cinema if a renewed interest in made-for-Netflix telenovelas like La Casa De Las Flores is anything to go by.
It took me a little while to dig up the entire set of posters, as some are more popular than others.
You’ll notice each poster pays homage to a specific sub-genre of horror (the creature feature, gothic horror, dark fantasy etc.).
I think it’s a clever way to play to the strengths of an anthology by promising something for everybody to enjoy.
(Directed by Guillermo Navarro)
(Directed by David Prior)
(Directed by Keith Thomas)
(Directed by Panos Cosmatos)
(Directed by Vincenzo Natali)
(Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour)
(Directed by Katherine Hawredicke)
(Directed by Jennifer Kent)
The Official Netflix Trailer (2022)
THE CONCEPT ART
Considering it took a small army of talented costume designers, VFX artists, graphic designers makeup and concept artists, it isn’t easy to find this film’s process and behind-the-scenes work.
The Graveyard Rats
ARTWORK FROM PICKMAN'S MODEL
The entire plot of Pickman’s Model revolves around the incredible yet disturbing work of Richard Upton Pickman.
Although there are two different episodes based on short stories by H.P. Lovecraft, Pickman’s Model and Dreams in the Witch House, the aesthetic style we’ve come to associate with Lovecraftian horror is sprinkled throughout the entire anthology.
But what I find most interesting about the artwork in this episode is that it dramatically improves Lovecraft’s vision of the source material.
Lovecraft's Orignal Vision for Pickman's Model
Reimagining Pickman's Model
While films like Velvet Buzzsaw and The Picture of Dorian Gray have done ‘spooky evil paintings’ before it is always a delight to see extremely talented artists deliver Hieronymous Bosch levels of creepy.
One of the markers of great horror films is a talented supporting team of practical and VFX artists—Cabinet of Curiosities is no different.
From exploding heads stuffed with fake viscera to a monstrous animatronic puppet with “bulbous opaline eyes and wispy fur that barely covers its mottled musculature“, there’s no doubt there was a lot of care put into this production, and it shows.