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CABINET OF CURIOSITIES (Netflix) - An unusually gory and bizarre horror anthology that still deserves to be seen for its execution. (Review by Bobby Sing)

30 Oct, 2022 | Just In / Movie Reviews / 2022 Releases

This Halloween Netflix brings an American horror anthology, Cabinet of Curiosities – an unusual television series curated by Guillermo del Toro. The Academy-Award winner, known for his fantasy films, introduces the series and appears at the beginning of every episode, exactly like Alfred Hitchcock used to do before each episode of his TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents, making a witty and entertaining remark. The gothic genre horror anthology features eight stand-alone episodes/stories, two of which are by Del Toro and others written and directed by all renowned filmmakers.
Remaining true to its title, Cabinet of Curiosities is a strange and unpredictable set of horrifying tales that becomes unwatchable at times because of an extremely gory presentation, forcing you to go for the stop button. That remains the key reason it partially works for even the die-hard followers of the genre who have seen various kinds of horror films in the world cinema. It has demons, monsters, skeletons, and weird characters going through trauma because of their greed and cynical approach toward life. Above all, it explores and dissects the human body in such a manner that is certainly not going to be an easy watch for most of the viewers.
The bizarre themes range from rare books on exorcism, rats in the graveyard, bisecting bodies in the autopsy, body shaming, horrifying images in paintings, and cursed houses to the one having a squid-game kind of premise. Interestingly, a few of the original stories (the episodes are based upon) are from the 1920s onwards, taking you around a century back.
To be fair, this is not any run-of-the-mill stuff in the horror genre, offering you the expected timely jump-scares. The series no doubt works for its well-executed, shocking, and stunning visuals, but also has not much to offer in terms of engrossing content resulting in a mixed bag. While the first few episodes work, the later ones are disappointing, lost in their world of horror and mysticism. The continuing dark visuals and metaphors also become annoying in the absence of an involving tale. Besides, the last episode revolving around the birds again reminded me of Hitchcock and the exemplary work in his film titled The Birds. 
That said, CABINET OF CURIOSITIES still deserves to be seen for its bold and peculiar on-screen presentation, technical finesse, sound, VFX, and the art-direction (in particular), much ahead of many crappy films and series served in the name of horror.
And then, one of its episodes also gave me a worth remembering and sharing quote as an old Zen Koan. And it goes as,
"Everyone has two lives, and the second life begins the moment you realize that, all along, you only had one."
Rating : 3 / 5 (including the additional 0.5 for the noteworthy art direction of the series.)

Note : The series is also available in a dubbed Hindi form on Netflix.

Tags : CABINET OF CURIOSITIES (Netflix) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Web Series Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Netflix Releases Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Horror Films Reviews by Bobby Sing
30 Oct 2022 / Comment ( 0 )
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