Caught this last night. Guillermo del Toro, I could kiss you.
Though I am not familiar with the original novel, I have now watched both adaptations of the story this week and I will say that I find both the 1947 original and Guillermo del Toro's iteration to be two totally complimentary works – in the future, if I'm ever in the mood to watch one version, it will almost certainly be immediately followed up on by the other. On the surface, this might feel like something that should fall outside of del Toro's wheelhouse, but the material fits his sensibilities like a glove and he brings Nightmare Alley to life with all of the stylistic and thematic flourishes that make his body work so distinctly his own. Guillermo del Toro is one of my favorite contemporary filmmakers, and I find that he is on the top of his game delivering one of his best works (and one of my favorite movies of 2021) in Nightmare Alley.
As an aside, I am so glad that I got the chance to see this on the big screen on an opening preview night, before it gets kicked to the wayside like so many 20th Century Studios and Searchlight titles have since Disney's acquisition of Fox.