The new trailer for “Nightmare Alley” is mysterious and withholding, just like the main characters. Bradley Cooper plays Stanton Carlisle, a talented man working at a carnival whose abilities involve manipulating people. It is unclear whether these powers are mystical or just insidious manipulation like Cate Blanchett’s Lilith Ritter, the psychiatrist Stan is in cahoots with.
Stan’s circumstances become more dire as he continues with Ritter and encounters a nameless corporation that questions him about his talents. Though there are no overarching horror elements, there is something scarier about the nature of people. People are the reason that Stan becomes entrenched in life-threatening circumstances. Ritter already appears to be a conniving villainess who is the cause of the strife in the trailer. Fans may be hoping for overt horror elements, but the “Nightmare Alley” trailer contains subtle terror that is just as frightening. This noir tale is scary because of its realism. Instead of outright supernatural horror, the film questions the American Dream in this gritty story. Only time will tell how this will rank on Guillermo Del Toro’s list of movies. “Nightmare Alley” will hit theaters on December 17.