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Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley trailer sets up a dark mystery

Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett star in the psychological noir thriller

The trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s newest movie plunges us straight into a dark carnival world.

Based on a 1946 novel of the same name, Nightmare Alley is a psychological thriller about an ambitious carny with a talent for manipulating people. Played in this movie by Bradley Cooper, Stan Carlisle ends up hooking up with Dr. Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett), a psychiatrist who just might be more dangerous than he is. Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, and Rooney Mara also star.

This isn’t the first time the William Lindsay Gresham novel has gotten an adaptation. The 1947 noir adaptation starred Tyrone Power and Jon Blondell. Del Toro has said that his version is not a remake of that film, but his own adaptation of the novel. Unlike usual del Toro fare, Nightmare Alley has no supernatural elements — instead, according to the director, it is “just a straight, really dark story.”

Nightmare Alley is scheduled to be released in theaters on Dec. 17.