“The world is beautiful and horrible at exactly the same time.” That’s the phrase with which Guillermo del Toro presents his horror anthology titled Cabinet of Curiosities to fans, and there is no better way to describe horror tales that seek to unite an unknown world while delving into human nature.
Cabinet of Curiosities is an eight-episode horror anthology based on various short stories by Emily Carroll, Michael Shea, H.P. Lovecraft, Henry Kuttner, and Guillermo del Toro, which features two original stories from the creator and filmmaker.
Netflix released the trailer that fully introduces fans to the world of Cabinet of Curiosities for the first time, with del Toro as a guide explaining how the anthology was created and the intention that all those who made it possible have with it. And here’s the plot, the cast, and everything you need to know about the show.
Cabinet of Curiosities: The Plot
According to the official synopsis released by Netflix, in Cabinet of Curiosities, acclaimed Academy Award-winning filmmaker and creator, executive producer, and co-showrunner Guillermo del Toro has curated a collection of eight unprecedented and genre-defining stories meant to challenge the traditional notions of horror. From macabre to magical, gothic to grotesque or classically creepy, these eight equally sophisticated and sinister tales (including two original stories by del Toro) are brought to life by a team of writers and directors personally chosen by del Toro.
Although it is not yet known in what order they will premiere, the titles of the stories that will make up the Cabinet of Curiosities anthology are called “Dream in the Witch House,” “Graveyard Rats,” “Lot 36,” “Pickman’s Model,” “The Autopsy,” “The Murmuring,” “The Outside,” and “The Viewing.” While the streaming service has yet to release an official synopsis for each of them, as del Toro himself confirms in the show’s trailer, each episode stands alone from the others, forming its own beginning, middle, and conclusion with its own characters.
Therefore, every episode is designed to tell an individual story within the anthology. Each tale will form a larger picture of the unknown realities outside the known world. The best to explain it is Guillermo del Toro, who stated:
“With Cabinet of Curiosities, we set out to showcase the realities existing outside our normal world: the anomalies and curiosities. We hand-picked and curated a group of stories and storytellers to deliver these tales, whether they come from outer space, supernatural lore, or simply within our minds. Just in time for Halloween, each of these eight tales is a fantastical peek inside the cabinet of delights existing underneath the reality we live in.”
Cabinet of Curiosities: The Cast
Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities is created and executive produced by Guillermo del Toro, executive produced by Academy Award winner J. Miles Dale (know for The Shape of Water and Sex/Life), who also serves as co-showrunner, and executive produced by Gary Ungar. Regina Corrado serves as co-executive producer. Del Toro also serves as host.
Also, each story has its own characters and cast. Thus, “Dream in the Witch House” is based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft and features Rupert Grint, who fans will recognize as the loyal, sweet, and slightly bumbling Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter franchise. It will also feature Ismael Cruz Cordova (who will also star in Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, forthcoming premiere), DJ Qualls (Supernatural), Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), and Tenika Davis (Jupiter’s Legacy). This episode is written by Mika Watkins and directed by Catherine Hardwicke, whom Twilight fans will recognize as the director of the first film in the franchise.
“Graveyard Rats” is based on a short story by Henry Kuttner, and the star will be David Hewlett (The Shape of Water). The episode is written and directed by Vincenzo Natali (Hannibal). “Lot 36” is based on an original story by Guillermo del Toro and Tim Blake Nelson (Watchmen), Elpidia Carrillo (Euphoria), Demetrius Grosse (Fear The Walking Dead), and Sebastian Roché (The Man in the High Castle) star in an episode written by Regina Corrado (The Strain) and directed by Guillermo Navarro (Narcos).
“Pickman’s Model,” based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft, features Ben Barnes — who endeared himself to fans by playing the gloomy The Darkling in Shadow and Bone –, Crispin Glover (American Gods), and Oriana Leman (The Whale). The episode is written by Lee Patterson (The Colony) and directed by Keith Thomas (The Vigil).
For its part, “The Autopsy” is based on a short story by Michael Shea. This episode will star Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham (Homeland), Glynn Turman (Fargo), and Luke Roberts (Ransom). The episode is written by David S. Goyer — who worked on the current and acclaimed The Sandman — and directed by David Prior (The Empty Man).
The episode titled “The Murmuring” is based on an original story by Guillermo del Toro. It features Essie Davis (The Babadook), Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead), and Hannah Galway (Sex/Life). The episode is written and directed by Jennifer Kent (The Babadook). Regarding “The Outside,“ its story is based on a short story by comic book author Emily Carroll. Kate Micucci (Mom) and Martin Starr (Silicon Valley) lead an episode written by Haley Z. Boston (Brand New Cherry Flavor) and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night).
The eighth story, “The Viewing,” stars Peter Weller (upcoming The Colosseum), Eric André (The Eric Andre Show), Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Charlyne Yi (Good Girls), Steve Agee (The Suicide Squad), Michael Therriault (Locke and Key), and Saad Siddiqui (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) in an episode directed by Panos Cosmatos (Mandy), who also writes, along with Aaron Stewart-Ahn.
Cabinet of Curiosities is going to have a rather unusual premiere for Netflix. Following the example of other horror anthologies released on the streaming service, the show will debut Tuesday, October 25, 2022, with a double episode that launches a special four-day. After the premiere, two sophisticated and sinister all-new Cabinet of Curiosities tales will debut daily through Friday, October 28, 2022, when the entire collection of eight stories will be available to Netflix members worldwide.
The date is not trivial since October 28th is very close to Halloween, and there is no better date to enjoy a horror anthology than the one Guillermo del Toro will give to all fans of the genre at the end of October.