Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities


Courtesy of Netflix

“Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities” premiered on Netflix in October 2022; it is a horror anthology series based on short stories that Guillermo del Toro wrote himself. The series is eight episodes long, each episode is about thirty minutes to an hour long. Each episode features a different modern horror story, representative of the Gothic and Grand Guignol genres. “Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities” includes horror stories each written by a different person. The first episode, titled “Lot 36,” is based on the short story “Lot 36,” written by Guillermo del Toro. The story is about a man named Nick who purchases an abandoned storage unit. Nick,desperate for funds, searches the unit and comes across a series of Demon Summoning. However, only three of the four books are initially found.  Nick becomes determined to find the complete set. But when he finally does find the last book, a demon is let out and devours him.

The second episode,  “Graveyard Rats,” is based off of a short story written by Henry Kuttner. The story is centered around a grave robber named Masson. When Masson tries to rob a grave he is faced  with a swarm of rats that remove valuable possessions from the corpse. Masson then discovers of a recently-buried aristocrat and he wants to find and take all of their possessions. Following the rats underground, Masson  tries to find the body but ends up getting buried alive.

The third episode is titled “The Autopsy” and is based on Michael Carroll’s  short story “Polyphemus”. The protagonist, Dr.Carl Winters, is asked to perform several autopsies on some miners that recently died after an unknown explosion. While Winters performs the autopsy, he discovers that one of the bodies has an alien parasite inhabiting it. Winters speaks with the alien parasite, asking about why it has inhabited the body. The alien then tries to inhabit Winter’s body since he has cancer; the alien wants to use the cancer as a food source, However, Winter manages to trap the alien parasite in his body by gouging out his eyes and cutting his throat.

“The Outside,” the fourth episode of the series, is based off of the webcomic by Emily Carroll. The story is about an attractive, yet awkward woman namedStacey. With a desire to be as beautiful like the other women in her workplace, Stacey is given Alo Glo, a special lotion.. But once getting a rash, Stacey is contacted by the owner of Alo Glo and ironically, she agrees to buy more. The lotion ends up leaking and forms a humanoid figure, only to quickly disappear after. Stacey, now obssessed over an unknown fear, murders her own husband because he was trying to help her with this obsession. After, she then climbs into a tub full of lotion and finally comes out as beautiful as she wanted to.

Next, episode five, “Pickman’s Model,” is based off of H.P. Lovecraft’s story. is about this art student Will Thurber who becomes friends with Richard Pickman Years later Thurber and Pickman meet again. Pickman meets Thurber’s family showing them his works. Thurbers son, James, starts to have these horrific dreams just like how Thurber did after seeing Pickman’s works. After learning this Thurber confronts Will about this and ends up lighting and accidentally shoots Pickman. Pickman then exclaims that his works are not just regular paintings but they are images of the future. Pickman ends up getting dragged into one of his paintings by a demon.


Episode 6 “Dreams in the Witch House” is based off of the short story of the same name written by H.P. Lovecraft is about this man named Walter Gilman who saw his twin sister’s spirit get dragged into the forest of lost souls. Years later Walter decides to try and reach the place that his sister was dragged into in hopes of saving her. He rents a room in a house that an executed witch has lived in and then takes some sort of drugs that are made to take him to the forest. Walter discovers that he can bring a part of her dress to the real world, this action has caught the attention of a spirit named Kezaih Mason and her familiar, Jenkins brown. After bringing his sister back to the real world, he discovers that Kezaih and her familiar has also come back and in order for one of them to permanently return Walter must die before dawn. Kezaih attempts to kill Walter But Epperely, Walter’s sister, kills her and peacefully passes away. Jenkins takes advantage of this opportunity and burrows inside Walter which kills him and Jenkins inhabits Walter’s body forever.


Episode 7 “The Viewing” is written by Panos Costamos and Aaron Stewart-Ahn is about this wealthy recluse, Lionel Lessiter that invites Randall Roth a sublime musician, Charlotte Xie who is a physicist, Guy Landon who is a best selling author, and Targ Reinhhard to his house for a special viewing which is supposed to open their consciousness. His physician, Dr. Zahra encourages them all to take several different drugs to put them on the same wavelength. He then takes the guests to a room that contains a meteor. The meteor puts the guest into a trance, it then cracks open releasing an entity. The entity kills Targ, Zahra and landon with horrific deaths. Xie and Roth flee while the entity possesses Lassiters body fleeing into the sewers and disrupts the electricity in the city.


Episode 8 “The Murmurs” is based on the short story by Guillermo del Toro is about these two ornithologists named Nancy and Edgar who are studying bird murmurations. Nancy and Edgar have recently lost their daughter Ava, the two went to a country home to work on their studies and get away from their grief. Nancy starts to see ghostly apparitions of a crying boy and an angry woman. Edgar thinks that these visions are just a strain of grief. Nancy learns that the owner before drowned her son and then committed suicide. Edgarand nancy get into a fight about how she never wants to talk about their daughters death and that she never cries about it either. Edgar leaves for a new work site in the morning. Nancy hears the spirit of the son crying and encourages him to run into her arms, in doing so he passes on. Nancy wittnesses Claudette commit suicide and realizes that her screams were in despair of her son’s death. The bird murmuration that holds Claudette envelopes nancy finally letting her cry and talk about Ava’s death.  . 

Overall, this short series about different short stories is very interesting and gory with lots of death. Overall I liked the show despite all the death it has.