We know Halloween is over but there are still people out there who are in a spooky mood. We also know that people are always trying to decide what to watch. Some people want to have a movie marathon, while others want to watch a few TV shows and be done. Guillermo Del Toro’s Netflix anthology Cabinet of Curiosities has you covered if you’re one of those who have zero clue what you want to see to keep up the spooky vibes.
The newly released eight-episode anthology has something for horror fans of all types. We realize there are people out there who want to know just how scary Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities is. We thought we’d help you out with that. We decided to watch all eight episodes, and we ranked them. Only this ranking is a bit different. We ranked the episodes based on their scare factor from 1-5, with one being the least scary and five being the most frightening.
1. Lot 36
Director: Guillermo Navarro
Cast: Tim Blake Nelson, Sebastian Roche, Elpidia Carrillo, Demeterius Grosse.
Synopsis: To pay off his debt, a man secures a storage unit filled with mysterious possessions to sell, but soon finds himself in a deadly and desperate situation.
Scare Factor: 3 out of 5.
Why We Gave This Rating: This one was a little slow and featured Blake Nelson as an incredibly rude man named Nick. Nick makes his money off selling old possessions he finds in storage lockers. His latest acquisition ended up being more than he bargained for. It was a dry entry into the anthology because it was boring until the last five minutes. Still, the big reveal was only mildly scary and made our skin crawl a teensy bit. The creature wasn’t as creepy as we expected. We enjoyed the message behind the story: to treat people with kindness because you never know when you’ll need a helping hand. And boy, did Nick need one.
2. Graveyard Rats
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Cast: David Hewlett, Alexander Eling, Dean Buchanan, Julian Richings.
Synopsis: A grave robber eyes the riches of a wealthy new arrival to the cemetery, but must survive a maze of tunnels — and an army of rodents — to secure them.
Scare Factor: 5 out of 5.
Why We Gave This Rating: This one had two things: scary graves and rats. Also, add in a claustrophobic grave robber who hates rats; you know things will not end well. This one was scary and gross in all the right places. The ending will leave you in shock, and that’s why we gave this one a 5 out of 5. Try going to sleep after this. Oh, and we don’t think we need to tell you the moral of this story. It’s self-explanatory.
3. The Autopsy
Director: David Prior
Cast: F. Murray Abraham, Glynn Turman, Luke Roberts.
Synopsis: A seasoned sheriff investigates a dead body in the woods and calls on an old pal, a medical examiner, to help piece together a series of chilling events.
Scare Factor: 4 out of 5.
Why We Gave This Rating: It’s probably weird to say that this one made us sad, but it did. It wasn’t scary in the sense of being gory or anything. The subject matter is creepy because it’s about an autopsy and something about being alone in a room with the dead is unsettling. While it was mildly disturbing to watch, it was also fascinating. And Abraham is just so calm and quiet that it’s endearing. Even in the final sequence, which is difficult to watch. It’s an intriguing installment in Cabinet of Curiosities because it ends up being a battle of wits in more ways than one. We’re going with the four because the episode’s final moments will make you cringe and cover your eyes.
4. The Outside
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Cast: Kate Micucci, Martin Starr, Dan Stevens.
Synopsis: Longing to fit in at work, awkward Stacey begins to use a popular lotion that causes an alarming reaction while an unnerving transformation takes shape.
Scare Factor: 0 out of 5.
Why We Gave This Rating: This one is more of a psychologically scary episode. That’s not to say that every episode of Cabinet of Curiosities isn’t psychologically scary. The Outside focuses on how much we let things like beauty ads consume us and how damaging it can be if we allow them to dictate every decision we make. What makes it scary is how we let ourselves fall for those traps. With Stacey, she takes this to a whole different level. Also, this one will make you itch just watching as she deals with the constant irritation of her skin from that ridiculous Alo Glo cream.
5. Pickman’s Model
Director: Keith Thomas
Cast: Ben Barnes, Crispin Glover, Oriana Leman.
Synopsis: Art student Will meets introvert Richard, whose terrifying works of art begin to have a deeply disturbing effect on Will’s sense of reality.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Why We Gave This Rating: Pickman’s Model is another one that starts on the slow side. It’s also confusing to follow. We get the cursed art thing, but maybe we needed to read the H.P. Lovecraft short story to understand better. Glover is good at being creepy and does that well as the character Pickman. There were a few scary moments here and there. Some of that shocked us, but this gets a 5 for a nightmare sequence with Barnes’s character Will that was downright terrifying.
6. Dreams In The Witch House
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Cast: Rupert Grint, Ismael Cruz Cordova, DJ Qualls, Nia Vardalos, Tenika Davis, Daphne Hoskins.
Synopsis: Years after his twin sister’s death, a researcher ventures into a dark, mysterious realm with the aid of a special drug, determined to bring her back.
Scare Factor: 4 out of 5.
Why We Gave This Rating: This one, also based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft, is an interesting installment in the Cabinet of Curiosities anthology. Grint stars as the lead Walter Gilman the young man determined to bring back his dead twin sister. It’s a story about grief that has a fairy-tale-like quality to it. Stories about getting loved ones back from the dead are always dark and typically don’t end well because there is always a price to be paid. This one was no different, and the ending was quite shocking.
7. The Viewing
Director: Panos Cosmatos
Cast: Peter Weller, Steve Agee, Eric Andre, Sofia Boutella, Charlyne Yi, Michael Therriault.
Synopsis: A wealthy recluse hosts four accomplished guests at his stylish mansion for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but their intrigue soon turns into terror.
Scare Factor: 0 out of 5.
Why We Gave This Rating: Ummm… I may have been the only one, but I found this installment confusing. A group of artists and scientists is invited to a wealthy recluse’s house, where they get high together and shoot the shit for the first half. Once they’re all riding the high of the drugs they’ve ingested, they get taken to his weird room called the Obelisk room. While inside, “the viewing” occurred, which was not what we expected. You may be creeped out by what you see, but we weren’t. It honestly left us with more questions than answers. It also weirdly had us craving nachos with cheese.
8. The Murmuring
Director: Jennifer Kent
Cast: Essie Davis, Andrew Lincoln.
Synopsis: Mourning a major loss, ornithologists Nancy and Edgar flock to a secluded home to study birds, but the house’s history reveals heartbreak and horror.
Scare Factor: 0 out of 5.
Why We Gave It This Rating: Another installment focused on grief, and to be honest, it fell slightly flat. The premise was interesting, but we were expecting more. This story had a feeling of The Others with some Crimson Peak mixed in. We’re not sure this was the best story to close out this anthology. Watching Lincoln and Davis quietly birdwatch and argue wasn’t the most exciting thing. We understood parts of what this story was trying to do, but after watching the other seven episodes, this one seemed out of place.
There you have it. That’s our take on Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities. What’s good about this anthology is that you don’t have to watch the episodes in order because they don’t connect. And if you have a director you love who was part of this, even better, you have an idea of what to expect. Also, because we know fear and horror are subjective, you can pick which ones you want to look at based on your comfort level. Either way, there’s something for everyone.