The next instalment in Guillermo del Toro’s horror anthology, Cabinet of Curiosities is Episode 5 – Pickman’s model. The director hand-picked by del Toro for this segment is Keith Thomas
Keith Thomas is best known for directing The Vigil (which was a simplistic yet effective creep fest). He more recently directed the reboot of Stephen King’s cult. classic, Firestarter.
Guillermo del Toro promised us complete Lovecraftian horror, and well, you can’t get any more Lovecraftian than a direct adaptation of one of his short stories, Pickman’s Model. H.P Lovecraft wrote this short story in 1926. It was published in 1927 in Weird Tales. This is the second screen adaptation with the first being an episode of Night Gallery in 1971. This adaptation is written by Lee Patterson & Guillermo del Toro.
Set in an art school…can you guess where? yup, Miskatonic University, Arkham. Students are competing for the prize of artist the year award, But when a new artist arrives called Richard Upton Pickman people become quickly obsessed with dark and extremely violent artwork. Are the monsters he depicts in his drawings all in his mind? or do they exist among us?
When I read this was a direct Lovecraft adaptation, I wanted unfathomable monsters with tentacles but we didn’t get too much. Of course, we got some but for the first Lovecraft adaptation in this anthology, I was expecting more. However, as well as creating monsters, Lovecraft was also a master of the “fear of the unknown”. This segment really plays with that side of Lovecraft’s storytelling. Although the first 40 minutes are a little slow, things get turned up to 11 for the last 20 mins. And, as expected our lead character Thurbur starts his inevitable decent into madness.
Have you checked out Pickman’s Model yet? what did you think?
As always, thanks for reading. Review for episode 6 will be live later today.