Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities is an anthology horror series curated by the legendary filmmaker and written and directed by various directors. The episodes are now streaming on Netflix.
Episode 7 recap: The Viewing
4 individuals from different walks of life are called together by a wealthy recluse to view a particular collector’s item. The individuals are Guy Landon, a novelist, Targ Reinhard, a man with extrasensory abilities, Charlotte Xie, an astrophysicist and Randall, a music producer.
They are all invited by a man named Lionel Lassiter, a man who made his fortune during World War 2 and only chooses the most unique collections for his private abode down to every last detail.
By his side are Hector and Doctor Zahra. Doctor Zahra takes care of Lionel. She is a doctor of haematology and formerly served Colonel Gaddafi.
Lionel meets the others with a very rare bottle of Japanese whiskey in hand and makes sure they all have a drink. Then Dr. Zahra brings the highest grade of pure cocaine so that they can all do a line and get on the same level.
They discuss each other’s professions among other things before Lionel takes them to go see the object he brought them for. It is a huge rock-like object resembling a meteorite with many striations.
Charlotte begins asking questions about the composition of the object and how it was analysed. Zahra tells her that none of the usual methods was able to penetrate the exterior shell.
Randall lights up a cigarette and Lionel tells him to put it out because there is no smoking in the chamber. He then lights up a joint and when he blows out some smoke, the object takes it in.
Suddenly, the rock begins to pulsate and emits a high-pitched tone that hurts everyone. It gets so intense that everyone gets nosebleeds and Targ’s face melts off.
Then Guy begins to scream and his head explodes prompting Charlotte and Randall to run for the door and try to escape. The stone breaks to reveal an alien creature within.
Zahra approaches it and touches it while Lionel is still affected by the high-pitched tone and falls back against the wall. Zahra’s face also melts off and the alien transforms into a liquid form and moves down off the table.
Hector arrives and opens the door, allowing Charlotte and Randall to escape. He sees the alien going for Lionel so he goes and gets a gold AK-47 that is on display. The alien engulfs Lionel and becomes a humanoid alien creature.
Hector tries to hold it back with gunfire while Charlotte and Randall manage to get out of the house and take Lionel’s car and drive off.
The alien shocks Hector and kills him, then slowly makes its way outside and through a sewer pipe. It comes out on the other side and the noise of the city is heard, implying that this creature is about to wreak havoc on humanity.
Episode 8 recap: The Murmuring
A married couple and pair of ornithologists, Edgar and Nancy, talk about the phenomenon of the murmuring that is exhibited by dunlins, a type of bird. Everyone is quite impressed by their findings and they say that they’re going to do more research on the subject.
The couple is headed to an isolated location where they can observe the dunlins and their behaviour and find out more about the murmurings. On their way there, the caretaker tells them that there’s an empty house they’ve set up for them to stay in.
He tells them that a mother and son lived there many years ago but it’s been empty ever since. Edgar and Nancy are thrilled by all this and they immediately get to work soon after they arrive.
Edgar records the video with their moving camera while Nancy records the sound so that she can make her observations later. From the first day, Nancy hears weird sounds throughout the house at night. She even sees shapes moving around.
Nancy and Edgar have been dealing with a loss after the death of their daughter Ava and ever since then, Nancy has remained slightly closed off from Edgar no matter how hard he tries.
Nancy becomes more paranoid and obsessed about the previous occupants about the house because she keeps hearing their voices there. This drives a wedge between her and Edgar because he cannot understand what she’s going through.
She finds out from the caretaker that the mother and child lived by themselves and the mother drowned her son and then killed herself.
Edgar is frustrated that Nancy cares more about these people that she doesn’t know and less about her own daughter who she hasn’t grieved properly.
When Edgar is out on work, Nancy runs into both the mother and child’s spirits. She runs into a room behind the child and locks the mother out. She then tells the child that he was hurt by his mother and is no longer alive and calls him to the light.
The child runs towards her and disappears as soon as he touches the light. Then she goes to the attic where she sees the mother, blaming herself for killing her child. She then jumps off her spirit disappears as well. With both spirits supposedly at peace, Nancy feels a weight lifted off her shoulder as well.
- These were the weakest episodes of the series by far. While there is a slight horrest aspect to them, it is barely enough to consider them truly thrilling stories.
- The Viewing barely makes sense as it’s mostly the characters talking to each other about random topics before they see the object which turns out to be an alien and there is a lot left unexplained.
- The Murmuring is a little more complex and explores the psyche of a mother after the loss of their child but it also adds the dunlins into the mix as a metaphor for freedom. It’s a slowburn drama rather than an outright horror episode.
- The visuals of The Viewing are magnificent and very eye-cathing with it’s colour schemes and camera frames.
Cabinet of Curiosities season 1 episode 7 and 8
Director: Panos Cosmatos, Jennifer Kent
Date Created: 2022-10-28 12:30