Thursday, March 30, 2023


It was a number of years ago that I read a news blurb that Guillermo del Toro was licensing the rights of Rod Serling's NIGHT GALLEY for a remake. The horror anthology that lasted three seasons in the 1970s was an off-the-wall series of bizarre gothic stories, sometimes laced with dark humor. Such a series would be a welcome addition to today's streaming services as I am a big fan of television anthologies. With such programs, I find one in five are gems and worth watching four others. For years I heard no updates to the project and now I discovered Netflix has a new horror anthology titled CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, hosted by Guillermo del Toro. While I suspect that Del Toro was unable to secure the licensing rights to NIGHT GALLERY, this series is as close as you get to the same formula.

Guillermo Del Toro and his Cabinet of Curiosities.

Instead of wandering through a museum and choosing a painting that focuses on the story that is to be dramatized, del Toto instead opens a drawer from a large and bizarre cabinet to remove an item (whether it be a wizard's wand or a magnifying glass) that is related to the story that unfolds. Del Toro directs no episodes himself, but the stories were curated and selected from the director. The tales range from originals (some written by del Toro) to classics of H.P. Lovecraft ("Pickman's Model"), and the stories take place from all eras of yesteryear. From space aliens, doppelgängers, ghostly specters to an E.C. Comics style horror story titled "The Autopsy," I was pleased to see "Graveyard Rats" adapted from a gem of a story that I was first exposed to from an LP record of a dramatic reading when I was a child.

A truly enjoyable horror story, "The Autopsy."

Not all of the episodes are gems. "The Outside" was my least favorite and I suspect it will be the least favorite of most who watch the series, and I suspect the producers knew which were the best -- the earliest episodes on the streaming platform are, in my opinion, the best of the series and then it slowly wavers downhill as you get to the last few. Still, this is as close as you get to a remake of NIGHT GALLERY, and perhaps del Toro himself would acknowledge how Serling's series was an inspiration to his Netflix series.