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Nightmare Alley (2010) Review

Nightmare Alley is an indie anthology movie composed of several short stories revolving around serial killers, cannibalism, zombies and voodoo devil rats… Oh, and repressed homosexuality. It’s a movie released through Brain Damage, who doesn’t have the most amazing track record at pumping out great flicks, although Nightmare Alley does have some good things going for it.

Firstly, this movie is uber low budget, it’s an indie flick and most indie flicks are low budget by nature. If you’ve seen any of Lloyd Kaufman’s flicks (Troma) you’ll know what I’m talking about. Now obviously you’ll need to work out for yourself if that’s something you like or if you don’t but don’t say we didn’t warn ya.

The movies stories are fairly diverse, covering many sub genres of horror, each story is linked together by an intro from a creepy, Tales from the Crypt-esque guy who brings continuity to the whole experience. As mentioned in the interview we did with Walter Ruether recently, it’s similar to Creepshow in it’s approach and I can see the similarity. Many of the stories are of the same approximate length as Creepshow and also have a similar message / storyline.

I’d have to say that Nightmare Alley’s best strength lies in it’s gore. Indie flicks are usually really quite crap when it comes to this area, so i didn’t really expect much. To my surprise the gore has been executed well and comes across as really quite believable. There is one particular CGI moment in the second story called Fistful of Innards (cool name) which looks plain awful, but i guess we can let them off the hook since it’s only one moment in the movie. Thankfully CGI is kept very minimal.

I didn’t find Nightmare Alley very scary, it’s not a frightening or tense flick. There are some moments that are kind of creepy right enough but by and large there is nothing in this flick that will have you shying away from the screen.

The acting, whilst being above average for most indie movies is nothing spectacular. It’s patchy. Some actors are pretty convincing… others well, not so convincing. Danny Marianino (from North Side Kings) turns in a solid performance as a disgruntled husband in one of the stories. By and large the performances are solid enough for the indie experience, although nobody will be winning an Oscar in this one.

To sum it all up, I think Nightmare Alley is a decent indie flick that shows how to do good gore on a micro budget. If the stories had been fleshed out more and the budget had been bigger, I think this one could have been much better in total. As it is I can only recommend this flick to indie lovers or anybody looking for a goofy night in with some buddies and the beer.

Movie Details

Directors: Laurence Holloway, Scarlet Fry
Writers: Laurence Holloway, Scarley Fry
Actors: David C Hayes, Keith Jackson, Stevie D, Brian Carr
Release Year: 2010