Why Guillermo Del Toro's Cabinet Of Curiosities Deserves To Become A Netflix Halloween Tradition

Guillermo del Toro holding a key in front of the cabinet in Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities.
(Image credit: Netflix)

Dear readers, the Halloween season is officially concluded. We’ve had a lot of fun, and quite a few good scares throughout 2022’s TV schedule. Now there’s plenty of time to turn our attention to next year’s celebration. After this year, I certainly hope that if those discussions are taking place at the Netflix offices, one of the subjects at hand is renewing Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities. 

The horror-fueled anthology that debuted as part of the October 2022 Netflix schedule deserves to be a Halloween tradition thanks to the results of the series’ still-fresh debut. For many reasons, I’m of the opinion that this bit of frightful fun should be allowed to return as an annual tribute to all things spooky. 

There are no spoilers here, just fun reflection on why Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities needs to become a yearly haunt offered with a Netflix subscription. So enjoy this rundown freely knowing that you can still open this cabinet as freshly as you walked in.

Woman with bloody face in Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

(Image credit: Netflix)

Cabinet Of Curiosities Is A Perfect Horror Anthology

The best way to set this whole premise up is to just go on record and say that Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities perfectly epitomizes what a horror anthology should do. While the concept isn’t new or dead by any stretch of the imagination, del Toro and the talent tapped for this series have given the format a beautiful venue to shine. 

Busting out his fandom of shows like The Twilight Zone or Night Gallery, Guillermo del Toro lovingly introduces each story with a monologue that sets the table with old school glee. What’s even better is that along with that introduction, the Shape of Water helmer presents a figurine depicting each short’s director. Like any good candy bowl, Cabinet of Curiosities is a goodie bag of surprises that unfurled over the course of four nights.

Andrew Lincoln in Cabinet of Curiosities.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix Has Created A Halloween Event That Keeps Horror Fans Talking

When it comes to Netflix, most of its episodic programming is either delivered in one shot or staggered through weekly releases. In some cases though, like that of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, a more out-of-the-box approach comes into play. With eight stories unfolding over the course of four nights, the streaming platform actually created a Halloween event that harkened back to a network TV tradition: the miniseries.

A medium where Stephen King’s works once thrived through projects like The Stand and King’s personal favorite Storm of the Century, miniseries made for great communal viewing experiences. While Cabinet of Curiosities is an unconnected horror anthology, each of the four nights had some common themes reflected in the pairings. Social media was abuzz during the rollout, and giving genre fans something to rally around during the Halloween season is as warm as a cup of apple cider.

F. Murray Abraham in Cabinet of Curiosities.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Cabinet Of Curiosities Is Another Platform To Boost The Profile Of Genre Directors

If there’s anything more impressive than the Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities cast, it’s the assembly of directing talent involved. Twilight’s Catherine Hardwicke, The Babadook’s Jennifer Kent and Spilce’s Vincenzo Natali make up part of the roster that were allowed to weave their magic in tales of the supernatural in these eight vignettes.

However, turning back to social media for a second, the effects of this cabinet could also help bolster the names of horror talent that’s trying to make a name for themselves. Looking through the reactions to the series, I noticed that director David Prior, the helmer behind “The Autopsy,” was singled out for that very reason. 

With Prior’s work on The Empty Man holding sway as a budding cult classic, the commenter stated that the movie, and its director, should have been a bigger deal in the horror community. Directors and writers that can land a spot on the roster for future seasons of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities could find themselves getting a sizable bump thanks to the cache that del Toro and this anthology seem to hold.

Stephen King interviewed in Eli Roth's History of Horror

(Image credit: AMC)

Cabinet Of Curiosities Has Limitless Story Potential

Another advantage of an anthology show is, quite frankly, the limitations it presents. Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities uses episodes that run no longer than an hour to tell stories from all sorts of sources. Short stories make up the bulk of this collection’s inspirations, with H.P. Lovecraft and del Toro himself being part of the mix. 

Throw in an original story and a webcomic adaptation, and you can see how Cabinet of Curiosities could go on for as long as Netflix and Guillermo del Toro could possibly want. Some strong recommendations have already been made for the next round of curiosities, with The Kingcast co-host Scott Wampler nominating two Stephen King short stories.

If the format of the current eight-episode run is any indication, an author like King would be perfect for a double feature similar to this year’s two H.P. Lovecraft stories. Not to mention, more Guillermo del Toro originals and other short stories of note are always waiting to join the party.

Tom Cruise in 2017's The Mummy

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

A Strong Relationship Between Guillermo del Toro And Netflix Could Lead To Great Things

Relationships between studios and talent are always important, as passion projects tend to find a way into the mix. With Netflix and Guillermo del Toro, that partnership has already given us quite a bit to enjoy. Cabinet of Curiosities is just the beginning, of course, as Guillermo del Toro’s Pinnochio was resurrected for its eventual release this winter. Should this pairing grow stronger, it could lead to one of the white whales in del Toro’s unmade filmography coming to life.

While Hellboy III is a ship that sailed on a long time ago, Guillermo del Toro’s cancelled adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness could be brought back to life. A project that even its previously attached star Tom Cruise has been adamant to get made, all Netflix would have to do is say the word and it could probably get underway ASAP. It’s a film del Toro should definitely tackle, and if Cruise’s magic is still on board, it’d be an opportunity the studio would be crazy to pass up. 

In the moment, Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities is a wonderful example of creator and studio pairing up for a solid home run. Whatever metrics need to be examined will obviously be reviewed in the weeks to come, and with any luck an announcement could be made by the end of the year. From where I’m standing though, I’d like to think the horror community can agree that a yearly Halloween trip to the Cabinet of Curiosities is a tradition worth following up on.

Haven’t seen Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities yet? That’s fine, as this whole argument doubles as a case for why the show is so damned good. If you’re looking to jump in, now’s the perfect time to stream all eight episodes on Netflix. Also, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio will be streaming on the platform as of December 9th, so if you can’t make the limited theatrical release later this month, your bases are still covered.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.