Guillermo del Toro’s cabinet of curiosities: the visit

In the seventh part of Cabinet of Curiosities, we get the only original work not based on a short story. Viewing is written by Panos Cosmatos and Aaron Stewart-Ahn and also directed by Panos Cosmatos. I don’t know Panos’ other works, but if that’s any indication, I’m not a fan. Just a reminder, never judge someone on what they like or dislike, the enjoyment of a movie or TV series is completely subjective and what speaks to a person will not have the same effect on another.

The episode is set in 1979, and four characters are guests at the home of Lionel Lassiter (Peter Weller), an eccentric wealthy recluse. The group includes a novelist Guy Landon (Steve Agee), music producer Randall Roth (Eric Andre), a medium (Michael Therriault) and an astrophysicist (Charlyne Yi). The characters are all intrigued but confused as to why they were all summoned. They are joined by Lionel’s doctor (Sofia Boutella) who provides booze, weed and cocaine to open their minds and ensure the team is in sync. After Lionel pushes and prods all of his guests giving the audience a bit of exposure, they enter a room where a strange rock made of an unknown material resides. But things don’t go as planned when what’s inside the rock wakes up.

I know I’m in the minority, but this episode really didn’t touch me. I found the premise intriguing and the setting visually stimulating, with all the performances quite good and the characters interesting and likeable. But the information given to us about the characters and why they were chosen is so vague with no real discernable reason to bring these people together. The dialogue is well written, but the lack of coherent meaning or understanding leaves more questions than answers. The ending contains no real resolution and felt incomplete. From what I understand, all this is a particular style of Panos Cosmatos but it is not the one that I appreciate.

Daniel K. Denny