Pickman's Model

Pickman's Model ★★★

Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities - Season 1 - Episode 5

Will is an exceptional art student, studying at Miskatonic University. One day Richard, a new student joins the class. Richard is the quiet type, but he is the most talented albeit strange artist that Will has ever met. He enjoys sketching the macabre and does most of his work in the local cemetery. Sketches of demons, cannibalism, and witchcraft are some of his specialties. After viewing his most personal work, Will begins to see things and fears he may be losing his sanity.

Adapted from a short story of the same name by H.P. Lovecraft, Pickman's Model is probably the best looking entry in Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities thus far. Both the CGI and practical FX look good, especially combined with Lovecraftian influence. Squishy wet tentacles, bugs, and dismembered limbs. All excellent.

Crispin Glover is great as always, and his particular style of acting is perfect for a film that is so heavy on dialogue like this one is. Ben Barnes does a good job of matching him, and the underrated Oriana Leman is up there too. I loved the set design and the early 1920s setting but it wasn't enough to lift this film out of the middle of the pack when compared to previous entries in the series. At a little over one hour in length, it's the longest episode of the show until this point and it feels like it. That's a shame. Forty-five minutes would have sufficed.

Pickman’s Model isn't an essential Lovecraft adaptation to see, but fans of his work will probably be satisfied. The story was also used for an episode of Night Gallery and there's a small part of me that actually wants to check it out.

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