dank90’s review published on Letterboxd:
Guillermo Del Toro goes away from his more fantastical roots but keeps his penchant for bombastic yet visually arresting horror. This one is an adaptation of a novel about a carnie whose ambitions and greed lead him on a myriad path of various actors which eventually causes him to spiral. And this is good! Good Del Toro is still more imaginative and visually fulfilling than most director's best efforts. But it's not amazing Del Toro.
Honestly the length really hurts this thing with one of the draggiest third acts and a massive emphasis put on the carnie folks with very little pay off as that cast disappears about halfway through. Character motivations are confused in places and all the cast are great EXCEPT for Cooper which is a problem as he's the lead. But this doesn't stop this from being twisted, cerebral and fun, with dizzying crosses so you never know what's coming next and an excellent, excellent final scene. Recommended especially if you want to see the master try for something slightly different.