Cabinet of Curiosities season 1, episode 6 recap – “Dreams in the Witch House”

By Adam Lock
Published: October 27, 2022 (Last updated: October 28, 2022)
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“Dreams in the Witch House” suffers from a convoluted script that doesn’t fully understand its own lore. There are some notable set designs and camera work on display here, but the farfetched plotting will leave viewers rolling their eyes in disbelief.

We recap the Netflix Horror anthological series Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities season 1, episode 6, “Dreams in the Witch House,” which contains spoilers and the ending.

You can’t have a horror anthology series without a slice of witchcraft, now can you? Catherine Hardwicke, who tackled vampires in the opening Twilight movie, takes the director’s chair once again, bringing a second H.P. Lovecraft short story to life in this macabre adaptation. “Dreams in the Witch House” focuses on Spiritualist Society researcher Walter Gilman (Rupert Grint), a man obsessed with the supernatural who desperately wants to reconnect with his dead twin sister. This fixation on the afterlife leads him to the titular Witch House.

Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities season 1, episode 6 recap

Walt watches as his sister Epperley passes away at a young age. Her spirit then manifests before him only moments later, but she is soon dragged away to limbo. Walt spends the next seven years searching for proof of the afterlife, vetting every medium and psychic across the land. We first meet adult Walt as he witnesses the great Madame Levine performing live to a beguiled audience. She speaks to the dead in an electrifying stage show as the candle lights are blown out, and the table before them starts to rock. A strange smoke flows from her mouth, and Walt is convinced that she’s the real deal. Unfortunately, she is just another con artist like all the rest.

The researcher returns to his boss to explain another hoax, where he is informed that the business may have to shut down indefinitely. They are suspending all future paid fieldwork. Walt gets by as a barman in the meantime, even though his best friend Frank (The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’s Ismael Cruz Cordova) continually urges him to get a real job, offering him work at Time magazine. At the pub, Walt overhears some strangers discussing portals to another dimension, and he pleads to go with them. These strangers pass him a drug called liquid gold that Walt happily sips upon with total disregard for his own safety.

The drug takes Walt to a misty forest, where lost souls wait to transition to the great beyond. Here, Walt finds his twin sister. She doesn’t appear to have aged a single day and is dressed in the same white nightgown he remembers her in. Walt is then dragged away before he gets the chance to communicate with her and wakes on the floor. Astounded by the successful trip, Walt runs to tell Frank the good news. His friend thinks he’s lost his mind, though, shocked he’d trust these drug dealers with his life. And he fares no better at work either, where his boss terminates his membership.

Walt continues to visit Epperley in this purgatory, partaking of the liquid gold every night. On his second trip he manages to even return to the real world with a torn piece of her gown, proving that he can travel between dimensions and possibly bring his sister back with him. Walt reads up on a local witch called Keziah Mason and vows to investigate her house next. He spends the night in the building, sleeping in Keziah’s room. The place is unquestionably creepy and overgrown, with a large bloody stain on the ceiling. That night, Walt is visited by the shadowy witch with the fiery eyes and a talking rat with a human face (yes you heard that correctly). This development leaves Walt paralyzed with fear, but he wakes the next morning with his sanity still intact.

Another trip to the druggies and Walt reconnects with his sister once more. She warns him about the witch this time and the twins are subsequently chased through this fantastical forest. There’s some atmospheric set designs within this tale and you can see the professional craftsmanship on display, but here the narrative nosedives, descending into the outright ridiculous. The talking rat (called Jenkins Brown) and Keziah attack Walt, leaving their mark upon him. The twins make it back to the other side, although Epperley is still contained within a ghost’s body as an apparition. As Epperley’s powers grow and she starts to take on human form, Walt’s energy is drained and he begins to die.

Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities season 1, episode 6 ending

As we reach the end of Cabinet of Curiosities season 1, episode 6, the twins seek out the help of a resident painter, who channels the witch’s visions into her own foreshadowing paintings. She shows them her collection, predicting Walt’s death by sunrise. They flee to a nearby church for sanctuary, yet the witch shatters the windows and breaks through the church doors anyway, defying the holy powers of God’s own building. Walt is then taken by Keziah back to the witch’s house, where she begins the ritual. Keziah wants to return to the real world just like Epperley did and believes the power found in these twins can help her achieve her goal. Epperley spoils their fun though and stabs Keziah with her own dagger. The witch crumbles and perishes. Epperley tells Walt that she isn’t scared anymore and her spirit is allowed to transcend to the afterlife after all.

While Walt and Epperley say their goodbyes, the painter and Frank explore the rest of the crude building. They find Keziah’s skeleton in a hidden room, as well as the gruesome remains of a half human, half rat abomination. Walt wakes in bed, screaming that something is inside him. The talking rat then bursts out of Walt’s chest as the sun rises in the distance. The rat hides from Frank’s aggressive attacks, but later returns to Walt’s body via the gruesome hole he first created. He now inhabits Walt’s dead corpse, hoping to live a new and exciting life inside this body. At the end of Cabinet of Curiosities season 1, episode 6, it would appear that the ritual worked to some extent, and Jenkins Brown can now live in the real world once more.

What did you think of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities season 1, episode 6? Comment below.

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