Amirpour’s unconventional vampire love story, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” expertly defies genre expectations while weaving a gripping story about an undead antihero. While “The Outside” differs in style and treatment, there is a gorgeous, moody quality about the episode that definitely points to Amirpour’s ability to tackle any subject with her signature nuance.
Stacey is positioned as a deeply insecure person from the get-go, but the audience immediately understands that there’s no reason for her to feel this way. Even the tense, darkly-comedic secret Santa sequence is meant to poke fun at Stacey’s vapid colleagues, and not her. However, Stacey ends up feeling embarrassed due to peer pressure and her own insecurities and ends up slapping more Alo Glo on her increasingly agitated skin. While it is painful to watch Stacey undergo immense pain for an ideal that betrays what she stands for, the outrageously satirical handling of the character makes her eventual fate even more unsettling.
Amirpour also explained in the Comic Book interview that she had considerable freedom when it came to directing her episode, as changes that were introduced whilst filming were organic and helped hone her vision. In fact, the only suggestion she got was from del Toro himself, who had encouraged Amirpour to “push farther” as much as she wanted to. Amirpour’s commitment to introducing dark humor to grim scenes has molded “The Outside” into something infinitely more than a cautionary tale, as it also exemplifies a self-induced tragic arc for a woman who ends up being her own worst enemy.
“Cabinet of Curiosities” is currently streaming on Netflix.