Carnival of Souls (1962)

Article #508 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 8-4-2002
Posting date: 12-28-2002

A woman who miraculously survives an automobile accident finds herself haunted by a spectral figure.

The occasional sloppy voice dubbing is the biggest clue here that the budget was fairly low on this eerie little cult classic; it is so exquisitely directed throughout, though, that it is no surprise to discover that the people involved in this project had plenty of film experience, even if this was their first stab at a feature. They worked for Centron, which specialized in industrial and educational shorts. One of the versions of this movie had an opening sequence with Herk Harvey talking a little about the movie, and though I don’t remember the exact quote, it appears he was trying to make a movie that crossed Cocteau and Bergman; it was obviously an ambitious movie, and it succeeds beautifully; the sequences where the heroine loses aural touch with the world and becomes invisible to all around are as frighteningly unsettling as can be. This is one of my favorites, and one I’m capable of watching again and again; it is one of the saddest, most moving, and most beautiful horror movies ever made.

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