Monday, August 21, 2006

Carnival of Souls (1962)

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A car full of young women plunges off a perilous bridge into a river, and only one woman manages to make it out. She moves to another town in a desperate attempt to escape the horror of dealing with this tragedy, only to find herself being haunted by strange carnival-music and a spooky man who keeps appearing everywhere she looks. When she begins to have occurrences where she becomes deaf to the world around her and suddenly invisible to everyone else, she begins to wonder what is going on. Slowly, she comes to reveal the mystery behind the spooky man and what appears to be her madness.

Scariness factor: This is creepy shit.

Gross-Out Factor: This is a surprisingly spooky film for having absolutely no violence in it (other than a car plunging off of a bridge).

Complaints: Whoever was in charge of matching up a clicking-high-heels sound effect to the main character's movements SHOULD BE SHOT. Most horrible synchronicity I've seen.

High Points: My mom was scrutinizing the movie list on this dvd set when she was over yesterday, and she exclaimed, "Oh! Carnival of Souls! Cool! That's supposed to be a classic camp film..." And she was both right and wrong--this is definitely a classic, but, though it has its campy moments, this is a surprisingly damn good film. The creepy characters in the movie at times ring of a bad Marilyn-Manson video, but given when this film was made, this lends the movie a strangely modern feel. What can I say about this movie? I was intrigued and wanting to figure out what was going on with this woman--I figured it out midway through, but I was still completely enthralled in seeing how it played itself out. And it did so most perfectly. There are many many fantastic and classic horror movie cinematic shots strewn throughout this flick. The intrigue of the run-down carnival nearby that seems to be haunting the main character is lovely and eerie. Her seeming madness and interaction with those around her is definitely engaging. And the little visions she has are shot really cool--they seem bizarrely modern for having been filmed some 40+ years ago. This a haunting little flick, perhaps a bit hammy at times, but overall a creepy and lovely little classic horror film.

Overall: I definitely definitely recommend this movie, and not in a camp sort of way. This is good classic horror movie-making. It exhibits a lot of the classic horror movie cinematographic moments that have become horror movie tropes in modern day horror flicks, and it does so carefully and creepily. Seriously, if you've not seen, go get.

Grade: A



At 12:10 PM, Blogger News & Reviews said...

This film contains my favorite line ever spoken on film..."Thank you for the coffee. It was unsanitary, but delicious."

At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha. Yeah, I actually quite enjoyed that as well.

She also had some fantastic one-liner comebacks to his other advances. Fun fun.


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