Carnival of Souls (1962)
Critic Consensus: Carnival of Souls offers delightfully chilling proof that when it comes to telling an effective horror story, less can often be much, much more.
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as Mary Henry
as The Man
as John Linden
as Organ Factory Boss
as Gas Station Attendant
as Chip, Man at Juke Box
as Dress Sales Lady
as Drag Racer
as Lake Zombie
as Dress Store Customer
as Carpenter in Organ Factory
as Dancing Zombie
as Mary's Girlfriend
as Mary's Girlfriend
as A Walking Corpse
as Lake Zombie
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Critic Reviews for Carnival of Souls
Occasionally a feature film emerges from the midwest, although this is the first ever out of Lawrence, Kans, where a group of commercial film pros veered off into a try at producing theatrical entertainment.
The mesmerising power of the carnival and dance-hall sequences far outweighs the corniness of the awkward intimate scenes.
It depends on crisp black-and-white photography, atmosphere and surprisingly effective acting.
Audience Reviews for Carnival of Souls
I can see how this horror movie inspired many others that came after; in any case, despite a solid beginning, there isn't much here to compensate for the fact that it is so unexciting, predictable, poorly acted, unscary and manages to be very boring with only 78 minutes.
A drive in the country past an delapidated amusement park proves to be more than simply moody and atmospheric for an young woman just starting out in life ... or is she? A heavy church organ music background proves to rattle even the strongest nerve in this justified cult classic.
After a tragic car crash during a drag race, the sole survivor, a Kansas woman named Mary takes a job playing the organ at a church in Utah. On her journey ot Utah she begins experiencing ghostly visions and odd compulsions to visit an eeir abandoned carnival. Things get even weirder and more spooky from there, and her attempts to live a normal, quiet life seem all but impossible to do. Released in the early 1960s, this is a low budget indie before that concept really became what it is today. It might a horror film with a bunch of no names and little funds, but it makes the msot of what it has, and the result is a surprisingly fun and creepy atmospheric chiller that has become quite successful in the nearly 50 years since its release. The cinematogrpahy is surprisingly quite good, with the visuals being reminiscent of European arthouse fare as well as a bit of film noir. The acting is a bit stiff and wooden, and some of the makeup looks a bit cheesy in hindsight, but comared to a lot of stuff that came out after it did, these could have been far more terrible. The key to this film's success is in its atmosphere, which is quite excellent, and really strengthened thanks in large part to the film's organ score which is really hypnotic, creepy, and mesmerizing. The film has a heavy Twilight Zone vibe to it, and the increasing moodiness and bizarreness of events make for a fun little horror yarn. All in all, this is a strong effort given the circumstances, and I really liked it. I get the impression that I should love this, but even though as of now I merely just really, really enjoyed it, I think I could see myself eventually falling in love with it. If you want an entertaining and eerie film that helped set a certain standard for future similar films, then you need to give this one a watch.
Carnival of Souls Quotes
|Landlady:||take all the hot baths you want. i'm not one to fuss about a thing like that.|
|Landlady:||Take all the hot baths you want. I'm not one to fuss about a thing like that.|
|Mary Henry:||To me a church is just a place of business.|
|Mary Henry:||It's funny...the world is so different in the daylight. In the dark, your fantasies get so out of hand. But in the daylight everything falls back into place again.|
|Mary Henry:||It's funny, the world is so different in the daylight. In the dark, your fantasies get so out of hand. But in the daylight everything falls back into place again.|
|John Linden:||That's just what I need! Get mixed up with some girl who's off her rocker!|