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Carnival of Souls (The Criterion Collection)
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And then to have it released on a Criterion DVD, well, it just doesn't get any better than that! OK, we may not need TWO versions, .... And the second DVD isn't just a filler: you get anything and everything you could think of associated with the movie, including "now and then" visits to the film sites, a great hour-long tribute, a history of the film company, stills, probably more than all but the most compulsive fan would want but you won't feel as though you've gotten short-changed! As always, the real reason we love Criterion is the quality of their prints - they are simply THE BEST you are going to see. Anyone who has seen this film on one of its numerous cheapie incarnations on VHS will be ecstatic with this version - you won't believe how superior the picture quality is.
I have to say "get this now, before it's discontinued". This edition can NOT be bettered; you will NEVER EVER see a better version of this classic sleeper.
Now, Criterion, when are you going to release Robert Wise's "The Haunting", hmmmm?
To fully experience this film, you have to discover it in the way most of its fans do. On a TV set, in the early hours of the morning, alone, with the volume at an almost non-exsistent level. And it also doesn't hurt to be half way asleep. The scene in which Mary glances "The Man's" face in the window will jolt you awake like nothing else.
Some personal favourite moments: The above mentioned scene in the window of the car. The organ playing scenes ("Profanity! Sacralige!") The scenes in which Mary loses all contact with the world of the living (these sequences caused me nightmares.) Candace Hiligos (a great performance, comparable to the best silent film acting.) And of course, the final "dance of the dead."
Mr. Prather aids and abets the script at every turn in his rendering of Miss Hilligoss's (in the role of Mary Henry) isolation from those around her. From his crow's nest shots of her wandering through the deserted carnival to the scenes of her lone sedan traversing the twilight prairie highway, he unfailingly delivers a picture of un-peopled vastness--a vastness that cannot be breached by human or psychic outreach.
And that is what this film is really about--Mary Henry's inability to accept the fact that she has already departed from the world she continues to haunt.
Ultimately she knows, (as does her personal Charon--the Carnival Ghoul) that she must be reclaimed--and it is in her persistent refusal to yield to his summons, from which the conflict and tension of the film springs.
This is perhaps revealed most disquietingly in a scene near the beginning of the film, when the minister accompanies her to take a look at the abandoned carnival--but refuses to accompany her across the barricade. Thus, though the visit is without ostensible horrific incident--it concludes with a silhouette of the Carnival Ghoul dropping his head in resignation from behind a gated doorway inside the pavilion, while at the very same moment, Miss Hilligoss, (seemingly safe in a car already miles away) is stabbed with a sudden deja vu--reflected with a rueful knowing in her eyes--one of many brilliant moments in a film brimming with them.
And it should not merely be to the cognoscente that such an inevitable moment as this, terrifies far more meaningfully, than any knife wielding Friday the 13th slasher might.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
i THOUGHT THIS WAS AGREAT MOVIE AND THIS IS WHERE ALL THESE DEATH MADE A MISTAKE AND COMING BACK TO GET YOU COME FROM! Read morePublished 2 months ago by stanley holmes
Great scary movie. I remember it from my childhood, and it's still great today. Eerie and surreal.Published 3 months ago by Lisa K. Perry
This is one eerie movie. Very artfully filmed and dramatically acted out. This is a low budget film with a high quality standard - proof that you do not need millions to create an... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Rainey Dawn
Great cult movie. Pretty effective and scary for a low budget film with an interesting premise. Definitely worth it!Published 5 months ago by Susan C.
Released in 1962, “Carnival of Souls” stars Candace Hilligoss as a young woman who survives a vehicle accident in Lawrence, Kansas, and then is troubled by a specter (director Herk... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Wuchak
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