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
One of the best films of the world in the aspects of experimental filmmaking. It's editing and the cinematography is all an emerging learning experience.Published 1 day ago by Ishmael
Criterion's Dvd edition of this film was really impressive, but this new Bluray is a revelation. Not just the video, which is pristine, but the audio is superb. Read morePublished 3 days ago by David L. Parker
One of the all time great cult films. Not for everyone's taste but a true work of art that still fascinates countless fans. Read morePublished 3 days ago by MJB
Very nice Blu-ray transfer of this movie. Criterion did an outstanding job, as usual. The previous DVD of this by Criterion had a theatrical and Directors cut of the movie, but... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Reed
“Carnival of Souls," made in 1962 by Herk Harvey, this low-budget black-and-white movie has garnered a cult following over the years from late-night TV broadcasts and its... Read morePublished 7 days ago by The Movie Man
I am delirious with joy over my purchase of this amazing blue ray. Even though it didn't come through wide screen it made the picture even more clear and amazingly sharp almost... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
6/30/16 Blu-ray version is pictured but not listed for sale. Whutup amazon?Published 23 days ago by Ted Fred
Creepy classic must-see movie, that once experienced can never be forgotten.Published 24 days ago by Mac In CT
One of the creepiest and best horror films I have ever seen!
Low-budget and done right! Spooked me as a kid and still does as an adult.
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