Having inexplicably survived a car accident that left two friends drowned at the bottom of a river, Mary Henry takes up a new job as a church organist in a quiet coastal town. But while she suffered no physical injuries, Mary begins to fear for her sanity. Haunted by nightmarish visions of a ghoulish-looking man, she is drawn to a derelict amusement park where the living dead await her...
More titters than scares
- Carnival of Souls review by Kurtz
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A relic of the drive-in cinema age, released in 1962 by a director who had up until then majored in health education films, “Carnival of Souls” is interesting nowadays only as an indicator of how far film-making and acting has come since the early sixties, and as a blueprint for the “caught-between -two –worlds” type thrillers like “Jacob’s Ladder”and “The Sixth Sense”.Other aspects have dated horribly, the stilted acting and the leaden dialogue, particularly in the less “intense” scenes, proving particularly hard to forgive. When things start to unravel for our heroine, there is admiiedly a vaguely spooky feel and the “Carnival” of the title is not somewhere you’d like to wander at night, but eye-rolling close-ups of lead actress Candace Hilligoss have you wriggling more in embarrassment than fear.