Carnival of Souls ★★★★★

Hooptober 2019 Film #13
Pre 1966: 3/6

It seems foolish to diagnose a fictional character, but Mary displays all the signs of Asperger's Syndrome. Obsessed with a singular pursuit (organ playing), emotionally distant, somewhat lacking empathy yet craving connection. I saw myself so much in her that this became extremely effective. Eerie, disturbing and never boring this instantly entered into my great film canon.

Some of the acting is variable. Excluding Candace Hilligoss who should've been a HUGE star, able to shift moods, expressions and tone throughout a scene yet creating a consistent character. She could very easily come across as cold or unpleasant, but she remains likable and sympathetic.

But also note how well filmed this is. In terms of composition, this is impressive, using abandoned places to suggest different planes of reality and simple techniques like sound editing and jump or match cuts help sell the tension and sense of dread.

While we may be able to pick the ending a mile off, it still doesn't explain the movie entirely and I love that. Like a creepy Twilight Zone episode, this is one film worth rediscovering. Now to sell all my friends on it.

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