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|Carnival of Souls (2009)|
Gifted young organist Mary Henry is riding in a car with friends when the car is forced off the
road, plunging from a bridge into the river below. Mary's friends die instantly; miraculously, she
emerges from the water. But Mary is changed. She becomes increasingly detached from everyday life,
displaying an emotional coldness which those she encounters attribute to grief and shock. But the
nightmare world that Mary now inhabits is one of transition: she is caught helpless between the living
and the dead. Mary moves to Salt Lake City, but is haunted by the spectral presence lurking in the
shadows of its derelict pleasure palace. She finds herself drawn inexorably towards the pavilion
and its demonic Carnival of Souls . . . Every inch a cult classic, from its iconic
opening titles (reminiscent of Psycho) to its terrifying final sequences, Carnival
of Souls is cited as an inspiration by, among others, David Lynch, Wes Craven and
George A. Romero. The complexity of its themes and eerily atmospheric direction and
cinematography, with minimal reliance on special effects, are widely acknowledged; Carnival of
Souls, directed by Herk Harvey and first released in 1962, transcends the horror genre to
become a unique work of unsettling and enduring power.
• CARNIVAL OF SOULS (USA, 1962)
"These guys obviously know their stuff."
"Network treat this film to a commentary from Kim Newman and Stephen Jones where both men seem to have a fine time."
"The Network disc only has two extras, but fortunately the main one is a goodie. The Commentary by Kim Newman and Stephen Jones is a consistently lively and informative affair, with the two genre writers bouncing well off each other, passing comments on specific scenes, providing background information on the production and throwing in all manner of trivia and theory regarding influences on the film and its own influence on later genre works. Essentially a debate between two enthusiastic but knowledgeable film fans (and they really do know their movies, though Jones admits to being less of a torch-bearer for this one than Newman), but a consistently enjoyable and interesting one to sit in on."
"The commentary is worth the price of the disc itself. A chat track with the writer, film critic, and personnel hero of mine, Kim Newman, and the horror writer Stephen Jones. For any cinemaphile, this is a must have. The level of information that these two spout out between them is memorising, and is hugely enjoyable."
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