I don’t belong in the world
Carnival of Souls is a very creepy movie and it was simply fantastic! I highly recommend it for anyone out there who is into creepy films as this one really fits the bill. It was made in 1962 in three weeks on a very low budget. It was categorized as a B horror film, and due to problems with the distributing company, (it went out of business), it failed to be as big of a hit as it could have been (as it should have been). However, it is now a cult classic and loved by many.
****FYI Spolier Alert****
The film starts off with our protagonist, Mary, who is out in her car driving around with her friends. They run into these guys who challenge them to a drag race, and as every young adult does in ’50s and ’60s movies, they agree.
As I’m sure you have already guessed, it does not turn out well. In fact the girls’ car ends up going right over a bridge and crashing into a river. The police spend three hours dragging the water searching for the car or the bodies, when something strange happens……
Hey guys! How ya doing?
Mary walks out the river UNHARMED! She is pefectly fine, just dirty and for some strange reason doesn’t remember what happened to cause her to escape unharmed.
However after this episode Mary isn’t at all like herself. She is colder, and wants to isolate herself. She even speaks at one time how she hates being with her parents, calling them “those people”, a feeling she had never expressed before. She packs up her things and moved to Utah where she will be an organist for a local church.
HOWEVER, this is were the film starts to get REALLY CREEPY. I recommend making sure you watch this late at night in the dark for optimal effect.
So she’s driving along on the way to this town and notices this pavillion in which she feels a connection to, but shrugs it off. She continues driving along a deserted road…everything is going great when all of a sudden……
A FLOATING FACE APPEARS IN HER WINDOW!!!!!!!
OMG this part scared me so bad when I first watched it! She’s out on this deserted road and all of a sudden a face without a body APPEARS FLOATING OUTSIDE HER WINDOW!
And this guy is no looker! He’s a majorly creepy dude!
After that scare, she somehow makes it to a gas station to get directions to the boarding house she is going to stay at. She also asks the attendent about the pavilion. He tells her that it used to be a carnival.
(Okay, now we can totally tell that something creepy is going to go down in that Carnival. The anticipation is rising!!!!!)
So she gets to the boarding house where we have a somewhat comedic landlady. Mary is starting to feel better about what happened, shrugging it off as being tired and scared. The next day she visits the church and starts practicing.Everyone is touched by her lovely organ music, it is as sweet as the songs of angels!
(Now I know that organ music can be lovely to some, but to me it always makes me think of creepy monsters such as the Phantom of the Opera or Dracula.)
The minister gives Mary a ride home and she asks to see the carnival.
This movie has some really beautiful cinematography. If you don’t watch it for the horror one should watch it for that.
Mary returns to her new home, but is still confused as to what her connection to the place must be. Her neighbor John, tries to come on to her but with really lame lines and Mary is just not having any of it.
As she is finally able to get rid of the him, she looks outside……………..ONLY TO SEE THE FACE AGAIN!!!!!!
AND HE COMES INSIDE THE HOUSE! Mary runs out of her room to look, and THERE HE IS WALKING THROUGH THE DOOR! AND STARTS TO CLIMB UP THE STAIRS!!!!! HE’S COMING FOR HER!!! RUN MARY! RUN!! RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mary does run up to her room. And there’s a knock on the door and…..and…..and…..and….and….
It turns out to be the landlady! And she hasn’t seen anyone walking around the house. (Hmm….very suspicious!)
The next day John tries to come on to Mary again and we find out that he reeeeeeeeeeally likes to drink. Mary is very much still uninterested and goes on to buy a new dress.
Then the strangest thing happens. Mary tries on her dress and goes out to talk to the salelady about the hem…..When NO ONE CAN HEAR HER. NO ONE SEES HER. AND SHE CAN’T HEAR ANYTHING.
She changes and wanders aimlessly through the town trying to figure out why she can’t be heard or seen or hear anything.Eventually her hearing comes back and she continues on her way.
She goes to get a drink of water from the drinking fountain when a man comes upon her…….
Luckily as Mary is running away in fear she happens to run right into a psychiatrist.
Literally. He just “happened” to be running about in that area.
He takes her to his office so that she can talk to him and they can work out what she is feeling. And what she thinks she is seeing. He tells her that the only way to truly get over these hallucinations is to go to the carnival. The carnival is where everything began.
She goes and hopes that everything will be better for her. That the nightmare will be over.
The next day she goes to work and starts out playing a lovely song in the church…when all of a sudden………something comes over her and she plays devilish, creepy, horrifying music.
What’s coming over me?
Her hellish music causes her to lose her job, and she goes home. She ends up going out with John as she is so freaked out over what has been happening and doesn’t want to be alone. Unfortunately, that doesn’t turn out well as Mary is still so cool and icy. She has a major freakout thinking she sees the creepy guy everywhere, and John takes her home. Mary rushes into her room, with John following hoping to get lucky. She looks up in the mirror expecting to see John when who should be there but…..
THE CREEPY GUY! TBE CREEPY GUY IS KISSING HER NOT JOHN!
Mary looks up in shock, and screams. John is also freaked out and takes off to the safety of his room.
The next day she takes her car in to be looked at, only to have another experience with the creepy guy! She runs off scared for her life; suddenly no one can see or hear her anymore. She keeps seeing creepy dead people everywhere she goes.
But just like before, everything goes back to normal. She can hear and others can hear her.
She runs to the psychiatrist’s office, so confused and upset; pouring out all her feelings and emotions to him.
When what should happen but………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
The CREEPY FACE MAN!
But then Mary wakes up in her car. Was it real? Was it all a dream? What is happening to her?!
She runs to the carnival, once again to try and get to where it all began, in hopes to end it all. But that is where it really gets creepy. Men and women rise from the water and they do a creepy dance of death. The dance that Mary sees herself in!
This gothic, spooky company follow her and chase her to the beach where they all grab her and everything fades to black.
The next day the minister and psychiatrist are looking for Mary. They find her shoes, footprints, and what looks like signs of a struggle on the beach, but there is no Mary to be found.
Back in Mary’s town the police have finally been able to drag the river bottoms and get the car out.
However, they are in for a big surprise as there are THREE bodies in the car. It turns out Mary’s body is in the car!
I thought it was a simply fantastic movie! Some pieces are predictable, but the creepiness lives throughout.
I hope you enjoyed the first of these posts as there are more to come.
Here is a cover page I made for my facebook as part of my countdown to Halloween: