For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
3.8
3,207 Ratings

Carnival of Souls

Directed by Herk Harvey
United States, 1962
Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Synopsis

In Herk Harvey’s macabre masterpiece, Mary Henry survives a drag race in a rural Kansas town, then takes a job as a church organist in Salt Lake City. En route, she becomes haunted by a bizarre apparition that compels her to an abandoned lakeside pavilion.

This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Carnival of Souls Directed by Herk Harvey
Some scenes look Ed Wood cheap, and others are lit and framed with startling beauty. It’s some kind of quintessentially American low-budget triumph, and it deserves its cult following. Herk Harvey stayed active but never made another feature film (his last directing credit was, curiously enough, an episode of Reading Rainbow). But for anyone who loves independent cinema, or the way cheap B-movies can touch on serious emotional ideas, it was enough.
October 27, 2017
Read full article
It’s nominally a horror film, but it’s a story of mental derangement with a premise of metaphysical shock that’s more or less detachable from its richly textured and disturbingly inventive cinematic essence.
September 27, 2016
Read full article
The dilapidated pavilion of the film’s title (actually Saltair, on the southern edge of Great Salt Lake) is rendered by Harvey with an evocative awareness of spatial emptiness that’s both mythical and commonplace. Accompanying this imagery is Gene’s Moore’s poignant organ score, which strengthens the subtext of sexual repression and gives the film a lonely spectral quality. Carnival of Souls is an unshakable expression of estrangement.
July 12, 2016
Read full article

What are people saying?

Related films