As a filmmaker, (Harvey) admired both Bergman and Jean Cocteau, but he also wanted to goose you. And he does. Carnival of Souls is one of the only movies made under the influential spell of Psycho that catches some of that film’s dead-end dread.
Carnival of Souls is an odd, obscure horror film that was made on a low budget in 1962 in Lawrence, Kan., and still has an intriguing power...it ventures to the edge of camp, but never strays across the line, taking itself with an eerie seriousness…Unlike most of today’s horror movies, Carnival of Souls has few special effects... Instead, it depends on crisp black-and-white photography, atmosphere and surprisingly effective acting.