Herk Harvey‘s 1962 chiller Carnival of Souls is the most influential film you’ve never seen. Filmed on a budget of a mere $33,000 in Kansas and Utah, the deeply unsettling (in the best possible way) focuses on a young woman who, following a mysterious drag racing accident, moves to Salt Lake City to take a new job as a church organist. Once there, she begins to experience strange and otherworldly events that shake her to her very core. Here’s the film’s trailer:
To say anything more about the film and its secrets (which continue to impact the way contemporary horror directors tell stories) would be doing the picture a great disservice. Carnival of Souls is the story of movie that sticks with you long after the final credits have rolled, a tale of existential dread that is unlike any horror efforts before or since.