Carnival of Souls

Carnival of Souls, a work of pure surrealism whose main point of departure is ultimately Dreams That Money Can Buy, is made of one or two Twilight Zone episodes adapted (or anticipated) for cinema, “The Hitch-Hiker” and perhaps “Nothing in the Dark”. Its overriding virtue is its location photography of Kansas and Utah (its director wanted “the look of Bergman and the feel of Cocteau”), and the extraordinary influence (or prescience) it has had: Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining, Deliverance, Night of the Living Dead, Repulsion, etc.

Its grand notion is of an organist whose fingers slip on the keys into a waltz that gets her expelled from church, whence she roams in a spirit realm “very near” to reality, as the poet said, and yet very far beyond.