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Carnival of Souls was a low-budget "B" film ($33,000 in 1962) that did mediocre business on release, but has become a cult classic; enough of one to merit a Criterion DVD release. In fact, some people consider it to be the best "B" movie ever made.

The plot is hard to summarize without spoilers, but its essence is a young woman who perceives, with gradually increasing frequency, images of a horrid, deformed stranger (as, for example, a temporary appearance in a mirror). The screw tightens until, at the climax, we find out who The Man is and why she has been receiving these visitations.

The movie is a case of an obscenely high-number of routine, standard tropes that more or less accidentally happen to work to a whole greater than the sum of the parts (or of the makers' designs and--arguably--capabilities).

Along with a handful of other films, it also has the distinction of being riffed twice by Mike Nelson: First on the colorized DVD released by Legend Films, the second time with help from Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett on Riff Trax.

In 1998, a Wes Craven-produced remake was released, which received mixed, mostly-negative reviews. While it, too, is available on DVD, it's a pretty safe bet that it won't ever get a Criterion release.

The Original Contains Examples of:

Tropes Present In the Remake That Were Not In The Original:

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