REVIEW: CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1998)

CAST

Bobbie Phillips (Two Guys and A Girl)
Shawnee Smith (Anger Management)
Larry Miller (10 Things I Hate ABout You)
Paul Johansson (Highlander: The Series)
Robert LaSardo (Nip/Tuck)

A young girl witnesses the brutal rape and murder of her mother by a circus clown and begins to have nightmares when the carnival comes back to town when she is an adult.Carnival of Souls 1998 apparently wasn’t well received or liked, and I really can’t understand why. The only reason I can determine for this is that Wes Craven’s name is attached to this film. Usually this great director’s name would be a positive force for a film. In this case, however, it may have been misleading. Others probably rented Carnival of Souls expecting unrelenting fear. However, this film is not in that category.

Carnival Of Souls 1998 is much more than that. It’s an absorbing, well-timed, thought provoking story about a troubled woman’s fear of death, and her resulting fear of life. Haunted throughout her life by witnessing her mother’s murder, she’s likewise haunted by the possible release of her mother’s murderer. She fears that he return for revenge, and she fears for herself and even more for her younger sister.Bobbie Phillips plays Alex, the troubled woman. She’s brilliant, and conveys her fear with such eloquence you feel her fear and confusion as if it were something concrete. Shawnee Smith plays Sandra, her younger sister.  Watch this film with an open mind. Forget about Wes Craven’s name on the box and credits. You may be in for a pleasant surprise.

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