mandag 22. april 2013

"Still Haunts Us"


Original title: Körkarlen
Year: 1921
Country: Sweden
Language: Silent
Number: 10
Director: Victor Sjöström
Starring: Victor Sjöström, Hilda Borgström, Tore Svennberg, Astrid Holm

Victor Sjöström's The Phantom Carriage is the story about the drunkard, David Holm (Sjöström) who dies after a fight with other hobos in the cemetery, exactly twelve O'clock on new years eve. He becomes a ghost that leaves his body, and a ghost carriage appears with a skeleton horse and a man with a reaper. The ghost is a man David once knew, named Georges, who died on new years eve one year ago. And the person who dies at midnight have to be a reaper for an entire year. But first Georges wants to show all the damages David have caused his family and a Salvation Army girl named Edit, who always tried to help David, but was always rejected. Georges takes David to her deathbed. Edit is David's first client as a reaper.

The Phantom Carriage was released January 1st, 1921. Imagine how scared people was back then, and it's certainly not outdated, it scared the shit out of me. With all the special effects, like the classic double exposures, which is still scary. And the transparent phantom carriage is just amazing. And all flashbacks within flashbacks was revolutionary at that time, and it gives the movie a more epic specter. There's haunting imagery everywhere, and it's very easy to see the influence this movie had on Ingmar Bergman's work. This is a great example of early Nordic horror cinema, along with Häxan, which have the same Gothic feeling. A big Thumbs up!

Grade: A

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2 kommentarer:

KimWilson sa...

Bergman was an admirer of Sjostrom--so much so that he made him the star of Wild Strawberries. The Phantom Carriage, as you said, was revolutionary...and, creepy.

TSorensen sa...

Yes, this one is awesome! and very gothic.