The Halloween season is here and in the run up to the big day I decided to examine what is considered “scary” in the world of horror movies.
Going with Rotten Tomatoes list of the 31 scariest movies, I decided to compare each film with another horror film from the same year to determine which one I found scarier.
For day 6 of the competition, I chose two films that are completely different in style and tone. The one thing that they share in common is some disturbing imagery. So which one is scarier? Is it Eyes Without Face or Carnival of Souls?
Eyes Without A Face
Dr. Génessier (Pierre Brasseur) is riddled with guilt after an accident that he caused disfigures the face of his daughter, the once beautiful Christiane (Édith Scob), who outsiders believe is dead. Dr. Génessier, along with accomplice and laboratory assistant Louise (Alida Valli), kidnaps young women and brings them to the Génessier mansion. After rendering his victims unconscious, Dr. Génessier removes their faces and attempts to graft them on to Christiane’s.
Eyes Without A Face (yes I can’t stop typing this title without hearing the Billy Idol song in my head) isn’t a traditional horror film to be sure. The horror comes from the body horror of seeing what Christiane’s face looks like after the accident and how the attempts to graft another face onto hers continually fail. It does have some moments of suspense throughout as Génessier and Louise stalk their victims.
Great cinematography. Georges Franju does an amazing job with framing the scenes and crafting the imagery.
Christiane’s disfigured face is delightfully detailed in its horror.
For a black and white film from the 60’s the filmmaker was brave to show blood during the operating scenes.
Incredibly slow moving both in its plot and its resolution.
Thin plot with thin motivations.
Not scary at all. There isn’t one moment where you feel tension or fear.
The ending was comically ridiculous to the point where I could not stop laughing when it was supposed to be horrific and sad.
Carnival of Souls
Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) ends up the sole survivor of a fatal car accident through mysterious circumstances. Trying to put the incident behind her, she moves to Utah and takes a job as a church organist. But her fresh start is interrupted by visions of a fiendish man (Herk Harvey). As the visions begin to occur more frequently, Mary finds herself drawn to the deserted carnival on the outskirts of town. The strangely alluring carnival may hold the secret to her tragic past.
Herk Harvey wrote, direct and played the main villain in this film that is unique in its style and vision.
There are some truly disturbing moments throughout including a couple of decent jump scares.
Mary’s journey is interesting and the performance by Hilligoss is really good.
The disturbing imagery sells the impending danger the character is in.
The ending is well done and pays off well.
The other characters in the film are not particularly memorable.
Some of the acting is stiff.
Both films do a great job of selling their scary imagery and the female protagonists of both films are great. Unfortunately, only one of the films actually has something in it and the winner of this competition is…..
Carnival Of Souls
Have you seen either of these films? Let me know which one was your favorite in the comments below.