The Phantom Carriage

The Phantom Carriage ★★★★½

I know there are a lot of stumbling blocks here for people when it comes to a movie this old and so far removed from modern sensibilities but I am always thankful when I sit down and watch an old classic I have never seen. Silent films in particular because they are so divorced from modern movie making in a lot of ways but they also are just a special kind of magic.

This movie has a couple of things going for it that really impressed me. First is just a legend it's built on that is totally new to me, not something I see much in horror at all. I don't know if it's a common bit of Swedish folklore or invented whole cloth here but it is pretty neat, reminds me of old spooky campfire stories. Actually, this whole thing has a feel of those old Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books that me and my friends were obsessed with as a kid. So while I doubt anyone would find this movie scary, it has a spooky atmosphere I found I absolutely adored. On top of that, flashbacks nested in flashbacks and visual changes to make it obvious when it was happening was a rather sophisticated touch I was surprised to see. Also, the special effects were absolutely awesome. Reminded me of Disney's Haunted Mansion.

This is public domain and kid friendly unless your kids are total weenies. I recommend it.

Brian liked this review