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"The Phantom Carriage" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

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"The Phantom Carriage" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Old 09-28-21, 09:19 PM
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"The Phantom Carriage" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge



The Phantom Carriage (1921)




Selected by MysterioMan007


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IMDB ENTRY

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THE CRITERION COLLECTION

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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

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2021 DISCUSSION | 2021 LISTS

Old 10-04-21, 08:38 AM
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Re: "The Phantom Carriage" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Wow. Can we just go ahead and say that David Holm is one of the biggest assholes in the history of cinema?

Anyway, this was a first time view for me. After enjoying Haxan last year, I was looking forward to discovering an early horror film in this challenge and this film did just that.

Part morality tale, part religious propaganda, part horror folklore, this movie did not disappoint! The acting in this movie is phenomenal. I don't expect great acting from silent movies or even films usually before the 60's. Something about the way people speak their lines, overact, body language, etc. always seems to show through with most movies from the early days...even in many classics. They still act like they are on a stage play and it just doesn't translate to film very well. But the acting in this film is truly stunning....especially by the actor playing David Holm.

Definitely a frightening tale for those who saw this movie in the 20's and 30's and even some of the tense moments still play well today. The Shining scene was intense! The overall camerawork and editing are great while the death carriage special effect scenes were solid and captivating.

Well made and immensely enjoyable. I highly recommend those who have not seen this give it a shot. It is longer than I expected but it still held my interest throughout. It doesn't give you all the story right off so you have to pay attention as the story weaves it way around David Holm. I liked how it doesn't just roll through the story A, B, C, D and on...

I also found it interesting how there would be long conversations with zero dialogue cards. They expect you to figure it out for yourself what is going on many times. Were all silent films like this? My viewings of this era are very few so I am just curious.

Not to get too controversial with my comments but this choice being a film with heavy Christian belief overtones, I found the scene quite interesting where the main anti-religion degenerate was proud to cough in people's faces to make them sick intentionally. 100 years later and we have video after video of self-professed Christians coughing in people's faces to scare them and/or make them sick. How times have changed???

My rating: **** out of *****

Also...I streamed this on Youtube for free and had zero forced ads which was nice. The print I watched was great and it honestly looked that it was likely an upload of the Criterion Blu-ray. The picture quality was great and at times looked as if it could have been filmed today and then just had filters put on it to make it look old. It looked that good.
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Gobear (10-04-21)
Old 10-04-21, 10:21 AM
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Re: "The Phantom Carriage" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

First time watching this as well even though I’ve owned the Criterion for years. You’re right about David. This guy is a huge piece of shit.
It was longer than I was prepared for but it held my interest. Great movie.
Old 10-04-21, 02:02 PM
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Re: "The Phantom Carriage" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Best film of the subset choices so far, by far. And no, I’m not posting as if it was still 9/30 when I started it for the Criterion crossover….

I too was surprised by the seeming lack of dialogue cards.
Old 10-04-21, 02:37 PM
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Re: "The Phantom Carriage" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I saw this film for the first time a little over a year ago, and I'll admit that I thought about this film in the ramp-up to New Year's Eve last year. I'll probably think about it again during the last week of this year. I agree with Spiderbite that it looked as if it could have been filmed yesterday. I found it to be incredibly modern in many respects.
Old 10-04-21, 06:28 PM
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Re: "The Phantom Carriage" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

A strong gothic horror film from the golden age. A tremendous technical achievement, as well as a fantastic story of one man's sin and redemption after encountering Mr. Death on the eve of New Years Day.
10/10
Old 10-05-21, 12:34 PM
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Re: "The Phantom Carriage" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

The other worldly double exposure effect is still effective 100 years later.

David Holm summarized the person he was when he gleefully ripped up his newly darned coat before Sister Edit. Like Ebenezer Scrooge and George Bailey he was given an opportunity to review his life and be selfless; I was expecting him to become the next carriage driver so his redemption was a pleasant surprise.
Originally Posted by Spiderbite
I also found it interesting how there would be long conversations with zero dialogue cards. They expect you to figure it out for yourself what is going on many times. Were all silent films like this? My viewings of this era are very few so I am just curious.
Originally Posted by Trevor
I too was surprised by the seeming lack of dialogue cards.
With his silent films Alfred Hitchcock tried to avoid intertitles if possible since characterization or other devices could advance the film without dialogue. This style worked with his sound films as well.
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Old 10-05-21, 01:53 PM
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Re: "The Phantom Carriage" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by wishbone
The other worldly double exposure effect is still effective 100 years later.

David Holm summarized the person he was when he gleefully ripped up his newly darned coat before Sister Edit. Like Ebenezer Scrooge and George Bailey he was given an opportunity to review his life and be selfless; I was expecting him to become the next carriage driver so his redemption was a pleasant surprise.


I was hoping that he would become the carriage driver and have to pick her up. Thus her seeing him picking her up gave her the answer that she was seeking in a very dark way. And he picks up the only person that still gave a damn about him and realized how he let both himself and her down.


With his silent films Alfred Hitchcock tried to avoid intertitles if possible since characterization or other devices could advance the film without dialogue. This style worked with his sound films as well.
Thanks for the info! I have to admit that I have not watched much of Hitchcock's silent work. Makes sense!
Old 10-24-21, 07:52 AM
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Re: "The Phantom Carriage" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Had this in my queue for months or longer knowing nothing about it other than Criterion and horror. When I finally opened it up to view it for this Challenge’s eve, I was initially slightly disappointed in that it was older than I thought, and a silent film, which I wasn’t really in the right mood for.

But wow, was I pleasantly surprised. Fantastic acting, wonderful morality play which had me thinking Bergman and It’s a Wonderful Life, and impressive cinematography for it’s time. Kept me interested throughout, and makes me want to finally check out Wild Strawberries.

Stealing rbrown’s subset ranking idea:

The Phantom Carriage, 8/10
Road Games, 7/10
Slither, 7/10
Silent Madness, 5/10
The Severed Arm, 4/10

Last edited by Trevor; 10-25-21 at 08:33 PM.

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