what an absolutely stunning film. i'm so bummed to find out it's Herk Harvey's only feature. I wish he could have had a Rowlands / Cassavetes relationship with Candace Hilligoss - there's something powerful coursing through this film. a thought i had while watching - i cant think of another film from the era / before where you get so much footage of a woman simply existing, on her own. maybe Wanda? but even thats '70
The occasionally monolithic acting does not detract from the many merits of this horror film, which seems more like a display of a non-conformist woman against all sorts of conventions in a demonic universe of lost souls of the US collective unconscious. Added to this subtext, the stunning camerawork -mainly in some great high-angle shots- and the genuine, but never self-serving, eerie atmosphere are memorable.
The rhythm of it is familiar, hypnotic, like a Twilight Zone episode or a campfire story. Almost didn't matter what the details were; just being swept up with it was satisfying. Brilliant locations, with images and edits that reminded me of Clouzot's L'Enfer. Plus, a detailed statement on the fate of the woman who dares not conform to gendered social roles, if you want it. 3.25
"My dear, you can't live in isolation from the human race, you know." For a B movie this film packs in the references and harbingers: European art house stylings, particularly hints of Antonioni and even Bergman; an outsider narrative of 50s and 60s social realism and a macabre off kilter version of everyday small town settings that is now a commonplace. The roundelay dance of the souls is also a sight to behold.