Scary Movie Marathon: The Phantom Carriage (1921)


Title: The Phantom Carriage
Release Date: 1 January 1921
Director: Victor Sjöström
Production Company: AB Svensk Filmindustri
Summary/Review:

According to the legend at the heart of this film, the last person to die before the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve will have to spend the next year as the driver of Death’s carriage and collect the souls of the dead.  Naturally, ne’er-do-well drunkard David Holm (Victor Sjöström) dies after hearing this story and is introduced to his new existence by an old friend Georges (Tore Svennberg).  Through flashbacks, they revisit David’s life and mistakes in kind of a topsy-turvy It’s a Wonderful Life.  The story is intercut with the present day story of Salvation Army Sister Edit (Astrid Holm) who is dying of tuberculosis and wishes to see David to see if her prayers have changed him any.  The movie is very much a morality play more than a horror film, but it does have a great spooky atmosphere and special effects that are still impressive 100 years later.

Rating: ****

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