Recently, I watched the obscure, 1962 independent horror film Carnival of Souls on Archive.org. It's the one and only feature film that Herk Harvey directed and was made on a budget of $33,000.
Starring Candice Hillgoss, Carnival of Souls tells the tale of a woman who becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival after a traumatic accident. This haunting, atmospheric, black-and-white film feels like a precursor to David Lynch's work. This film slipped through the cracks upon its initial release and slowly received praise from critics over the following decades.
I prefer the type of creepiness of The Twilight Zone over that of slasher films, and so Carnival of Souls was right up my alley; it's just as much of an art film as it is a horror film. The Time Out Film Guide commended the film's "striking black-and-white compositions, disorienting dream sequences and eerie atmosphere," adding that the film "has the feel of a silent German Expressionist movie" (Wikipedia).
What I love about this movie is that it feels like a relic from a lost era of horror films, and not just because it was made in 1962. The movie is also very anti-Hollywood in its themes and presentation.
The unforgettable imagery in this film is buried deep in my psyche.