I thought it was interesting that it was basically a warning story against lesbianism. Like "Beware! Don't let your daughters or yourselves be lured by lesbianism because all that awaits is death and vampirism!" lol. But nevertheless it's interesting, even though it wasn't ever said outright, that he dealt with lesbianism here so openly. I think he may have been partly influenced into this female antagonist/female victims aspect by tales of Elizabeth Bathory.
I love the atmosphere; it's pure gothic. The story did resolve quickly but I like that the focus of the story was on expanding the atmosphere rather than the action. When the feeling or atmosphere of a story is good enough I can overlook inconsistencies easier, but still I wish the older lady, coachmen, et al had been explained. It seems all Carmilla's family had died out and all the other vampires of her family rooted out and killed, so who were these people helping her? I wouldn't have minded it left a mystery so much if I could conceive some sort of coherency but as it is her helpers don't seem to fit with the explanation at the end.
The explanation of how vampires came to be and their "living" conditions....seriously? Sloshing about in seven inches of blood, but she was able to get out and be spotless and presentable once back at the schloss? And no reek of blood either? And to just leave it at "utterly inexplicable" for the exit and re-entry? And where did all this blood come from...how did it remain liquid...if there is that much blood, why go after more people in the village?
I didn't mind this. I took it as that somehow vampires can have two bodies - one comatose in the coffin and one living outside, and the one outside is sort of like a physically solid and warm superhuman ghost that is able to eat food, be in the sunlight and can transfer shapes and disappear, and that when it feeds on humans, the blood is transferred to the "real" comatose body in the coffin (possibly by the ghost visiting the coffin), where the pool of blood keeps that body alive. And that one can't well kill the ghost body but needs to kill the real body in the coffin, and when one does the ghost body is killed too.
Not that all that is so logical, but it makes some kind of sense and anything supernatural I take with a grain of salt. Also, I felt he tried to keep it all somewhat vague on purpose. I give him slack because the atmosphere is good and because this is one of the first vampire books.