Today: April 14, 2024

Late Night with the Devil

The controversy around Late Night with the Devil’s use of AI has led to some incredibly important conversations, and being upset or angry about it is totally valid. But I’m not going to give this issue any more airtime here, because as crucial as these discussions are, they threaten to detract from the film. So, we’re going to focus on what the film does well – which just so happens to be literally everything else. 

Although Late Night with the Devil is probably best experienced blind, the premise is a simple one – following the tragic and mysterious death of his wife, struggling 1970s talk show host Jack Delroy (David Dastmalchian) decides to do a special occult-themed Halloween special of his show in one last attempt to boost his ratings and reputation. But as the evening goes on, it becomes increasingly apparent that evil has made its way into the studio.

In documentary format, the film is made up of the hazy, static-filled long-lost master tape of the 1977 broadcast and backstage footage from the fateful night in real time. The result is an impeccably paced and chillingly intense 86 minutes, with the structure also lending itself to some dark laughs – an ill-advised and ill-fated attempt to commune with the devil live on air, for example, is pushed back until after an ad break to allow time for “a word from our sponsors”. Dastmalchian is impeccable – his Jack Delroy is an undeniably charming and endearing host, but barely hiding a slimy insincerity and desperation for ratings. The supporting cast – Jack’s guests on the programme, and his crew backstage – are all equally excellent. Special mention should go to Ingrid Torelli as Lilly, the sole survivor of a mass cult suicide who might just share her body with the demonic ‘Mr. Wriggles’…

The attention to detail throughout is wonderful – it’s clear the filmmakers did their research because every single hallmark of 1970s network talk shows is present and correct. While the film is undeniably satirical in its portrayal of these tropes, there is also a clear affection for them. The film looks and sounds so uncannily authentic; if it wasn’t for the recognisable lead, one could easily be fooled into thinking the events unfolding in the film were the real deal.

Playing like BBC’s infamous 1992 classic Ghostwatch if it were directed by David Lynch, Late Night with the Devil is a disturbing and darkly amusing modern horror masterpiece destined for cult classic status. Despite the aforementioned controversy, here is a film that is clearly crafted with love. It is a terrible shame that some audiences are boycotting the film and refusing to engage with what is a wholly original and unique film packed with unforgettable scares, gleefully era-authentic atmosphere, and a career-best performance from fan favourite David Dastmalchian. Do not adjust your set. This could be one of the best films of 2024.

Late Night with the Devil is in UK cinemas now from Vertigo Releasing

Previous Story

Jamie and the Magic Torch

Next Story

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Latest from Blog


Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.


Argylle is one of those films that, for the first 15 minutes, you absolutely hate. Then, slowly, inexorably, the script’s subversive humour starts to work its way under your skin. So that,


From ultra-stylish visuals, to the cool, jazz soundtrack, and the knowing nod to Noir, Sugar is one glorious piece of misdirection after another. Like the best detective fiction, the clues are all

The Borderlands Unboxing

The Borderlands is one of the most underrated hidden gems in the found footage subgenre, so for it to receive the Second Sight treatment is fantastic news for horror fans. Our Alex

The First Omen

Last year, David Gordon Green followed up his underrated Halloween legacy trilogy with an ill-fated attempt at a sequel to The Exorcist. The film was ultimately a lesson in how not to

Priscilla Unboxing

Following Baz Luhrmann’s theatrical and somewhat romanticised portrayal of the so-called King or Rock & Roll in Elvis, celebrated filmmaker Sofia Coppola takes a different approach in the quietly powerful and dark
Go toTop