Night of the Demon (1957) – Review, Rating and Synopsis

Night of the Demon (1957)

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  • Release Date:  1957
  • Genre:  Witches & Occult
  • Director:  Jacques Tourneur
  • Screenwriter:  T.Y. Drake
  • Cast & Crew: Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis, Maurice Denham, Athene Seyler, Liam Redmond, Reginald Beckwith, Ewan Roberts, Peter Elliott, Rosamund Greenwood, Brian Wilde, Richard Leech, Lloyd Lamble, Peter Hobbes, and Charles Lloyd Pack.

Night of the Demon (1957) Rating:

  • Dylan = 9.5 / 10;
  • Raoul = 8 / 10;
  • IMDB =  7.6 /10;
  • Rotten Tomatoes = 8.5/10.

Night of the Demon (1957) Synopsis:

Dr. Holden decides to pick up the work of one of his colleague, mysteriously deceased after trying to expose the work of a notorious cult leader.

Night of the Demon (1957) Review:

By the early master of horror Jacques Tourneur (Cat People, I Walked With a Zombie, etc.), Night of the Demon (aka its USA’s title Curse of the Demon) is one of the greatest, and maybe most famous, horror movies from the ’50s.

The character of the cult leader, Dr. Karswell, is a fascinating one. Presented as a modern wizard, his calm attitude associated with his friendly manners makes him different from the usual villains. He ends up being genuinely likable and almost endearing. But instead of diminishing the scary aspect of the movie, the great contrast between his attitude and his horrific actions only accentuates the terror.

One thing I really liked is how the film approaches witchcraft in a very realistic manner. No broomstick or toad potion here, Night of the Demon presents witchcraft as a serious business, and even manages to make it look credible or even… intellectual. The range of magic tricks used is impressive: protecting demons, cursed parchment, runes, etc., making the viewer always eager to discover Karswell’s next trick!

Other than that, the main story is suspenseful, and the acting really good. The final demon is, of course, a little fake-looking nowadays, but the overall atmosphere of the film is really captivating.

A movie that really deserves its status of a classic.

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