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3.8
771 Ratings

Curse of the Demon

Night of the Demon

Directed by Jacques Tourneur
United Kingdom, 1957
Horror, Thriller, Mystery

Synopsis

Dr. John Holden ventures to London to attend a paranormal psychology symposium with the intention to expose devil cult leader, Julian Karswell.

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Curse of the Demon Directed by Jacques Tourneur
Tourneur’s great, late film Night of the Demon (1957), starring his friend and fellow toper Dana Andrews, may be the finest motion picture ever made by two knee-walking drunks.
November 02, 2018
Although Tourneur was frustrated by having to show the demon in literal form, the way the film handles its appearance still stands, 60 years later, as perhaps the best and worthiest ever use of a special effect in a horror film, a ne plus ultra in genre spectacle – the strange apparition appearing vaguely in the distance, wreathed in smoke and fire…, and then a great, looming close-up of the demon’s snarling visage and terrible clawed paw splayed to grip its prey and prize.
October 27, 2017
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In Night of the Demon, superstition is rational, reason foolhardy. The film unsettles because it never flips that paradox back around—the world remains topsy-turvy to the bleak, sinister end.
October 29, 2014
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What are people saying?

  • Nicholas Gregory's rating of the film Curse of the Demon

    Often criticized for its opening demon-sighting ruining the psychological element, but this not only circumvents this type of narrative's typical method of operation, but creates a fatalistic ominousness, with the rationale character's clock ticking away towards his doom. It also fully develops this character's psyche and world's laws before it appropriately ends gloomily-happily. And the demon is scary as hell, too!

  • Lights in the Dusk's rating of the film Curse of the Demon

    Night of the Demon plays its hand a little too early, revealing its demonic presence within the first ten minutes & thus removing any ambiguity as to whether or not the villainous Karswell's menacing influence is genuinely supernatural or merely a psychological suggestion. It's a huge flaw in the film, which nonetheless survives thanks to Tourneur's incredibly atmospheric direction & a handful of haunting set-pieces.

  • Francisco R.'s rating of the film Curse of the Demon

    Following the same mantra as in "Cat People", the film delves into a no man's land of events that defy rational explanations, where the stronger the light of science, the darker and more ominous are the shadows it casts on the characters and the viewers alike, one of Tourneur's preferred principles while working on the horror genre.

  • Lucas Granero's rating of the film Curse of the Demon

    "Es mejor no saber" dice el hombre de las ciencias y le da la espalda a la desconocido, aún sabiendo que caminó cerca del diablo. Jacques Tourneur, dueño de las sombras, abraza aquello que nadie conoce pero todo saben que existe, ese otro lado que aguarda detrás de cada puerta y que es capaz de poner patas para arriba cualquier creencia. Hace un doble programa satánico estupendo con "Drag Me To Hell" de Sam Raimi...

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Curse of the Demon

    Legendary for a couple of reasons. 1. Kate Bush - "It's in the trees! It's coming!" 2. Showing the monster. And it doesn't look like a Godzilla rubber suit. It just works as a late night horror treat. Watch this on Halloween.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Curse of the Demon

    Beautifully shot horror film from Tourneur, with some astonishing practical FX sequences. The chief drawback is that there's precious little narrative material to fill 95 minutes, so the soggy midsection is mostly taken by Dana Andrews being moronically stubborn. Points deducted for making Peggy "Gun Crazy" Cummins so respectable. Points added back for cinema's most authentically satanic facial hair.

  • T. J. Mesen's rating of the film Curse of the Demon

    The oft criticized appearance of the demon at the beginning is necessary. The knowledge that there is a real malign force out there paired with Dr. Holden's denial of the unknown, of death, is what drives the narrative. It's crucial for the film's themes and ability to sustain tension that the viewer know the reality of his impending doom. Pitting rationality with the unexplainable; confronting him with the abyss.

  • Thomas's rating of the film Curse of the Demon

    Tourneur at his best. Having learnt his trade directing and editing countless B-movies, his directorial style is lean, refined and disciplined, with the efficiency and economy of Roger Corman. A creative and imaginative eye for cinematography and lighting also set his films apart from other generic productions. And this film, though notably later in his career, is no exception.

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