Latest Posts

Review: ‘Late Night with the Devil’ Echoes 70s Occult and TV Critique

This summer, the horror genre is thriving with a series of new releases, and “Late Night with the Devil” stands out among them. This film isn’t just about scaring the audience; it also offers a critical look at the TV industry through its horror-themed narrative. Directed by Colin Cairnes and Cameron Cairnes, the movie delves into the grim realities of the television world.

David Dastmalchian portrays Jack Delroy, a late-night show host who entertains viewers with his program, “Night Owls.” The show begins with a glimpse into an America facing high gas prices and social turmoil, where television serves as the primary escape for many. Delroy’s show competes with iconic programs like “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” and initially, his comedic acts bring in substantial revenue. However, when the show’s popularity wanes, Delroy is forced to rethink his approach. He decides to spice things up by featuring occult elements in a Halloween special, including a live séance and an exorcism, which leads to a blurring of lines between what’s real and what’s part of the show.

The movie prompts viewers to question the authenticity of its supernatural events and whether the characters are genuinely experiencing paranormal phenomena or just suffering from stress. It subtly suggests that the true evil may lie within the industry itself, rather than any supernatural entity. Dastmalchian’s portrayal of Delroy echoes the ambitious, ethically challenged character of Lou Bloom from “Nightcrawler,” but with a twist. Unlike “Nightcrawler,” this film doesn’t glorify its protagonist but instead examines the dangerous pursuit of success.

The film’s authentic recreation of the 1970s late-night TV scene, combined with its unique blend of horror and mockumentary elements, creates a compelling watch. The script is filled with nods to classic horror films, inviting the audience to engage in a game of spotting these references. From invoking the spirit of horror legend Vincent Price to drawing parallels with Spielberg’s “Poltergeist,” the movie pays homage to the era’s cultural fascination with the supernatural, all while providing a satirical take on the television industry’s dark side.

Ian Bliss’s portrayal of Carmichael the Conjurer adds a layer of introspection to the film, mirroring the era’s critical view of the occult, a sentiment echoed by notable skeptics such as Carl Sagan and James Randi. This character brings a thoughtful perspective to the narrative, challenging the audience’s beliefs and expectations.

While the film’s finale may delve deeply into metaphorical territory, critiquing television’s penchant for sensationalism, it cleverly employs the classic horror trope of “it’s all just a dream” to keep viewers on edge. Ultimately, “Late Night with the Devil” consistently maintains a gripping atmosphere of tension and uncertainty, ensuring a thoroughly entertaining experience at the cinema.



Latest Posts

Don't Miss