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Night of the Demon

Where to Watch Night of the Demon

1957

In the movie "Night of the Demon" (1957), directed by Jacques Tourneur, Professor Harrington (Maurice Denham) is a skeptic who's set to expose a cult led by Dr. Karswell (Niall MacGinnis) as frauds, but his investigations lead him to the doorstep of the supernatural.

The film opens with a ritual performed by Dr. Karswell and his followers. They summon a demon, which manifests in the woods as a giant, terrifying creature. The demon is believed to be a curse that Dr. Karswell places on anyone who crosses his path.

After Harrington receives a parchment from Karswell - one that is virtually identical to one he received before his own brother died under mysterious circumstances - he is pursued relentlessly by a demon determined to cause him harm.

Dana Andrews plays John Holden, an American psychology professor who travels to England to attend a conference on supernatural belief systems. He meets Harrington, who tells him about the curse he's under, and scoffs at the idea that it's anything more than a psychological trick. Holden's skepticism is at odds with his interest in scientific inquiry, which leads him to investigate the curse.

Peggy Cummins plays Joanna Harrington, niece of the late professor, who becomes their link to Dr. Karswell. She is a sympathetic and sensible character who quickly becomes the target of the demon. She is integral to assembling the final pieces of the puzzle that will lead to the resolution of the conflict.

As Holden delves deeper into the mystery, he discovers some truly chilling details about the demon's power and the extent to which Karswell will go to protect his secrets.

What is interesting about this movie is how it manages to balance the tension of a horror film with the intellectualism of a scientific inquiry. Holden's character is the perfect catalyst for this, as his skepticism keeps the viewer at arms-length from being completely immersed in the supernatural elements of the story.

The performances are all fantastic, with Niall MacGinnis turning in a particularly memorable one as the sinister Dr. Karswell. His scenes are seeped in a sense of dread and true horror, as the viewer is never entirely sure where his loyalties lie.

The demon itself is a truly effective movie monster. There's something genuinely unsettling about the beast - which is in many ways reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft's creations - that sticks with you. The scenes in which the demon shows up are some of the film's most memorable and are sure to leave an impression.

The film's climax is a thrilling sequence that brings all of the film's elements together in a satisfying way. Holden's skepticism is tested as the supernatural forces at play ramp up to their climax. The final moments of the film provide a satisfying resolution to the conflict, while still leaving just enough of a sense of mystery to keep us thinking about the film long after it's over.

All in all, "Night of the Demon" is a classic horror film that still holds up today. Its blending of intellectualism and supernatural horror is rare, and its ability to create a truly unsettling atmosphere is noteworthy. It's a film that's worth watching, whether you're a fan of horror or simply enjoy well-crafted films.

Night of the Demon is a Horror, Mystery movie released in 1957. It has a runtime of 81. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.4..

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7.4/10
Director
Jacques Tourneur
Stars
Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis
Also starring Peggy Cummins
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