Night of the Demon

Movie Information

In Brief: Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon (1957) — originally released in the U.S. with 12 minutes cut and under the title Curse of the Demon — is this wonderful oasis in the midst of the general run of bad horror movies from the 1950s. And there’s virtually no reason it should have been. Not only were the times against it, but it’s from the era when British pictures tended to have an American star shoehorned into them for stateside marketing purposes — and usually not a top-tier actor at that. In this case, we get Dana Andrews, a solid enough actor who was also an alcoholic and reaching the end of his leading man days. (And while reports indicate that Andrews was pretty much in the bag throughout filming, you’d never know it in the film.) With a marvelous screenplay by frequent Hitchcock-writer Charles Bennett and producer (and former East Side Kid) Hal E. Chester along with director Jacques Tourneur at the top of his game, Niall MacGinnis as the evil Dr. Karswell as one the great horror movie villains and Brit composer Clifton Parker providing what gets my vote for quite possibly the best horror score ever, the film is nigh on to perfection (or no further from it than one effects shot). Quite honestly, it is my favorite horror picture (at least among those that have no other desire than to be scary). This excerpt was taken from a review by Ken Hanke published on May 5, 2015
Genre: Horror
Director: Jacques Tourneur
Starring: Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis, Athene Seyler, Maurice Denham
Rated: NR

The Asheville Film Society will screen Night of the Demon on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at The Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critic Scott Douglas.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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