Late Night With The Devil (2024)

Director: Cameron Cairnes, Colin Cairnes

Running Time: 93 Minutes

Certification: 15

Starring: David Dastmalchian, Laura Gordon, Ian Bluss, Fayssal Bazzi, Ingrid Torelli, Rhys Auteri, Georgina Haig, Josh Quong Tart

Opening their feature with the sight of a television set on a 1970s studio, co-writers/directors Cameron and Colin Cairnes ease viewers into this fictional world by depicting era-appropriate footage while an unseen narrator (Michael Ironside) sets the scene. Night Owls is a fictional late night talk-show from the '70s hosted by Jack Delroy (David Dastmalchian). While his growing audience propels him to new heights, he is stopped from reaching the top by ratings giant Johnny Carson.

His quest to be number one sees him trying to generate controversy, which leads Jack to use a Halloween episode for a series of paranormal occurrences. His plan involves para-psychologist and author Dr. June Ross-Mitchell (Laura Gordon). She has been treating Lilly (Ingrid Torelli), the sole survivor of a Satanic church's mass suicide who is also the subject of June's book, Conversations With The Devil. The film is presented as long-lost footage that has been discovered, with the recording depicting what went wrong during that live television broadcast in 1977.

Ever since his unsettling turn in The Dark Knight, David Dastmalchian has built a career with effective supporting roles that has seen him work with creatives such as Denis Villeneuve, David Lynch, and, erm, Angry Video Game Nerd. With this lead role, Dastmalchian shines as this likeable presence who is full of charm, effortlessly selling the idea that audiences would repeatedly tune in to watch him have fun with his sidekick, Gus (Rhys Auteri).

 Ingrid Torelli, David Dastmalchian, and Laura Gordon in Colin Cairnes and Cameron Cairnes’ LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL. Courtesy of IFC Films and Shudder. An IFC Films and Shudder release.

Perhaps it is due to perceptions from Dastmalchian's other roles, yet an underlying darkness is felt within Jack. He has become a widely known star and wishes to save the show which contributed to that, although the lingering question is what lengths he has taken to achieve that. He is grappling with trauma from his wife's untimely passing, and this leads one to question if reality is not what it seems due to unresolved grief and a fracturing mind.

Tensions arise from skeptical guest Carmichael (Ian Bluss), a former magician who intends to disprove the supernatural while speaking in a condescending tone. His vocal presence adds to the mood within the studio, with the atmosphere being tremendously conveyed as it builds throughout until the third-act goes wild. As the proceedings grow unsettling while allowing the effects a chance to shine, reality dissolves to leave a horrifying mark on viewers.

What the directing duo have crafted conjures memories of Ghostwatch, presented as though it is a real TV show aided by the magnificent production design. The only issue is how the illusion is broken by behind-the-scenes occurrences, which leaves one to wonder who is filming these candid conversations. Despite this, Late Night With The Devil is an excellent chiller that draws viewers in before shattering their senses.

Late Night With The Devil is available in UK Cinemas now