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Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Late Night with the Devil (2024)

All in on the 70's vibe.

By Reed AlexanderPublished about a month ago 3 min read
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When I say this movie went all in on the 70's theme, I mean at the cost of the plot. Even the practical FX are something you would expect out of a 70's horror movie. Even weirder, the movie feels like watching an episode of The Price Is Right. This really makes the movie seem profoundly absurd. Here's the thing though, it's why the movie is so damn good... I mean, don't get me wrong, it's actually quite bad, but in a really good way.

So bad that two of the main characters, Charmichael Haig, played by Ian Bliss, and Christou, played by Fayssal Bazzi, are both over the top to the point of being outlandish. And let's give Ingrid Torelli a fucking award for being so god damn creepy before anything even happens. It's actually quite brilliant. It's like an intentionally "So Bad It's Good" movie.

And when I say the practical FX are something you would see out of a 70s horror movie... what I mean is that they were bad. But they were bad in the right way. It somehow fit better than CGI with a decent budget. It's hard to explain, all I can say is that it just makes sense.

That's the thing, everything about this movie is so damn bad, but in a way that actually works. It's like they went all in on the 70s theme so much that they sacrificed the integrity of the movie for it. Actually, about that, this is technically a Found Footage movie, as it's supposed to be the actual filming of a real late-night TV show. It even cuts the full-screen viewing for the parts of the footage that would have been viewed by 1970's television audiences. The movie is only full screen for the backstage camera crew that were essentially "filming the making of a TV Show." That's actually quite brilliant and turns the Shaky Camera concept on its head. Every part of the show is done by a professional camera crew so there really isn't any excuse for the camera to be shaky. These are fucking professionals. That was one of my biggest critiques of The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014). If you remember, I found that movie to be so obnoxiously Shaky Camera, that I considered it unwatchable.

Now, the premise and the plot, that was a fucking winner. A late-night talk show host is so desperate to get big ratings, that he starts doing significantly dumb, controversial things and eventually lands on something with real-life consequences. In this case, the host, Jack Delroy, played by David Dastmalchian, lands on a genuine demonic possession. For whatever reason, this demon definitely wants to be on TV and latches on to Jack's hubris. What we get is a 'live,' on air, real-life demonic possession and pseudo exorcism. That shit is pretty fucking cool, and attached to all of the ridiculous, over the top, 70s vibes, actually pretty fucking good. I mean... it's bad, but in a good way.

So yes, I do recommend this movie... possibly only to riffers, but it's basically a must-watch for Hardcore Horror Heads.

SPOILERS !!!

This movie does an okay job with one of my favorite kinds of horror movies. That being Cerebral Horror. Psychological Horror that straight up messes with your perception. The movie ends with Jack Delroy standing in a studio with a dagger, all of his guests having been stabbed to death. We know that the dagger is referenced more than once in the movie and seems to be a prop, rather than an authentic relic. So, was this whole thing in Jack's head? Did a man desperate for his own ratings finally snap and the last moments of the show were all an elaborate hallucination? Obviously not, because we, the audience, see everything from the perspective of 'the camera' which "doesn't lie." Or does it? Yeah, it's not a perfect piece of Cerebral Horror, but the effort is there and it's better than Oculus (2013) which failed pretty spectacularly.

I love this movie for why it's bad, and it being bad feels very much intentional. So yeah, maybe riffers only, but I genuinely think all adult audiences should give it a fair shot. It's a bit avant garde, but it's still a lot of fun.

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About the Creator

Reed Alexander

I'm a horror author and foulmouthed critic of all things horror. New reviews posted every Monday.

@ReedsHorror on TikTok, Threads, Instagram, YouTube, and Mastodon.

Check out my books on Godless: https://godless.com/products/reed-alexander

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