Late Night With The Devil Review

David Dastmalchian is phenomenal in this late night look at the supernatural that nails the spirit of the 70s while providing tense scares.

PLOT: A live television broadcast in 1977 goes horribly wrong, unleashing evil into the nation’s living rooms.

REVIEW: I’ve always had a fondness for late-night talk shows and their host. While I’m more of a Letterman and Conan guy, the shadow of Carson looms largely over anyone in that space. So the concept of Late Night With The Devil immediately appeals to me. They would always have a slew of guests, ranging in their celebrity status, all with the purpose of popping a rating. But what if one of those guests were actually able to prove the existence of the supernatural? The possibilities are endless.

Following the night that a struggling late-night show was able to prove the existence of a supernatural presence (or were they?), Late Night With The Devil is like a slow descent into Hell. I always love a horror film that brings you on a journey and slowly ramps up the stakes as the story progresses. And this one contends with the idea of whether the supernatural is real or simply a ruse; a subject of debate since the dawn of man.

David Dastmalchian in Late Night With The Devil (2024).

David Dastmalchian is absolutely phenomenal as Jack Delroy, a doomed talk show host desperate to find success. Jack is dealing with the loss of his wife but refuses to take extended time off. So on his quest for ratings, he brings on a slew of supernatural-connected guests, but Jack may have some ulterior motives. One moment you can see the pain in his eyes, grieving his poor wife and the next he’s got a big smile as he plays to a live studio audience. Dastmalchian has been a highlight of so many films for years that it’s awesome to see him take center stage.

Nearly as important as the host, is his sidekick, and Rhys Auteri does a great job. He’s got that Andy Richter and Ed McMahon quality where he’s the perfect accessory to Dastmalchian’s Delroy. I also really liked Ian Bliss as the skeptic. It’s amusing how he breaks down the common tricks that supernatural frauds would use during this era. One of the more intriguing characters is Laura Gordon’s June Ross-Mitchell, whose relationship with Jack is a bit questionable. She adds to the mystery and intrigue around what the film is explicitly NOT telling us.

The creepy possessed girl is a tough role to portray and Ingrid Torelli does a wonderful job. She’s incredibly offputting and her unpredictability works well. She manages to be innocent and terrifying at the same time. I don’t want to go too far into her role for fear of spoilers but I loved the portrayal. And I love how frantic everything is during the breaks, properly representing any live production. A distinct contrast exists between the calm and stillness of being on the air to the chaos of the red light going dark.

Ingrid Torelli, David Dastmalchian, and Laura Gordon in Late Night With The Devil (2024).

One of the elements I enjoyed the most about Late Night With The Devil is how it contends with frauds. Giving a spotlight to the many types of people who have visited late-night television sets for years. As the viewer starts to believe there’s something ghostly occurring, Carmichael Haig steps in with a dose of reality. This furthers the trend of slowing ramping up the intensity as the film progresses.

I absolutely adored the entire third act of Late Night With The Devil. After constantly playing with the idea of the supernatural being real or fake, we’re given a nasty explanation. Complete with some incredible special effects and wonderful performances, it comes together for a perfect package. Cameron and Colin Cairnes prove to be a formidable filmmaking duo. I tend to really dislike when films change aspect ratios for no reason but thankfully it makes sense here. The broadcasted moments are all in 4:3 Fullscreen and color, while the breaks are widescreen and monochrome. The contrast of the shaky, handheld reality with the still, tripod-centered broadcast works really well.

There are some moments that some might deem as cheesy but I just see them as period-specific. The Abraxas cult looks corny because it’s presented through the lens of a 70s news report. Those moments are intentional and make the payoff at the end even more rewarding. Late Night With The Devil deals with fame, loss, and the extreme lengths that someone will go to for success. There’s an obvious parallel between Jack’s desire for ratings and modern society’s desire for views/likes. Hopefully, the viewer looks inward and takes note. It could save them from disaster.

LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL IS IN THEATERS ON MARCH 22ND, 2024 AND WILL LATER STREAM ON SHUDDER ON APRIL 19TH, 2024.

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About the Author

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Tyler Nichols is a horror fanatic who resides in Michigan and is always on the hunt for the next great film. When not scouring the internet for movie news, he is usually off watching something dark, writing nonsensical musings, or playing in some fantastical video game world. While horror takes up most of his time, he still makes time for films of all types, with a certain affinity for the strange and unusual. He’s also an expert on all things Comic Book Cinema. In addition to reviews and interviews here on JoBlo.com, Tyler also helps with JoBlo Horror Originals where he’s constantly trying to convince viewers to give lesser-known horror films a chance.