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      Curse of the Demon

      Released Feb 28, 1958 1h 22m Horror List
      100% Tomatometer 17 Reviews 85% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings American professor John Holden (Dana Andrews) arrives in London for a conference on parapsychology only to discover that the colleague he was supposed to meet was killed in a freak accident the day before. It turns out that the deceased had been investigating a cult lead by Dr. Julian Karswell (Niall MacGinnis). Though a skeptic, Holden is suspicious of the devil-worshiping Karswell. Following a trail of mysterious manuscripts, Holden enters a world that makes him question his faith in science. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (17) Critics Reviews
      James Jackson Times (UK) ... 66 years on the demon will still send chills through you. Oct 30, 2023 Full Review Clark Collis Empire Magazine Night Of The Demon packs a powerful punch despite featuring no gore or, demon excepted, much in the way of special effects. Rated: 4/5 Oct 17, 2011 Full Review Dave Kehr Chicago Reader Intelligent, delicate, and actually frightening. Oct 17, 2011 Full Review Rob Aldam Backseat Mafia It's a beguiling and enveloping tale of the power of the occult and the susceptibility of the human mind to suggestion. Oct 30, 2018 Full Review MFB Critics Monthly Film Bulletin This essay in the occult is handled with much of the assurance the same director brought to Cat People, and is well above average. Feb 7, 2018 Full Review Film4 Staff Film4 A film that survives even its most unsubtle special effects to earn its place as not only one of the great films of British vintage cinema but also a classic supernatural thriller. Oct 17, 2011 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Blobbo X Scary for Blobbo kids. Memorable for adults, too.. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 04/06/24 Full Review Logan D A professor journeys to London for a conference to find his colleague has died under mysterious circumstances. It's in the trees! An exceptional horror film that deserves notice along with other classics. The creature effects are outstanding for its time. I loved the investigation into the death and how to prevent future murders. Trivia: Kate Bush's single, Hounds of Love, begin with a clip from the film. "It's in the trees! It's coming!" In the Rocky Horror Picture Show, the song Science Fiction Double Feature mentions the film. "Dana Andrews said prunes gave him the runes And passing them used lots of skills." Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/16/24 Full Review Linda W I first saw this film when I was 11, 1966. The setting was perfect. A stormy night, with high winds, late at night, on a sleepover, watched in the dark. The house was old, in the middle of fields and surrounded by trees. I love this film and it scared the **** out of me on first viewing, one of many. To me, it is a classic and always will be. Watch it, remembering cgi did not exist back then, and enjoy Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/03/24 Full Review Martin F A smart horror movie which confronts superstitions with practical mind. Despite some part that didn't age too well especially (and unfortunately) the demon that despite his rare apparition looks a little clunky. The story uses its simple premise to move cleverly the characters through its occult mystery. The charm of the 50's also help with sophisticated characters and the lack of technology which give a deeper edge to the characters' investigation. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 10/17/23 Full Review Robert B The suspense in this movie builds unrelentingly until the final scene of the film. One of the best, if not the best, horror films ever made. It does not rely on gore, but instead relies on your mind, where true horror lies. You ever have one of those dreams where you are desperately trying to escape some unseen or unknown visage and your feet simply do not want to move? That is this film. A true horror classic. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 10/01/23 Full Review Matthew B Curse of the Demon is not the cleverest or most artistic horror movie. It is not the most thrilling or scary horror movie either for that matter. Nonetheless if you ask me to name my favourite horror movie, I will reply without hesitation that it is Curse of the Demon. No other movie in this genre has managed to excite me as much, though it is hard to put my finger on why. Perhaps it is simply because the film is so well made, and manages the balance of chilling suspense, humour and human interest so well. This was not the first foray into horror by director Jacques Tourneur, who had already made Cat People, The Leopard Man and I Walked with a Zombie by this point. Curse of the Demon is a movie made in the same vein, with an emphasis on horror that is implied more often than it is seen. Shadows, sounds, unusual camera angles, musical effects and sudden jolts are what provide the scares here. Indeed sound itself adds to the jump scares, even when the scare is a false alarm. The leading Satanist reaches out for the movie's heroine, and the scene abruptly changes to show an ambulance ringing its bell loudly – it is unrelated to what happens to the heroine. The hero expresses his conviction that a demon will appear in just a few minutes, and we hear a whistle in the background, but it is only a train whistle. Although the horror in Curse of the Demon is mostly suggestive, it is more explicit than in earlier Tourneur movies, and this is the subject of some controversy. The producer Hal E Chester insisted on the inclusion of an actual demon in the story against the wishes of Tourneur, who wanted to leave audiences guessing whether there was a real threat to the characters, or whether the menace was a purely psychological one – a danger built up in the minds of the victims, and not an actual demon. As a result, we see the demon twice, at the beginning and at the end of the movie. It looks a little stiff and rubbery. One or two camera shots are repeated during both demon attacks, an easy way of saving money. However the demon was reasonably convincing for its day, and the shots of its smoking limbs carry a certain power. Some people still report having found the demon frightening, so it did serve its purpose. There may not be much artistic content in Curse of the Demon. Its only message is the rather dubious one that there is more in heaven and earth, and indeed hell, than is dreamed of in the philosophy of the cold rationalist. However, the film excels in style and suspense, and on this level it is aesthetically successful, and rarely disappoints the viewer. I wrote a longer appreciation (with spoilers) on my blog page if you would like to read more of my feelings about Curse of the Demon: https://themoviescreenscene.wordpress.com/2018/11/08/curse-of-the-demon-a-k-a-night-of-the-demon-1957/ Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/05/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis American professor John Holden (Dana Andrews) arrives in London for a conference on parapsychology only to discover that the colleague he was supposed to meet was killed in a freak accident the day before. It turns out that the deceased had been investigating a cult lead by Dr. Julian Karswell (Niall MacGinnis). Though a skeptic, Holden is suspicious of the devil-worshiping Karswell. Following a trail of mysterious manuscripts, Holden enters a world that makes him question his faith in science.
      Director
      Jacques Tourneur
      Producer
      Frank Bevis
      Screenwriter
      M.R. James, Charles Bennett, Hal E. Chester, Charles De Latour
      Distributor
      Image Entertainment Inc., Columbia Pictures, GoodTimes Home Video [us]
      Production Co
      Columbia Pictures Corporation, Sabre Film Production
      Genre
      Horror
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Feb 28, 1958, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jan 1, 2012
      Runtime
      1h 22m
      Sound Mix
      Mono
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