The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

“Late Night with the Devil” Review: A stylish, fear-inducing masterpiece

“Late Night with the Devil” Review: A stylish, fear-inducing masterpiece - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Courtesy of IMDb

It’s Halloween night 1977, and a diabolical entity lurks among the set of “Night Owls with Jack Delroy.” It’s the perfect setup for “Late Night with the Devil,” a horror/comedy film released March 22. This thriller will make the viewer jump and hide in fear, while at the same time laughing their guts out. 

“Late Night with the Devil” depicts a late night talk show and its host Jack Delroy played by David Dastmalchian. Having recently lost his wife to lung cancer, Jack struggles as he tries to boost his show’s ratings, which have been clobbered by rival show “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” 

Desperate, Jack invites Lilly D’Abo — played by Ingrid Torelli — to the show. Lilly is possessed by the devil. Though Lilly is at first subdued with the help of Dr. June Ross-Mitchell’s practices – played by Laura Golden –,  Jack insists June allow him and the studio audience to commune with the devil that resides in Lilly.

Torelli’s portrayal of a possessed young girl is terrifyingly convincing. Her performance makes the viewer cringe and cautiously peek behind covered eyes to see what she will do next.

The film is amusing at first, but anxiety progressively leaks into the glitzy atmosphere.

“Late Night with the Devil” will grab the viewer and drag them through the flames that are the catastrophic consequences resulting from what a talk show host will do to stop at nothing to boost their ratings. 

The film is packed with clever dialogue, as the characters glide through their lines and well-written script depicting how real-life television personalities might communicate.  

Directors Cameron Cairnes and Colin Cairnes beautifully capture the flair of classic late night television through a convincingly vintage ‘70s setting paired with the matter-of-factness found footage style the movie is filmed in.

Dastmalchian masterfully portrays his character by displaying an accurate late night talk show host persona: witty, personable, charming and funny. The way he executes his performance makes it evident of being well thought-out and studied: casting Dastmalchian to play this role was a brilliant idea for the film.

After a dramatic roller coaster of shock and horror, half-way through the film, the viewer will question if they’ve been spared the shocking and disturbing sights. However, the film is fear-inducing from start to finish. The viewer’s eyes will be glued to the screen as the many frightfully captivating tragedies unfold –  the scenes are something the viewer might not have ever seen before.

Don’t sleep with the lights off after watching this chilling masterpiece of a film. The mind will see shadows in the dark corners and sleep will be seized from eerie suspicions that evil is lurking in the room.

About the Author

Victoria Arredondo
Assistant Editor
Victoria Arredondo is a senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio majoring in English and communications and minoring in psychology. Victoria received her associate degree from Palo Alto College along with her high school diploma in 2018 from Frank L. Madla Early College High School. In her downtime, Victoria enjoys reading, writing poetry and short stories, watching horror movies and spending time with friends. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in journalism.

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