Channelling demonic forces

From left, Ingrid Torelli, David Dastmalchian and Laura Gordon in "Late Night with the Devil."...
From left, Ingrid Torelli, David Dastmalchian and Laura Gordon in "Late Night with the Devil." PHOTO: IFC Films/TNS
I would be upsetting my own moral compass if I didn’t preface this review by expressing my profound disappointment with the filmmakers’ decision to incorporate generative AI into the film. It is truly a shame because this stands out as a remarkable addition to 21st century horror cinema. 

Late Night with the Devil (Rialto) centres on Jack Delroy (David Dastmalchian), a ’70s talk show host whose Halloween special takes a dark turn. 

As the night progresses, Delroy’s sinister inclinations surface, and the supernatural comes alive, culminating in a crescendo of chilling hysteria that simultaneously terrifies, repulses, and captivates. For 93 minutes you’re immersed as a member of Night Owl’s very own live studio audience. Framed as a behind-the-scenes documentary, you never leave Delroy’s side, emphasising the frenetic pace of live television.

The Cairnes’ direction infuses the film with a demonic ambiance, echoing the satanic panic of the  period in the US. The retro aesthetic is refreshing, the horror atmosphere pervasive, and the glimpses of demonic imagery are spellbinding. There is a flair here that makes me excited to see where these directors go next.

Known for his memorable cameos in films like Mulholland Drive, The Dark Knight, and Prisoners, seeing Dastmalchian lead a film is a welcome sight. His presence is magnetic; a captivating figure (and a captivating film) worth tuning in for on a late night.


Director: Cameron Cairnes, Colin Cairnes
Cast: David Dastmalchian, Ian Bliss, Rhys Auteri, Laura Gordon, Fayssal Bazzi, Josh Quong Tart
Rating: (R13)