Late Night with the Devil

Late night with the devil
Late night with the devil
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The Cairnes brothers, Cameron and Colin, offer something entirely different combining humor and horror in their film Late Night with the Devil based on the shady world of 1970s talk shows. The role of over-achieving television host Jack Delroy was played by David Dastmalchian. This is a movie that has done an excellent job of keeping me involved with its chilling narratives and an aesthetics of the 70s which make it a memorable horror comedy.

Everyone wants to be great in his or her area of work. However, sometimes being good or even great may just fall short for you. But is there any way through which one can move past this narrow margin and become all those things he/she ever dreamt? Would you take it, or just let it slip? What is then generally regarded as “the price” for greatness? In their new horror comedy Late Night with the Devil, Cameron and Colin Cairnes answer this question through their lead character Jack Delroy who pushes himself to extreme just to attain his success rates needed in his television program.

Plot and Execution

The plot revolves around Jack Delroy (played by David Dastmalchian) who finds himself caught up in a race against time to outdo Johnny Carson at everything he does before he retires from showbiz industry. Somehow, though, Jack’s talk show Night Owls with Jack Delroy never managed to top rating charts. Later on, after ending up losing his beloved girlfriend’s love forever, everything begins falling apart for him starting right from this moment but not until one Halloween special episode where he decides to bring together some rather odd characters.

Some of his guests were psychic Christou (Fayssal Bazzi), magician-turned-exposer Carmichael the Conjurer (Ian Bliss), parapsychologist cum author June Ross-Mitchell (Laura Gordon) and a survivor of mass suicide organized by the Satanic church called Lily (Ingrid Torelli) who comes with her own demon friend, Mr Wiggles.

Jack was desperate to break loose from his mediocrity and somehow do something incredible so as to become a star overnight, usurp Johnny Carson at his own game. With the involvement of one girl having past connections with Satanism and a pet demon, this show’s producers along with Jack thought to pull all stops in summoning that evil on live TV. Did it work? Maybe, yes. Was it therefore good idea? Most likely not.

Late Night with the Devil creepily gets under your skin making you peek around corners more than once before leaving the theater. It is an ode to 70s time when talk shows were where people went for entertainment and talk show hosts were celebrities. The film has two different color schemes which give it a unique touch and keep everything simple for the viewers. The movie combines horror comedy with chilling aspects making it successful in keeping its audience pinned down on their seats.


David Dastmalchian is impressive in the lead role; not only did he revive 70s talk shows but he also cleverly threw witty punches and one-liners to wow us all. His portrayal of Jack Delroy mediocres the character, both complimenting its popularity and exposing its limitations. Fayssal Bazzi’s Christou had only a few scenes where his impact was low yet significant and he made the most out of them. Special props to Ian Bliss for playing a character that is both likeable and hateable at the same time. Although Laura Gordon’s Ingrid didn’t make much difference in the story line, her performance as a possessed little girl was just spot on and it was simply creepy when she directly looked into camera.

In general, the entire cast including producer, studio crew and other recurring faces have done well by sticking to their characters as well as following what the movie is about.

Late Night with the Devil: Direction

The Cairnes’ horror flick is far from scary, instead it reads like a thought experiment; thus it’s camaraderie between them which doesn’t let them lose sight of what this film bases itself upon [.] How does this look? You can easily judge how each director had a respective role in making this film because it migrates across two different kinds of narrative styles.

The Verdict

This remains one of its genres MUST SEE movies due to its crafty blending of 70s talk show background with an eerie horror story. Amidst all these sardonic remarks there are some performances that leave you scratching your head and thinking about life – truly thought provoking film by Cairnes brothers who know how to unsettle you through their movies. This twisted little gem deserves 4 stars for combining humor, horror, and disco-era showbiz in such an original way.

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