Late Night with the Devil cast crowded around young girl strapped to a chair

Late Night with the Devil

April 19, 2024
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I almost wonder if seeing this one at home in the dead hours of the night might have made the viewing experience even better, you know, it being about a late night talk show gone off the rails and all.

Taking place during a live Halloween night taping of the fictional 1977 talk show, Night Owls with Jack Delroy, Late Night with the Devil brings viewers into the middle of a debate about what’s real and what’s fake when it comes to the spooky and unnatural. Inviting three distinctly different talents on-air to inject some much-needed life — and hopefully ratings — into his floundering show, Jack Delroy (David Dastmalchian) brings together a popular yet questionable psychic named Christou (Fayssal Bazzi), a skeptical yet talented magician, Carmichael the Conjurer (Ian Bliss), and the pair of parapsychologist Dr. June Ross-Mitchell (Laura Gordon), and her study subject Lilly D’Abo (Ingrid Torelli) — a girl who is allegedly possessed by a demon named “Mr. Wiggles.” It isn’t long before Jack’s broadcast begins to take a turn for the disturbing as a series of odd and downright unexplainable events hit one after the other, throwing into question if Jack and his guests are making everything up as a last-ditch effort to save the show, or if everything that’s happening is a completely real and a completely unscripted trip into the terrifying void of the unknown.

A film that does right by a hook that could have easily been used as an uninspired gimmick for less talented filmmakers to abuse, Late Night with the Devil excels when immersing audiences in Jack Delroy’s talk show, with its single location adding to the uncertainty felt by the characters as the story takes twists and turns that don’t end well for anyone. A satisfying slow burn for most of the movie, it’s the build-up of tension layered on top of an increasing feeling of dread that helps Late Night grab you and not let go, with each minute passing quite literally giving the audience front-row seats to Jack’s swiftly sinking ship of a show. Thanks to the anchoring performance of Dastmalchian, Late Night with the Devil feels as if it’s in capable hands right from the start, making the journey Jack and his guests go through that much more horrifying to experience, to say nothing about the rest of the cast doing the same when needed.

Though not without its flaws, if I had any complaints about this one, it would be that by the third act, things felt more rushed than I would have liked, something that felt incredibly off for this film, especially considering how nicely it took its time up until that point. Couple that with some “behind-the-scenes” sequences feeling a little too “rehearsed” as opposed to feeling more voyeuristic and “off-the-cuff” in the way the film pitches these segments and it’s not until the final ten minutes or so that, while deliciously insane and appropriate for the story being told, the production’s low budget is made obvious.

Late Night with the Devil isn’t exactly going to scare the daylights out of anyone, but it does a commendable job of holding you in the grip of an impressively structured and incredibly measured story that uses its cast, concept, and filmmaking to the fullest while giving audiences something fresh to enjoy and think over in the lead up to a bonkers ending that admittedly, might not be for everyone. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one becomes a cult hit in a few years time, so be sure to check out Late Night with the Devil when it hits the small screen.

I almost wonder if seeing this one at home in the dead hours of the night might have made the viewing experience even better, you know, it being about a late night talk show gone off the rails and all. Taking place during a live Halloween night taping of the fictional 1977 talk show, Night Owls with Jack Delroy, Late Night with the Devil brings viewers into the middle of a debate about what’s real and what’s fake when it comes to the spooky and unnatural. Inviting three distinctly different talents on-air to inject some much-needed life — and hopefully ratings — into his floundering show, Jack Delroy (David Dastmalchian) brings together a popular yet questionable psychic named Christou (Fayssal Bazzi), a skeptical yet talented magician, Carmichael the Conjurer (Ian Bliss), and the pair of parapsychologist Dr. June Ross-Mitchell (Laura Gordon), and her study subject Lilly D’Abo (Ingrid Torelli) — a girl who is allegedly possessed by a demon named “Mr. Wiggles.” It isn’t long before Jack’s broadcast begins to take a turn for the disturbing as a series of odd and downright unexplainable events hit one after the other, throwing into question if Jack and his guests are making everything up as a last-ditch effort to save the show, or if everything that’s happening is a completely real and a completely unscripted trip into the terrifying void of the unknown. A film that does right by a hook that could have easily been used as an uninspired gimmick for less talented filmmakers to abuse, Late Night with the Devil excels when immersing audiences in Jack Delroy’s talk show, with its single location adding to the uncertainty felt by the characters as the story takes twists and turns that don’t end well for anyone. A satisfying slow burn for most of the movie, it’s the build-up of tension layered on top of an increasing feeling of dread that helps Late Night grab you and not let go, with each minute passing quite literally giving the audience front-row seats to Jack’s swiftly sinking ship of a show. Thanks to the anchoring performance of Dastmalchian, Late Night with the Devil feels as if it’s in capable hands right from the start, making the journey Jack and his guests go through that much more horrifying to experience, to say nothing about the rest of the cast doing the same when needed. Though not without its flaws, if I had any complaints about this one, it would be that by the third act, things felt more rushed than I would have liked, something that felt incredibly off for this film, especially considering how nicely it took its time up until that point. Couple that with some “behind-the-scenes” sequences feeling a little too “rehearsed” as opposed to feeling more voyeuristic and "off-the-cuff" in the way the film pitches these segments and it's not until the final ten minutes or so that, while deliciously insane and appropriate for the story being told, the production's low budget…

8

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The Verdict

8

8

Brian is first and foremost a nerd in every way shape and form. He likes to compare himself to a black hole, consuming any and every form of entertainment unlucky enough to get caught in his gravitational pull. It's not uncommon on any given day for him to read a couple comics, settle down with a good book, watch a few movies (inside and out of the theater), catch up on his ever growing but never depleting Hulu queue, challenge himself with a few good video games, listen to any music he can get his hands on and, of course, write his heart out. He spends every waking moment dreaming up interesting and intriguing concepts and ideas that will hopefully one day inspire and entertain anyone looking for an escape from their daily lives. Graduating from Full Sail University in good old humid Florida, Brian currently lives and works in New York City and is waiting for the day when all he has to do is wake up and create something unique and new for people to enjoy. He is always in the process of writing scripts and stories and is constantly on the lookout for ways to enhance and build his creative drive. After all, life is just one big story, all that really matters is how you strive to make it the best story possible. Disclaimer: Brian does not actually have powdered green skin in case anyone was wondering. A Skrull I am not. Blame the guys at the Color Run for this one.

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