Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dark Night

Night of the Demon (1957) - Tourneur
An American psychiatrist, Dr. Holden (Dana Andrews) is summoned to London to help investigate a satanic cult involved in the death of a farmer. There he encounters the insidious cult leader Karswell (Niall MacGinnis) and Joanna (Peggy Cummins), a niece of a freshly deceased, corresponding British scientist. Very skeptical of anything hocus pocus, Holden nevertheless is embroiled in supernatural, coincidental happenings all around him. Karswell's prediction of his death on certain date doesn't help his state of mind either.

Not unlike Jacques Tourneur's better done films that deal with supernatural (I Walk with a Zombie, Cat People), Night of the Demon (Curse of the Demon is the US release title) is filled with Tourneur signature atmospheric lighting and eerie mood throughout. I hear he was dead against and lost the battle in showing the close up of the demon which appears in the beginning and end of the film. And it's totally understandable why he was opposed to it. But still, the special effects (the demon materializing from the smoke in the sky) are pretty spectacular for its day and pretty unsettling.

Cat People Review

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