- Movie Rating -

Late Night With the Devil

| March 23, 2024

Late Night With the Devil is about as fascinating as it is frustrating.  It’s the same problem that I had with GHOSTBUSTERS FROZEN EMPIRE but, even at its flaws, I liked this one a lot better because even with its flaws, it is wildly entertaining and features a star-making performance by David Dastmalchian.

Framed as a Found Footage movie, Late Night with the Devil is structured lost footage around a nefarious 1977 episode of a fictional late night talk show called ‘Night Owls with Jack Delroy’, a show that is hanging on by its toes to stay on the air mainly because it persistently trails just a few points behind Johnny Carson in the ratings.

Jack’s ‘Late Night’ is a panel show, close in spirit to The Mike Douglas Show or Donahue.  He brings on a panel of yahoos that need to sell books or just want attention.  The focus of the found footage is the annual Halloween show with guests including a psychic, a skeptic and a parapsychologist who is doing research on Lilly, a survivor of the mass suicide of a Satanic cult who is rumored to be possessed.

What could possibly go wrong?

The lineup is just a desperate plea to, one again, get enough points to take over Carson – and for Jack, it’s an opportunity to regain some respect in a career that is circling the drain.  On a personal note, it would also be a personal boost after the recent death of his beloved wife.

It is into this context that the Halloween show airs, and what happens, I won’t spoil.  Suffice to say it goes from bad to worse to horribly out of control. 

I liked LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL, because at its best – its actually scary.  The third act, which goes on a full Ark of the Covenant rampage and is wonderfully grisly, though I might have liked a little more mystery.  The question of whether or not Lily is possessed is definitively answered and, by the end, there is never any question or mystery that what we’ve seen is real.   I might have liked a film that was a little tighter, like making the footage JUST the TV show.  I might have preferred if the filmmakers – Australian brothers Cameron and Colin Cairnes – pair the film down to just the episode – or maybe make it a documentary.  There are too many distractions that break the narrative flow, like the commercial breaks that go black and white and the opening narration that sets things up.

But this is a movie that you really don’t want to ‘film critic’ to death.  It needs some tidying up but you’re so engaged that you’re willing to overlook that.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2024) View IMDB Filed in: Horror