3 items from 2010
Night Of The Demon (1958)
This of you who watched Mark Gatiss’ excellent three part documentary The History of Horror will have seen the nod he gave to Jacques Tourneur’s excellent movie Night of the Demon (Curse of the Demon in the Us), recently released on DVD.
The film deals with eminent parapsychologist Dr John Holden (Dana Andrews) who comes to England for a conference on the paranormal and finds himself embroiled in and victim to a demonic curse. The curse has been placed by Julian Karswell, who runs a demonic cult at risk of exposure at the conference.
The 'unseen' terror is widely thought to be the sharpest and deepest chill in a horror movie, but it's not always there because the producers are showing restraint. Ridley Scott and and all subsequent Alien franchise directors kept exposure to the xenomorph brief in order to hide the fact that the alien was 'a man in a suit' (and additionally in the case of Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection, to hide the contemporary limitations of puppeteering and CGI, respectively).
Thus Jacque Tourneur's acclaimed adaptation of M.R. James' chilling short story Casting The Runes has always been associated with notions that the prosthetic demon featured in the movie was a late add-on by nervous producers. Tourneur himself said, in 1966:
"The film was interesting apart from the appearance of a monster who was added after the event, after my departure from [film production] in London"
Some say Night Of The Demon would »
Film Noir Classic Collection: Vol. 5, has dusted off eight films of the celebrated genre and adapted them to DVD format. Collections like these, which bring older films to newer light, are godsends regardless (to a degree) of which films are selected, because as timeless as some of these stories and performances might be, the barrier of being stuck in an old format can bury them forever. And these stories deserve to be told. If you watch a few well made noir thrillers you will no doubt see the seeds that were planted in the heads of crime-thriller filmmakers the likes of Martin Scorsese or Michael Mann. Though there are better films in the noir genre that this collection could have culminated, there are also a lot worse. Any fan of noir films or old mysteries and thrillers will be pleased at what this box set has to offer.
- Ryan Katona
3 items from 2010
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