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Dr. John Holden ventures to London to attend a paranormal psychology symposium with the intention to expose devil cult leader Julian Karswell. Holden is a skeptic and does not believe in Karswell's power. Nonetheless, he accepts an invitation to stay at Karswell's estate, along with Joanna Harrington, niece of Holden's confidant who was electrocuted in a bizarre automobile accident. Karswell secretly slips a parchment into Holden's papers that might possibly be a death curse. Recurring strange events finally strike fear into Holden, who believes that his only hope is to pass the parchment back to Karswell to break the demonic curse. Written by
Rick Gregory <email@example.com>
Beginning in the 1980s, Columbia Pictures replaced their edited 83-minute U.S. version with the uncut original 95-minute version while retaining the U.S. title "Curse of the Demon." The various video releases, and pay-tv showings, have used this restored version. A DVD release contained both versions. See more »
When Karswell is chasing after the parchment, passing through several train cars in the process, the sound suggests that the train is still moving and at high speed. In the next cut Karswell is jumping out of the train that has suddenly come to a full stop at the station. The transition between fast moving train and stopped train is too abrupt. See more »
It has been written since the beginning of time, even unto these ancient stones, that evil supernatural creatures exist in a world of darkness. And it is also said man using the magic power of the ancient runic symbols can call forth these powers of darkness, the demons of Hell.
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"Night of the Demon" is, hands down, one of the most superb horror/occult thriller films ever made, and that's particularly remarkable because the original concept got pampered with a lot of additional ideas and effects the director didn't agree on. Jacques Tourneur ("Cat People", "the Leopard Man") initially wanted to put the emphasis purely on the psychological aspects, but the money-suppliers didn't like this and insisted on bringing an actual demonic monster into the movie. It would be enormously interesting to see the non-existing version like Tourneur imagined it, as then you'd constantly be wondering whether the occurring events are real or all just going on inside the characters' heads. This creative and innovating (for 1957, at least) impact is naturally ruined by explicitly showing the hideous demon early in the film, so it's extra praiseworthy that the whole finished product is still extremely suspenseful. The plot revolves on a headstrong and overly rational scientist who travels from the States to England, exclusively to prove that the supposed blackly magical powers of a certain Dr. Julian Karswell are all just a swindle. Even the mysterious circumstances surrounding his overseas partner's death as well as multiple warnings from close friends and colleagues can't convince Dr. John Holden to abort his mission to expose Karswell as a fraud. The latter eagerly accepts this challenge and places a curse on Dr. Holden that gradually becomes eerier and pretty much inescapable the curse of the demon! This is a marvelously atmospheric and genuinely unsettling horror masterpiece! The dialogues and acting performances of the entire cast are downright impeccable and the script (adapted from a story by M.R. James) is so intense & persuasive that you almost begin to believe in the supernatural yourself! Ever encountered a film that has such an impact on you? "Night of the Demon" is very likely to become the first. Several sequences showing our good Dr. Holden pursued by evil forces are truly haunting, while the stylish black & white photography and the beautiful set pieces only increase this effect. You can honestly trust the high IMDb-rating and the praising reviews on this one; "Night of the Demon" is one of those rare films that every self-respecting horror fan simply HAS TO see for him/herself.
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