7.5/10
10,800
215 user 90 critic

Curse of the Demon (1957)

Night of the Demon (original title)
Not Rated | | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery | 30 March 1958 (USA)
American professor John Holden arrives in London for a parapsychology conference, only to find himself investigating the mysterious actions of Devil-worshiper Julian Karswell.

Director:

Jacques Tourneur

Writers:

Charles Bennett (screenplay), Hal E. Chester (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Cat People (1942)
Fantasy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Simone Simon, Tom Conway, Kent Smith
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Canadian nurse is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner, who has been acting strangely, on a Caribbean island.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison
Dead of Night (1945)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Architect Walter Craig (Mervyn Johns) senses impending doom as his half-remembered recurring dream turns into reality. The guests at the country house encourage him to stay as they take turns telling supernatural tales.

Directors: Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Mervyn Johns, Michael Redgrave, Roland Culver
The Innocents (1961)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

On a Greek island during the 1912 war, several people are trapped by quarantine for the plague. If that isn't enough worry, one of the people, a superstitious old peasant woman, suspects ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Boris Karloff, Ellen Drew, Marc Cramer
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A ruthless doctor and his young prize student find themselves continually harassed by their murderous supplier of illegal cadavers.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Henry Daniell
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Devil worshipers plan to convert two new victims.

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Christopher Lee, Charles Gray, Nike Arrighi
The Haunting (1963)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the English village of Midwich, the blonde-haired, glowing-eyed children of uncertain paternity prove to have frightening powers.

Director: Wolf Rilla
Stars: George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Michael Gwynn
The Uninvited (1944)
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A composer and his sister discover that the reason they are able to purchase a beautiful gothic seacoast mansion very cheaply is the house's unsavory past.

Director: Lewis Allen
Stars: Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.

Director: Herk Harvey
Stars: Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman who may be a witch defends her husband from forces attempting to harm him.

Director: Sidney Hayers
Stars: Peter Wyngarde, Janet Blair, Margaret Johnston
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dana Andrews ... John Holden
Peggy Cummins ... Joanna Harrington
Niall MacGinnis ... Doctor Julian Karswell
Maurice Denham ... Professor Henry Harrington
Athene Seyler ... Mrs. Karswell
Liam Redmond ... Mark O'Brien
Reginald Beckwith Reginald Beckwith ... Mr. Meek
Ewan Roberts ... Lloyd Williamson
Peter Elliott Peter Elliott ... Kumar
Rosamund Greenwood Rosamund Greenwood ... Mrs. Meek
Brian Wilde ... Rand Hobart
Richard Leech ... Inspector Mottram
Lloyd Lamble ... Detective Simmons
Peter Hobbes Peter Hobbes ... Superintendent
Charles Lloyd Pack Charles Lloyd Pack ... Chemist (as Charles Lloyd-Pack)
Edit

Storyline

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 <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Terrifying!! All the Dark Forces of Black Magic ... Hurled Against a Man And a Woman Who Dare To Scoff! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 March 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Curse of the Demon See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Dana Andrews was so impressed with director Jacques Tourneur that when he returned to the United States he had Tourneur direct his next film, The Fearmakers (1958). See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Holden meets Joanna Harrington at the funeral, she says she needs to talk to him. He suggests that they meet at his hotel that night. She agrees and leaves. At no point did Holden tell her which hotel or room he was staying in. The next scene, she arrives at his hotel room. There is no evidence that the newspapers reported where he was staying, so how did she find which hotel without his help? London does have more than one hotel. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: 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.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Despite bearing the title "Curse of the Demon", the print currently available on videotape and television in the USA is actually the original longer (UK) cut. See more »


Soundtracks

Plain Song
(uncredited)
Music by Fela Sowande
Chappell Recorded Music Library
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Ever wonder where the RHPS line "Dana Andrews said prunes, gave him the runes" came from? This is the movie!
30 November 2003 | by GafkeSee all my reviews

"Curse of the Demon" (aka "Night of the Demon") is one of those weird little lost films that everyone agrees is wonderful and yet very few people seem to have actually seen. This is one of those rare British movies that is set, not in the city, but rather in the chilly, fog-choked countryside where little seems to have changed since Stonehenge was built. Niall McGinnis holds sway here as the impish leader of a Satanic cult, who swiftly dispatches of his critics by summoning a huge, horrific demon to rip them to shreds.

Into this isolated world walks psychologist John Holden, played by yet another seriously underrated actor, Dana Andrews. Andrews, who made a name for himself playing tough guys in films like "Laura" and "The Best Years of Our Lives" is wonderful here as the skeptical, even slightly smarmy, American who absolutely refuses to believe in demons, even when strange, unexplainable things begin to happen to him. Peggy Cummins is his love interest, the open minded schoolteacher whose uncle may have been a victim of the Demon. Niall McGinnis is disturbingly likable as the head of the Demon Cult, chucking aside a chance to play Aleister Crowley and opting for Benny Hill instead. He is very disarming as the films central villain, and Andrews confusion mirrors our own as the movie stalks relentlessly through a seance, a stormy Halloween party and a frightening hypnosis session to its surprisingly violent conclusion.

This movie is, by turns, sarcastically funny, suffocatingly tense and shockingly scary. The demon looks a little corny nowadays, and was revealed much too quickly with no suspenseful build-up, but the movie is so smart, so moody, so creepy and well done with an excellent cast to boot, that one can easily forgive the demon, which looks a lot like a slightly deformed bear with a pig nose and goat horns.

This is an excellent adaption of the short story "Casting the Runes" by M. R. James and still has the power to scare even 50 years later. Highly recommended!


92 of 101 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 215 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed