Late Night with the Devil Review

I was something of a night owl growing up. I would stay up late and watch Johnny Carson, David Letterman and Tom Synder. Nowadays, I watch the current crop of late night shows but there was something about those early shows that felt more genuine. Enter Jack Delroy, played brilliantly by David Dastmalchian, as the host of Night Owls. Capturing the feel of those early era talk-shows, Late Night with the Devil,  gives us a peek into a special Halloween episode that goes array due to a certain guest’s appearance. 

This premise alone is pretty awesome and scary at the same time. Jack has not been doing well in the ratings and hopes that this episode will push him back to the top. Late Night with the Devil is presented to the audience in a found footage format. The movie switches back and forth from video recorded during the taping and backstage footage from a documentary team that was on set. This footage helps the viewer see what was going on behind the scenes and how the pressure of getting good ratings is hurting Jack. 

What the movie does great is build up a slow burn. As the show progresses we see the opening monologue and the banter between Jack and his announcer, Gus, played by Rhys Auteri. Little by little things start getting weird especially after their first guest Christou, played by Fayssal Bazzi, has a strange moment with his act. This is the beginning of things going off the rails but Jack wants to continue and get to the final guests: Parapsychologist June Ross-Mitchell, played by Laura Gordon and the lone survivor of a satanic cult mass suicide, Lily, played by Ingrid Torelli . The producer of the show is telling Jack that they need to stop but he wants to continue. 

Of all the times that we have seen Dastmalchian in the background, it is great to see him in this lead role. David embodies the souls of late night hosts in this movie. Through his charisma and strange charm he eases you into your seat and makes you feel safe even though everything is going crazy around him. Not only do we feel charmed by him but we feel his pain when we learn about his wife’s story and the suffering he has been going through. If Night Owls was a real show I would definitely stay up every night to watch it. 

While the slow build up may not be for everyone, Late Night with the Devil attacks you in the final moments like Hereditary, The Lord of Salem, and The Blair Witch Project. This is one of those movies that the build up pays the viewer in the end. 

Final Thoughts: Late Night with the Devil gives us a future cult-classic that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end. David Dastmalchian’s performance is spectacular and pulls you into the movie. The erie atmosphere of being on a sound stage watching the show doesn’t prepare you for the eruptive ending. Late Night with the Devil will be talked about for years to come. 

Kid-Friendly: This is not a movie for younger kids and might be on the border for some of the older ones. The pacing might be too slow but older kids will be able to stick with it until the end. 

Violence: While there is no violence in the form of fights, there are a lot of moments that are too graphic for younger kids to see.  

October 31, 1977. Johnny Carson rival Jack Delroy hosts a syndicated late night talk show ‘Night Owls’ that has long been a trusted companion to insomniacs around the country. A year after the tragic death of Jack’s wife, ratings have plummeted. Desperate to turn his fortunes around, Jack plans a Halloween special like no other, unaware that he is about to unleash evil into the living rooms of America.

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