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Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

“Late Night with the Devil” combines late-night television and demons

This past weekend, I saw “Late Night with the Devil” at the AMC Theater on the Waterfront. I was floored by the end of it. It takes the top spot for the best horror film I have seen in theaters in recent years and is my favorite found footage film to date. 


As a fan of ‘70s late-night television and older Halloween aesthetics, I was completely hooked on the movie when I first watched the trailer. This found footage film is set at the height of late-night television in the 1970s. 


The introduction was set up like a vintage documentary. A narrator highlights Jack Delroy’s ups and downs as a live late-night host for the show “Nightowls,” covering everything from being the next big thing, to the subsequent loss of ratings, to the anticipation of surpassing Johnny Carson for views. The fame-obsessed Delroy is played by David Dastmalchian, who gives his most emotionally charged performance to date. He is also involved in this weird owl cult, an organization that creates a sense of suspicion.


Satanic Panic started in the ‘70s, accompanied by the rise of the macabre and skepticism about the spiritual world. Tabloid media and late-night television became the perfect medium for informing audiences on these phenomena, exploiting and spreading misinformation about occult religious practices and the spiritual world. Some individuals were fakes and doing it for views, while others honestly sought to investigate demonic activity. 


This sets up the reason why the late-night host decides to host a Halloween show for him to get the views he needs to be on top of the world again. The show featured a psychic, a skeptic magician and a doctor who had been investigating a little girl with a demon living inside her. That little girl, Lily, was a young victim of sacrifices done by a satanic cult and miraculously escaped a three-day shootout and a fatal fire that killed everyone else in the cult.


The live Halloween show is the basis of the film, and it all goes haywire. The demon wreaks havoc on the set throughout the whole film. Little occurrences would happen that could easily be passed off as a joke being pulled by the late-night host and the studio workers, which was predictable for it being a Halloween show. The small incidents start becoming larger and more catastrophic, and towards the end of the show, complete pandemonium ensues. 


What makes this film different is that the cameras keep rolling behind the scenes, so we get to see the conversations happening behind the scenes. Conversations between the late-night host, the lead producer and the rest of the crew are seen. The skeptic is also shown doing his investigating and trying to debunk the demonic activity on set. Most of these scenes are shown with two cameras, so two points of view are shown, which allows for viewers to inhabit the role of a live, sit-in audience.


Even though the effects are cheesy, it all looks very real since the television film from the ‘70s is fuzzy. At the height of the climax, the film switches from this older film, and begins to look like a more modern movie. The audience can get a glimpse of Jack Delroy’s psychological breakdown. The change in the camera angles, the lighting and the set design helps express the overall psychological confusion and distress that Delroy goes through at the end of the film. The plot twist was so mind-altering that my jaw hit the ground, and I could not stop watching for a second.  


Currently, the film is being shown in select theaters. People can go see the film at the AMC Waterfront location and the Cinemark location in Robinson. It is a Shudder film and is expected to be streaming on the horror streaming service on April 19.

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