Night of the Demon (1957) starring Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis, Maurice Denham, Athene Seyler, Liam Redmond, Reginald Beckwith, Ewan Roberts directed by Jacques Tourneur Movie Review

Night of the Demon (1957)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Niall MacGinnis and Dana Andrews in Night of the Demon (1957)

A Cursed Night

American psychologist Dr. John Holden (Dana Andrews) arrives in Britain for a major conference about the paranormal but his interest in being there is to prove that cult leader Dr. Karswell (Niall MacGinnis) is a fake. On the invitation of Karswell Holden agrees to be a guest at his home along with Joanna Harrington (Peggy Cummins) the daughter of a man who died when his car was involved in an accident with a power cable. But strange things start to happen which not only scare Holden but make him consider that Karswell may not be the phoney he believes him to be.

I have watched "Night of the Demon" three times; the first time at 2 in the morning, then at 10 at night and finally at 2 in the afternoon. But the thing is that I didn't watch it three times because it blew me away but in search of why this horror movie from the 1950's has blown away so many other people or appears to have by the number of glowing reviews which I stumbled across. Unfortunately despite trying to I still don't see what it is which gets many people so enamoured with this old horror movie.

Now in fairness if I sat there with a list of things I would want from a horror movie "Night of the Demon" ticks many of the boxes with atmosphere, intelligence, frights and so on, even a decision to show us a demon works even though we are talking 1950s demon in a rubber costume. But whilst it ticks countless boxes it just fails to draw me in to the unfolding drama and that may come from it being a dialogue heavy movie where during the build up a lot of the dialogue is not needed, padding to make "Night of the Demon" around the 90 minute mark.

What this all boils down to is that in truth I was disappointed by "Night of the Demon" as after reading so many reviews which praised it to the hilt it actually left me under whelmed. It's not so much that it doesn't have the right ingredients to be effective but it just lacks something which draws you in to the unfolding drama.