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Curse of the Demon (1958)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0

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Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 3,896

My Rating

Movie Info

In this film, American Professor Dana Andrews investigates a devil-worshipping cult active in England. The cult has apparently been responsible for more than one death in recent months. When Andrews comes too close to the cult for comfort, the devil-worshipping leader slips a cursed parchment into Andrews' research files. This 1958 American release is a re-edit of Tourneur's original 1957 British film. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi

Aug 13, 2002

Columbia Pictures

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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (0) | DVD (13)

Intelligent, delicate, and actually frightening.

October 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the finest thrillers made in England during the '50s.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Night Of The Demon packs a powerful punch despite featuring no gore or, demon excepted, much in the way of special effects.

October 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A film that survives even its most unsubtle special effects to earn its place as not only one of the great films of British vintage cinema but also a classic supernatural thriller.

October 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

As in any Tourneur horror film there are some unforgettably nightmarish sequences.

October 17, 2011 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

One of the most intelligent and thoughtful horror films ever made.

July 23, 2008 Full Review Source: ESplatter
ESplatter

Classic with extraordinary atmosphere.

August 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

It's a movie that many people remember with affection and respect from their childhoods -- because it scared the crap out of them.

April 6, 2006 Full Review Source: DVDJournal.com | Comment (1)
DVDJournal.com

Eerie, low budget horror classic.

October 15, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

As a horror film, there may never have been a better one.

February 4, 2004 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

This was a first-rate classic horror story, whose richness is enhanced because the shock scenes are understated and left mostly to one's imagination.

April 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

I love all of Tourneur's work.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for Curse of the Demon

I absolutely loved this horror movie. The story is classic, but also modern. The actors are great. And the ending is way cool. If you've seen the new movie, Drag Me to Hell, you'll see many similarities with this movie.
November 17, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

creepy and atmospheric occult thriller with plenty of tourneur's signature style, marred somewhat by campy special effects
July 15, 2008
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Based on an M.R. James story called "Casting of the Runes", in certain respects "Night of the Demon" brilliantly anticipates Richard Matheson's adaptation of Dennis Wheatley's "The Devil Rides Out". The crucial difference between the two movies is that, here, Dana Andrews' smugly rational paranormal investigator, sent to discredit a charismatic black magician (Niall MacGinnis), is stubbornly sceptical of the malevolent forces gathering about him, whereas in Terence Fisher's movie, Christopher Lee's occult scholar is only too aware of the dread evil he is battling. Due to the producer's unfortunate insistence that the audience actually got to see the demon, Jacques Tourneur's suggestive horror mastery is completely undermined at the start and close of the picture, and the director's intended ambiguity - as to how much of the terror is real and how much imagined - is all but lost.

Even so, "Night of the Demon" is still one of the best British fantasy-horror movies I've seen. Perhaps assisted by the censorship constraints of the day, Tourneur, unlike Fisher a decade later, neatly sidestepped the problem of portraying devil-worship without making it look silly by showing us very little of MacGinnis' cult followers and nothing of their rites. If Dana Andrews is a bit dull as the hero, Niall MacGinnis' perfect blend of charm and menace again prefigures Charles Gray's similar role in "The Devil Rides Out". Collectors of dotty English character performances should find plenty to enjoy, and fans of the sitcom "Porridge" will be amused by Mr Barrowclough's (Brian Wilde's) auto-defenestration. Nice b&w photography and a good score too.
July 14, 2008
harrycaul

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Curse of the Demon (1958) (DE)
  • Curse of the Demon (1958) (UK)
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