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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Demon debate
Incredible film, well worth the wait, but what a pity we did have to wait so long.

Regarding the Demon debate, whether or not it should have been shown, Tony Earnshaw's book on the making of the film, Beating the Devil, covers the matter pretty well, including some quotes from Tourneur and other crew members that seem to be contradictory; that is, in most...
Published on 5 Aug 2011 by DT Dunham

versus
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film, lousy print
If ever a film deserved a loving restoration for the ages, this is it. Not a work of art up there with 'The Innocents', but possibly the greatest B-movie ever.
Sadly an opportunity missed though. A 'must-see' treat, but wait until the price comes down on this version, or until it's been released with proper care.
Published on 15 Mar 2011 by Snuffyarroder


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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hidden menace which approaches with inexorable determination, 22 Oct 2010
By 
Eric Faragher (Liverpool UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD] (DVD)
Like many others, I first saw this film many years ago on television. I suppose that I was fifteen or sixteen at the time and it impressed me greatly. The reasons? Well, for one thing, the pace of the direction: every scene progresses the storyline and builds up an atmosphere of ancient menace lurking beneath the modernity. Each scene seems to give to the American investigator of the paranormal (John Holden, played by Dana Andrews) hints and clues as to the nature and reality of the hidden menace which approaches with inexorable determination. These hints and clues involve the viewer in the plot, making the viewer identify with the character of John Holden as each piece of the jigsaw is revealed. There is also a nice contrast between the quaint age of the English interiors set against the sceptical and scientific modern American visitor; for once the insertion of an American lead in an English film does seem to support the themes explored in the storyline. There is a similar contrast between the polished English charm of Julian Karswell and his eccentric mother on the one hand, (a superior performance from Niall MacGinnis as Karswell) and the open hostility of his primitive, grim-faced followers "The True Believers" on the other. The message is: this veneer we call "civilisation" is very thin and the darkness of the void awaits us beneath.

The viewer only becomes aware of the gradual building of tension when it is revealed through some sudden shock. As when Holden visits Karswell's house and finds a children's Halloween party in progress. The sudden cut from quiet conversation to the scream of a death's-head filling the screen, is calculated to shake the viewer and, if you've never seen the film before, it's likely to make your heart thump. As is the sudden swish of the branch against Holden's face as he navigates the dark wood on Karswell's grounds late at night. The contrasting context of the two shocks is interesting. The one comes as the viewer has relaxed and feels that he has reached a safe harbour where nothing terrible can happen (sunlight, children playing happily), whereas the other comes from a readiness and expectation of something terrible. In each case, the shock resolves itself into something harmless after all: a child's mask and an unseen branch. The true shocks are hidden in the mundane.

The strengths of the film then, are a good script and well-paced direction, involving the viewer in the development of the plot. Some of the weaknesses should be mentioned. Dana Andrews verges on being wooden in certain scenes and for me Niall MacGinnis gives by far the superior performance. The special effects are good for their day, but a modern audience will perhaps find some of them dated and unconvincing. As Karswell says, "The magician doesn't like to reveal his secrets" and a knowledgeable audience will be able to guess how many of the special effects have been achieved. However, the same can be said of today's computer generated special effects, as many of us are familiar with computers and their capabilities, so that is not such a damning point to make. The appearance of the demon itself still has great impact in the close-up shots, as long as the camera doesn't linger too long; but not so much in the full-length shots, where the awkward, stiff, puppet-like movements rather give the game away. The accompanying sounds are far more effective than the visuals, especially the faint, far-off "tweeting" which signals a manifestation of the demon, as well as the relentless, slow thud of its footfalls. It should also be noted that the sudden shocks do not work for more than a couple of viewings. Because I'd seen television screenings a number of times before, I was prepared and this reduced the impact considerably. But the same might be said for any shocks in any horror film.

All in all, then, an excellent horror film, which relies more upon suspense, tension and atmosphere than on gory detail. Thrills and chills rather than blood and guts. For any fan of the genre, your collection will not be complete without this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic from the past!, 31 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD] (DVD)
One of my all time favourite horror movies from the past - scared the hell out of me when i was a child!.
I was amazed how the DVD was of high quality especially when the film was made nearly sixty years ago in black and white!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Number 1!, 9 July 2013
By 
N. Hall "softhearted1967" (Cardiff, South Glamorgan United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD] (DVD)
Probably my favourite horror film of all time. Tremendous atmosphere, creepy country houses, runic symbols, witchcraft, seances, Stonehenge, black magic whirlwinds, the crumbling self confidence of a way too cocksure scientist, a creepy warlock and a dirty great big demon. It's got it all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Night of the Demon, 22 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD] (DVD)
Have loved this film ever since I hid behind the sofa watching it as a small boy! It`s lost none of it`s suspense and, I still rate the "special effects!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like one that on a lonesome road...., 30 Sep 2011
This review is from: Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD] (DVD)
The reviewers who gave this film five stars were spot on. It was gripping from beginning to end. There is nothing I would add to the details given by its admirers except to recommend the book by Tony Earnshaw, entitled 'Beating the Devil, the Making of NIGHT of the DEMON'. Film buffs will love it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Night of The Demon, 12 Jun 2011
This review is from: Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD] (DVD)
Watched this in 1972 as a Twelve Year Old and it was absolutely brilliant. By far the best British Horror Movie ever! Forget Dracula this is the Biz!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic 50's horror movie, 7 April 2011
This review is from: Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD] (DVD)
I remember this classic when it was shown in 1958 and always wondered if i would see it agian on tv. but there it was on good old amamzon so i ordered it straight away. a great blast from the past. a true classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Night of the Demon, 16 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD] (DVD)
I saw this movie many years ago and it somehow 'stuck in my mind', I enjoyed it just as much watching it on the DVD.

Faye Ball
Queensland Australia
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great old fashioned horror, 9 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD] (DVD)
This is a very creepy film - it even makes the presence of an American 'star' as the lead hero (to please the USA audience, no doubt) an asset rather than a liability by pitting 'USA' materialism and rationality against ancient 'European' supernatural beliefs. A sound script building mounting unease, a scary villian and great moody visuals makes it a pleasure to watch. I first watched it as a kid and had to sleep with the lights on for a week!

Reccomended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Night of the Demon, 8 Mar 2011
This review is from: Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD] (DVD)
I came across a review of this film purely by chance after idly surfing the net. There was a clip which immediately took me back probably 30 or 40 years. It is a truly first class British horror film that scares the pants off you. The special effects were probably as much as you could expect from the time but the brooding, sinister mood more than makes up for this. I am a glutton for B&W British movies of all genres but this one is in a league of its own. Highly recommended!
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Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD]
Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD] by Jacques Tourneur (DVD - 2010)
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