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The Eastern Echo Thursday, May 30, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

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Review: 'Late Night with the Devil' is a comedic thriller

For a film set in the 1970s, the use of terror and mystery feels fresh and creative. Be prepared to be shocked and thrilled at the same time.

The film "Late Night with the Devil" was both humorous and thrilling, and it had a unique setting in the 1970s. The majority of the film took place during a talk show, which produced a thrilling atmosphere. The film was directed by Colin and Cameron Cairnes. The audience was thoroughly entertained during the movie.

Synopsis

The film centers around Jack Delroy, played uniquely by David Dastmalchian, a late-night talk show host in 1977 whose career is on a downward trajectory as he desperately tries to compete with big names like Johnny Carson on late-night television. The film also stars Laura Gordon as June Ross-Mitchell and Ingrid Torelli as Lily. Jack Delroy, in an attempt to raise the rating on his show and put him on top of the late-night empire, invites Lily, a troubled child who was rescued from a satanic ritual-cult at a young age, as well as her guardian/author of the book "Conversations With the Devil" June Ross to better understand her area of study and potentially get a demonstration of possession. The majority of the film takes place in this interview.

Highs

Early in the film, you are shown a five-minute-long montage of the main character Jack Delroy going over where he used to be, what happened to him, and where he is now. This sheds light on our main character from the beginning and puts you up to speed on what is currently happening in the film allowing you to follow along without confusion.

This film is shot entirely like a broadcast from the 70's. The 4:3 aspect ratio, camera angles, lighting, costumes, and set all make you feel like you are watching a talk show from the '70s. During "commercial breaks," however, the film takes on a black and white behind-the-scenes style where we see our main character Jack interacting with his backstage crew and hosts. This lends an aspect of reality to the film that engages the watcher and keeps you curious.

Another highlight of this film was David Dastmalchian's performance as Jack Delroy and Ingrid Torelli's performance as Lily. David captures the charisma and persona of a true talk show host while also displaying his struggles and insecurities trying to make it to the top. The performance is fueled by the characters' desperation to not get canceled. David's performance also accurately captures the raw emotion that can come with the unpredictability of live TV as we see later in the film. Ingrid Torelli also did a remarkable job of playing the possessed girl Lily. Her emotionless expression combined with her piercing eye contact caries an unsettling energy.

Lows

The low points of this film centered around bad special effects. The effects of the possessed girl Lily were impressive, however, toward the end of the film, it begins to become a little over the top with bad CGI.

Another low of the film was the ending. It leaves off in the aftermath of the climax and does not clarify what specifically occurred or what happened with Jack. There should have been a more well-rounded and informative ending to match the rest of the film.

Verdict

The overall film was entertaining and kept the audience guessing, and it was thrilling and comedic at the same time.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Mariam Fakhreddine is a film and theater reviewer for The Eastern Echo. She has worked as a news and features reporter for The Echo for two years.