Night Of The Demon
| UK 95 MINS | US 83 MINS | BW |
Dr John Holden, an American psychologist, goes to London to assist Professor Harrington with his investigation of a devil cult headed by Karswell. Holden discovers that Harrington has met with a sticky end and suspects that Karswell may have had something to do with it. Holden joins forces with Harrington's neice, Joanna, to enquire into Karswell's dealings.
Karswell is perturbed by the interference of Holden and Karswell's niece and predicts that the fate that befell Harrington will also be visited upon Holden in three days time. Can Holden reverse the curse that has been placed upon him?
Holden discovers that Karswell has passed him a parchment which bestows upon the bearer a curse. The only way to evade the curse, and hence certain death, is to pass the parchment on to another person without them being aware. This also passes the curse on. Somehow Holden must pass the parchment to Karswell without him knowing.
Informed that Karswell is leaving London by train, he finds Karwell in a compartment with Joanna. Growing increasingly fearful that Holden may be trying to pass the parchment to him, Karswell attempts to leave the train at the next stop. He realises, too late, that Holden has passed it to him in his coat. The parchment flies from his hands and lands on the tracks. It burns to ashes, and a Demon appears, tearing Karswell to pieces.
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Hailed as a classic supernatural thriller by almost universal agreement. Its most abiding image, the close-up shot of the fang-faced demon, is considered to be the film's only drawback. The director, Jacques Tourneur, wanted the demon to only be seen in long shots, leaving the viewers' imaginations to do the rest. The long shots are tense and highly atmospheric, bolstered by the film's soundtrack. This is seemingly at odds with the close-up shots.
Narrator: It has been written since the beginning of time, even unto these ancient stones, that evil supernatural creatures exist in a world of darkness. And it is also said man using the magic power of the ancient runic symbols can call forth these powers of darkness, the demons of Hell.