‘Late Night with the Devil’ Review: The Horrifying Cost of Fame

Written by Matt Rodriguez

Late Night with the Devil is unlike any horror movie I’ve seen recently. It’s a bone-chilling throwback to horror films of the 70s that forgoes the flashy and extravagant luxuries of many modern day horrors and instead delivers a simple but effective story about fame and the horrifying lengths some people will go through to achieve it. David Dastmalchian lights up the stage while Ingrid Torelli creeps into your soul. Laght Night with the Devil is one of those horror films that will stick with you well into the early morning.

Jack Delroy (Dastmalchian) hosts a late-night talk show titled Night Owls with Jack Delroy and over the years has enjoyed an great amount of success but has yet to make it to the top of the late-night ratings board. On the night of Halloween 1977 and to kick off Sweeps Week, Jack promises a show unlike anything his audience has ever seen. His guest that night is parapsychologist Dr. June Ross-Mitchell (Laura Gordon) and a young girl named Lilly (Torelli) who is believed to be possessed by a demon after being the sole survivor of a cult’s mass suicide. What starts as a skeptical trick to draw in audience soon develops into a scene of pure terror that may give Jack exactly what he wished for.

Late Night with the Devil is presented like a horror documentary with a narrator giving the background of the late-night talk show and of Lilly before jumping straight into a taped recording of broadcast from that fateful Halloween night. Everything starts off innocently enough, and the film plays out like a campy talk-show episode from decades ago. A few corny jokes and some light banter between Jack and his sidekick set the tone before the guest start coming out including a psychic and skeptic who all play into the stage presence of the show. As the night goes on, however, strange things start to happen, even before Dr. June and Lilly come out on stage. There is a slow and unnerving buildup as the gimmick of the acts fade away in place of something more terrifying.

The payoff comes with Dr. June and Lilly give a live demonstration of her possession in front of the cameras. Ingrid Torelli is chilling as Lilly. You can immediately see something off putting about her before the demon is fully revealed. The way she stares directly into the cameras is as if she’s staring through your soul. It’s uneasy to watch, even from the comforts of your own chair. The possession scene itself is pretty straightforward. Changing voices, open sores, floating chairs; it’s all the same elements we’ve seen before, but Late Night with the Devil pulls it off perfectly with its simplicity. The old school CRT look of the film and clever use of CGI and effects make for a pretty convincing nightmare. The lightning effects can look a little cheesy, but everything else hits you on a visceral level.

David Dastmalchian too commands the stage and the film itself. Like any good late-night talk show host, he’s charming, funny, and moves the show along as needed. He is the ferryman on the River Styx, guiding audiences through all sorts of unnatural horrors towards a destination of darkness that even he himself is unaware of in its finality. There is a sense of trust and comfort at the beginning, but as the film floats towards its haunting conclusion, that trust is replaced with fear. He himself is possessed. He’s possessed with the idea that he has to beat out all the other talk show hosts in the ratings. And it turns out that obsession will come back to haunt him.

Horror fans will delight in knowing that Late Night with the Devil is one of the best horror films of the year, and you should absolutely see this film if given the chance. Not a frame goes to waste in this utterly terrifying and chilling tale of possession. It is sure to be an instant classic.

  • Late Night with the Devil


David Dastmalchian lights up the stage while Ingrid Torelli creeps into your soul. Late Night with the Devil is one of those horror films that will stick with you well into the early morning.

About the author

Matt Rodriguez

Owner and Chief Editor of Shakefire.