I’m slightly late to the party with this review of a British cult classic horror film from 1957. I’m of course referring to Night of the Demon. It came out at the end of October having been fully restored. Released by PowerHouse Films it includes every possible version and a ton of extras. I think this is going to be a very easy review, so without further ado here’s my Night of the Demon blu-ray review.
I’m reviewing the limited edition which you may still be able to obtain one through third party sellers if you are lucky. However the good folks over a PowerHouse Films have just brought out the standard Bluray version minus the booklet and cards on the 26th November 2018. So if you didn’t manage to obtain one of the 10,000 limited edition copies then I highly recommend picking the standard release.
- Night of the Demon (1957)
- Genre: Horror
- Directed by Jacques Tourneur
- UK Rating PG
- Discs: 2
- Released By PowerHouse Films aka Indicator
- Blu-ray Released: 22 Oct 2018 / 26 Nov 2018 (Limited Edition / Standard)
When Dr John Holden (Dana Andrews) arrives in England to attend a convention held by colleague Professor Harrington (Maurice Denham) he learns that he has been killed, but was it an accident? Harrington had been about to shed light into Dr Julian Karswell (Niall MacGinnis) satanic cult and had unknowingly accepted a parchment from Karswell just before his alleged accident.
Style / Direction
The film is directed by Jacques Tourneur with the cinematography handled by Ted Scaife. Shot in black and white this only helps to increase the apprehension levels as the story progresses. Make no mistake this is a well told and made horror that moves along a good pace.
The Demon special effect is probably the film weakest point but for me it never really detracted for an otherwise excellent and atmospheric horror film.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is composed by Clifton Parker and along with the overall sound design makes for an exceptionally creepy affair.
Acting / Characters
The three main characters are played by Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins and Niall MacGinnis. All of them put in exceptional performances that really help to draw you into this supernatural tale.
In fact I’d say its Niall MacGinnis as Dr. Julian Karswell that really steals the show. He plays his role really well coming across as an apparently charming man, after all he’s a part time children’s entertainer. In reality he’s a rather smug and sinister fellow all of which makes the film all the better.
- Dana Andrews as Dr. John Holden
- Peggy Cummins as Joanna Harrington
- Niall MacGinnis as Dr. Julian Karswell
- Athene Seyler as Mrs. Karswell
- Liam Redmond as Professor Mark O’Brien
- Peter Elliott as Professor Kumar
- Maurice Denham as Professor Harrington
- Reginald Beckwith as Mr. Meek
- Brian Wilde as Rand Hobart
- Charles Lloyd Pack as Chemist
- Ewan Roberts as Lloyd Williamson
Conclusion: Night of the Demon (1957) Film Review
I’ve always loved this film right from the first time I saw it many years ago. It simply nails the horror atmosphere along with telling a thoroughly intriguing and sinister story. There’s little doubt I’m alone in this view as the film has subsequently achieved cult status amongst many.
You could argue the films weakest point is indeed the special effects of the demon and maybe it would have been better merely using the misty fog to convey the evil presence. I think that may well have worked better but for me it’s not really a problem and it really doesn’t take away from my enjoyment of this classic horror movie.
It will probably come as no surprise that I’m recommending every film fan take a look at this classic, enjoy!
It simply nails the horror atmosphere along with telling a thoroughly intriguing and sinister story.
If you enjoyed my Night of the Demon blu-ray review so far you may want to check out the following films:
- The Old Dark House (1932)
- The Camp on Blood Island (1958)
- Yesterday’s Enemy (1959)
- The Stranglers of Bombay (1959)
- Terror of the Tongs (1961)
- City of the Living Dead (1980)
Conclusion: Night of the Demon Blu-ray Review
Is this the best Blu-ray release of the year? It has to be a contender as not only is the picture quality excellent but every possible version of the film is also included. So if you prefer the shorter edited version or simply the US version with the named changed to Curse of the Demon then the choice is there to be made.
The film looks and sounds terrific and my recommended version is the “Original Full Length Pre-Release Version (96 mins)” in the 1.75:1 aspect ratio. The edited 82 minute version simply cuts away too much story and scene setting in my opinion. The full version however actually enhances the film adding no padding whatsoever.
In fact I suggest you watch “Cloven in Two” which goes through the differences between the 82 and 96 minute versions.
On the extras side there’s a ton of stuff to watch all of which I personally found interesting and well worth a look. In fact there is so much included it’s a film lover’s dream come true.
- Original Full Length Pre-Release Version (96 mins)
- Curse of the Demon – US Version (96 mins)
- 2K BFI Restorations at 1.75:1 Aspect Ratio
- Remaster Presentation at 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
- Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tony Earnshaw
- Night of the Demon – Original UK Theatrical Cut (82 mins)
- Curse of the Demon – Original US Theatrical Cut (82 mins)
- Speak of the Devil: The Making of Night of the Demon (20 mins)
- Cloven in Two (23 mins)
- Hal E Chester at the Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films (51 mins)
- Dana Andrews on Night of the Demon (10 mins)
- The Devil’s in the Detail (36 mins)
- Horrors Unseen (27 mins)
- Sinister Signs (21 mins)
- Under the Spell (19 mins)
- The Devil Gets His Due (23 mins)
- Truth of Alchemy (22 mins)
- The Devil in Music (11 mins)
- A Note of Fear (10 mins)
- Casting the Runes (53 mins)
- Escape: Casting the Runes (30 mins)
- Super 8 Version (7 mins)
- Isolated Music & Effects Track
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Image Gallery
On to my movie rating for Night of the Demon (1957)
- Movie Rating: MUST SEE
- Blu-ray Picture: EXCELLENT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Amazon UK Links
Night of the Demon is available now on blu-ray.
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the blu-ray version
Note: The Amazon links on this page are affiliate / associate links. By buying through the links we may receive a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price you pay.
Summary: Night of the Demon (1957) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: Night of the Demon (1957)
Duration: 97 mins
Director(s): Jacques Tourneur
Actor(s): Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis, Athene Seyler, Liam Redmond, Peter Elliott, Maurice Denham, Brian Wilde
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
An exceptionally atmospheric horror that’s both intriguing and sinister.
- Outstanding Horror Film
- Good Acting
- Fully Restored Picture Quality
- Different Versions of the Film
- Lot of Extras
- Demon Special Effect