Late Night with the Devil

HORROR; 1hr 33min

STARRING: David Dastmalchian, Laura Gordon, Fayssal Bazzi, Ian Bliss, Ingrid Torelli, Georgina Haig

Lights, camera, chaos: Dastmalchian

On April 4, 1971, the perfectly unctuous Jack Delroy (Oppenheimer’s Dastmalchian) debuts his new talk show, Night Owls, with a mission statement of “[capturing] the hearts and minds of midnight America.” By 1977, try as he might, the tireless contender has failed to unseat an unbeatable Johnny Carson, and with his cherished wife, Madeleine (Haig), a victim of lung cancer and nothing else to lose but his TV contract, vows “to celebrate all the fiendish fun of Halloween” by yanking out every possible guest-slot spot on the October 31 show.


Served up by Australian co-directors Colin and Cameron Cairnes (100 Bloody Acres) as found footage and so artfully cheesy it slides through every crowd-pleasing beat, the Halloween show kicks off with lugubrious medium Christou (Bazzi), who claims to hear the voices of the dead and whose radar picks up a damned sight more than he can handle. 


Contemptuous sceptic Carmichael the Conjurer (Bliss) is, of course, unconvinced by either Christou or parapsychologist Dr June Ross-Mitchell (Gordon) and her distinctly creepy 10-year-old patient, Lilly (Torelli). As the sole survivor of a satanic church meltdown, Lilly apparently has a demon living inside her, which makes insane sense under the circumstances, and which Dr June reluctantly agrees to conjure up. This is live television, after all, and nothing is likely to spike ratings like the rush of demonic possession.


Stemming that cataclysmic flow will prove to be a whole other ball of fire for Jack and his overwhelmed TV team when their canned fizz commences to crash and burn. Lucifer has always been an almighty limelight-hogger. As splashily destructive as a perfect storm, he is hell-bent on bringing down this Halloween house, sowing mayhem with infernal ease while revealing fellow showman Jack to himself.