Curse of the Demon (1957)

Not Rated   |    |  Fantasy, Horror, Mystery


Curse of the Demon (1957) Poster

American professor John Holden arrives in London for a parapsychology conference, only to find himself investigating the mysterious actions of Devil-worshiper Julian Karswell.


7.5/10
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  • Curse of the Demon (1957)
  • Peggy Cummins and Athene Seyler in Curse of the Demon (1957)
  • Curse of the Demon (1957)
  • Dana Andrews and Peggy Cummins in Curse of the Demon (1957)
  • Niall MacGinnis in Curse of the Demon (1957)
  • Curse of the Demon (1957)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


3 August 2003 | senortuffy
9
| It's not what you see, it's what you imagine.
"Curse of the Demon" might just be the best horror film I've ever seen. When I saw it for the first time as a teenager in the mid-sixties on television one night, it really frightened me. And even now, at my age, it still gives me goosebumps.

Dana Andrews plays the skeptical American psychologist investigating a devil worship cult in England led by Dr. Karswell, played by Niall MacGinnis. The acting is pretty weak once you get past the two main characters, but it's the craftsmanship of the director that really matters.

Jacques Tourneur manipulates light and shadow to create fear of the unknown in this tale of modern science colliding with ancient sorcery. The monster is pretty tame as far as it goes, but that's not the point. It's not what you see, it's what you imagine that gets to you.

Long, dark corridors ..... dancing shadows ..... strange sounds contrasted with eerie silences ..... the impending sense of doom and apprehension. This film touches our primal fears, like a child waking up during a thunder storm. Is nature an ordered world or can it be manipulated by evil forces?

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The source story for this film, "Casting the Runes", was also adapted into a radio play of that name for the anthology radio programme "Escape". The story was also adapted twice for British television, first as an episode of the anthology series "Mystery and Imagination" in 1968, and again as an episode of "ITV Playhouse" in 1979. Of late, it was also ostensibly the plot (and obviously ending) of Sam Raimi's 'Drag Me to Hell (2009)' (2009) credited as written by him and his brother: no mention of even inspired by M.R. James original story, nor even Tourneur's film.


Quotes

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...


Goofs

Runic Parchment: When Holden first discovers the parchment which Karswell has passed to him, it has 2 rows of runic symbols. Moments later, when the parchment is trapped against the fire guard, it only has one row. Again, there is only one row on the parchment when Holden visits Stonehenge.


Alternate Versions

This film exists in three English language versions: (1) The original British release under the title "Night of the Demon," (2) Columbia's edited version for release in the U.S. under the title "Curse of the Demon" and, (3) over 20 years later, Columbia replaced their edited U.S. version with the original British version but with the title also changed to "Curse of the Demon." Columbia's DVD release contains both the edited and restored U.S. versions. Although the cover remains the same, Columbia's more recent copies of the their DVD release removes the U.S. version with the restored footage with a print of the original British release with the title "Night of the Demon."


Soundtracks

Cherry Ripe
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Edward Horne
Lyrics by Robert Herrick

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Fantasy | Horror | Mystery | Thriller

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