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Curse of the Demon/Night of the Demon (Sous-titres français)

Dana Andrews , Peggy Cummins , Jacques Tourneur    DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Customers buy this Movies & TV with The Val Lewton Horror Collection with Martin Scorsese Presents Val Lewton Documentary (Cat People / The Curse of the Cat People / I Walked with a Zombie / The Body Snatcher / Isle of the Dead / Bedlam CDN$ 51.04

Curse of the Demon/Night of the Demon (Sous-titres français) + The Val Lewton Horror Collection with Martin Scorsese Presents Val Lewton Documentary (Cat People / The Curse of the Cat People / I Walked with a Zombie / The Body Snatcher / Isle of the Dead / Bedlam
Price For Both: CDN$ 61.25

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After establishing his signature style with such moody classics as Cat People and I Walked with a Zombie, Jacques Tourneur returned to peak form with the first-rate supernatural thriller Curse of the Demon. It's a horror-noir set in England, adapted from the M.R. James story "Casting the Runes" and built around the ominous notion that black arts--particularly the use of ancient runic symbols--can summon a deadly beast from hell. Dana Andrews is the stubborn American skeptic, determined to debunk a genteel occultist (Niall MacGinnis) whose evil powers are ultimately incontestable. The briefly seen demon may be cheesy by latter-day standards, but its nightmarish appearance--and Tourneur's masterful use of subtle suggestion, threatening atmosphere, and eerie special effects--make Curse of the Demon one of the best horror films of the 1950s. This splendid DVD offers the longer British version Night of the Demon for film-buff comparison; it's essentially the same film with a few extended scenes. Both are highly recommended. --Jeff Shannon

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horror classic gets grade-A DVD treatment April 4 2003
NIGHT OF THE DEMON (1957, 95m 39s): A sceptical American psychologist (Dana Andrews) travels to London to expose a notorious witch (Niall MacGinnis) who curses him to die at the hands of a fantastic demon...
CURSE OF THE DEMON (1957, 81m 35s): A re-edited version of the above, shorter by 14 minutes, with a couple of scenes rearranged for the US drive-in market.
Directed by Val Lewton's erstwhile protege Jacques Tourneur (CAT PEOPLE, I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE), and written by frequent Hitchcock dramatist Charles Bennett (YOUNG AND INNOCENT, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT), NIGHT OF THE DEMON is based on the story 'Casting the Runes' by M.R. James and was fashioned as an A-grade shocker (on a B-grade budget) which challenges the notion of unreasoning acceptance/denial of supernatural forces. Dana Andrews (WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS, BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT) plays the blinkered American cynic - cast adrift in a foreign country - who refuses to acknowledge the validity of the demonic threat made against his life, despite all evidence to the contrary, though Bennett's script makes it clear that the movie's central 'villain' (a powerful and charismatic performance by scene-stealer MacGinnis) is afraid of the repercussions which might result if he lifts the curse and relinquishes his magical lifestyle. Both Tourneur and Bennett were reportedly horrified by the post-production tampering imposed by producer Hal E. Chester, who re-edited the picture for its 1958 US debut, retitled it CURSE OF THE DEMON (to avoid confusion with THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, according to 'Video Watchdog' magazine, though 'Iguana' wasn't produced until 1964, which renders Chester's title-change meaningless) and added a monstrous demon to all existing prints on both sides of the Atlantic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Anybody Besides Me Rooting For Dana To Die? June 25 2002
I've always had a soft spot for 50s/60s Brit shockers that didn't come from Hammer: this is among the best of 'em. As fog-haunted and spectrally lit as the bulk of DEMON is, its most unnerving scare comes in broad daylight: Karswell's garden party being interrupted by a momentary tornado. When a horror movie can rattle you in natural light, somebody's doing something right!
Another good omen is a film where the villain is hands-down the most engaging and interesting character. I don't mean to invoke creaky truisms about the Appeal Of Evil with that remark, either: Niall McGinnis hardly seems villainous at all here - he's cautious and canny, of course (as anyone who can conjure up fifty-foot demons must of necessity be) but otherwise a jovial, good-natured and charming fellow one wouldn't mind playing a game of chess with (no side-bets, though!). And compared to dour dipso Dana Andrews - the stone-faced 'hero' - he looks that much better besides. Andrews by this point was well on his way to pissing away his career via alcoholism. The sad thing is you can clearly see it in his late 50s/60s performances. (At least here, he mostly seems hung over...which works to the role's advantage. Check out WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS from 56 when he was REALLY in his cups. He damn near staggers through that entire picture!)
Given his decided lack of charm & warmth as Holden [and compounded by the character being written as a skeptic so uberskeptical he seems at first simply boorish, and by the film's climax, a complete knucklehead] I do think DEMON could have been a lot more satisfying had the Andrews character learned too late the truth of the situation by being torn limb from limb by the titular beastie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One the great turning points in horror films May 4 2004
The distributor advertising this DVD as a "Double Feature" stretches the truth a bit. "Curse of the Demon" is merely the shortened American version of the British film "Night of the Demon." The American version runs thirteen minutes shorter and is by far the weaker cut of the film, if still a fine piece of work. It's a nice feature to have the complete American cut on this disk for the sake of comparison with the original, but this is hardly a "double feature." And there's no reason to watch the edited, shorter version when you have the superior British original of one of the seminal horror movies of all time on the same DVD.

"Night of the Demon" hit theaters in 1957 and marked a turning point in macabre cinema. Director Jacques Tourneur had made some important 1940s horror films ("Cat People," "Leopard Man," and "I Walked with a Zombie," as well as the film noir classic "Out of the Past") that moved against the grain of the gothic fantasies that Universal produced during the 1930s. With "Night of the Demon," Tourneur cemented the idea of the modern horror film, where the terrors of the gothic, demonic, and supernatural appear within the realm of the modern, everyday world -- the essentially rational setting of the contemporary times. The success of this film would eventually lead to such movies in the following decades as "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Exorcist," which took place in the recognizable contemporary world, where the invasion of supernatural forces seemed all the more ghastly.
The screenplay comes from the short story "Casting the Runes" by master Victorian ghost story writer M. R. James. (You can find this story in an excellent and currently in-print volume of the same name.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I once was blind
Based on a story "Casting the Runes" by M. R. James. Professor Henry Harrington (Maurice Denham) was going to expose a devil cult as a hoax. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2011 by bernie
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for the Era
I enjoyed this movie not because it was such a good horror film but because it was representative of the era, the time it was made. Predictable and not horrifying. Read more
Published on Oct. 10 2003 by S. Mitchell
2.0 out of 5 stars Why did I Laugh during a Horror Film?
I read some of the previous reviews of this film right here on Amazon. I read the reviews and I was excited about seeing the film. Read more
Published on July 27 2003 by Mount_Olympus
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best
Without a doubt this is one of the best movies of all time.
I was on the edge through the whole movie. Read more
Published on June 26 2003 by Larry J. Mccoy
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate presentations of excellent movie!
THANK YOU to Columbia for giving us BOTH versions of this my favorite horror film from childhood. Very good value for the money!
Published on May 12 2003 by James Milton
4.0 out of 5 stars To What Lengths Do We Seek the Truth...
Dr. Henry Harrington visits Julian Karswell late one evening when he is struck by fear. He pleads to Karswell to hold back the evil forces that he has released, however, it is too... Read more
Published on April 6 2003 by Kim Anehall
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film gets great DVD presentation.
Columbia/Tristar Home Entertainment are to be highly commended for their classy DVD presentation of one of the best supernatural horror films ever made. Read more
Published on March 8 2003 by Peter W. Many
5.0 out of 5 stars Long live Hobart!
This film is not only essential for the collector of 50s classics, but it is truly one of most atmospheric movies of all times. Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2003 by Larry L. Hoffman
5.0 out of 5 stars Conjured Perfection
There's not a lot to say about "Curse of the Demon" (well there is, but...). If you've seen it, you know. If you haven't seen it, why not? Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2003 by Tim Hewitt
5.0 out of 5 stars CURSE OF THE DEMON....
I just received this as a gift having shamefully neglected it in DVD form. I saw it years ago but just never picked it up again. Read more
Published on Dec 23 2002 by Mark Norvell
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