Late Night with the Devil: The Scary Art of Producing Content

hello world!
Iain McParland
| March 26, 2024
hello world!







*Applause* Thank you! Thank you! 

OK, I’m done. I’m just taking inspiration from Late Night with the Devil, the new horror film from Colin and Cameron Cairnes. It revolves around a fictional talk show called Night Owls with Jack Delroy. You know, similar to The Tonight Show or The Late Show. In a last-ditch attempt to compete with Johnny Carson, Jack and his producers plan a very special broadcast for Halloween. 

But will Jack’s desperation cloud his judgment, and will all common sense leave his body? 

Yes, yes it will. That’s why it makes for a DAMN good film.


Told via found footage, the movie depicts the ill-fated Halloween Special of Night Owls with Jack Delroy (David Dastmalchian). With viewers dwindling and his show on the verge of the dreaded heave-ho, Jack plans the TV event to end all TV events! He has psychics (Fayssal Bazzi), skeptics (Ian Bliss), a parapsychologist (Laura Gordon)… and Lily (Ingrid Torelli), who may or may not be possessed by a demon!

If this doesn’t compete with that HACK Johnny Carson, then what the hell will? Unfortunately, this may have been too much of a Hail Mary (sportsball!), when maybe they should have just been saying some Hail Marys. 

*canned laughter*

I’m here all week.

The Good

This don’t look good!

I honestly thought the found footage genre had been played out, but this was a truly original movie. Designed like a “lost episode” of the show Night Owls, this really felt like we were watching something forbidden, like that long-lost South Park episode. Everything seemed like it had been pulled directly from 1977. It all felt authentic, down to the demeanors of the characters.

David Dastmalchian played Jack Delroy excellently. I believed he was a smarmy ex-radio host turned talk show host, down on his luck, trying to make something happen in his career. His softer moments when he remembered his late wife were terrifically acted. His energy draws you in, captivating with every line and movement.

As a horror movie, it triumphs in its building of atmosphere. Everything is calm for most of the 90+ minute runtime. Until it’s not. Those sudden explosive moments of terror were stark contrasts to the facade of TV. Jack and the production team having to placate a live audience, making it seem like everything’s a-ok and twice on Sunday (is that a saying? It feels like a saying) highlight the spooky moments brilliantly. 

It lures you into a false sense of security so when everything inevitably goes to sh*t, it feels even more out of place. The death count isn’t high, but it doesn’t need to be in this type of film. When bodies drop, it’s out of place and unnerving. It’s very well done.

Everything builds to the blockbuster ending. And, wow! What an ending! This type of tension crescendo had the perfect release. No spoilers. But it’s gooood.

The Not so Good

So, let’s talk about the elephant in the metaphorical room. AI. The directors have confirmed they “experimented” with AI to create three cards like the one above. These images simulate the kind of thing you would see before and after commercial breaks and last around 3-5 seconds each. That’s the context. 

Using AI as artist replacements is unethical, to say the least. On a personal level, I freaking hate it. Aside from making it harder for artists to make a living in the industry, the images are never of the highest quality. Usually, they sucks donkey balls.

However, there is a difference between a multi-million-dollar conglomerate using this tech and indie filmmakers trying to scrounge up enough resources to execute their vision. It’s not ideal, but the likes of Marvel Studios using AI for their ENTIRE OPENING CREDITS of Secret Invasion is much more heinous than this. 

You can tell by the amount of production companies and distributors this movie had that they struggled with their budget. Hell, the opening was exactly like that Family Guy meme where they try to guess when the film starts. People around me in the theater actually started chuckling at the absurdity of no less than seven airing before the film actually started.

This guy is a douche.

They made the thing, though. It’s hard to make a thing. 

The only other aspects of Late Night with the Devil I had slight issues with could have been intentional. For instance, the visual effects were quite dated; a mix of puppetry, practical effects and CGI the special effects could have been taken straight from The Thing. But I guess that could be the point? The film is set in 1977, after all. Similarly with the characters, the dialogue is slightly hammy in places, which could also be intentional. 


Do we have a show for you tonight!

Late Night with the Devil is a highly enjoyable independent horror film. Wait, there was no need to put that qualifier in there. It’s a highly enjoyable horror film! It’s terrifically acted and has an authentic aesthetic. 

Right now, there’s a storm following the film because of its AI-generated art, and while this is something I’m passionately opposed to, this shouldn’t distract you from its quality. Because, despite its relatively unknown cast and low budget, this movie really has something.

It really is the TV event of the spring… that you should probably go and see in theaters!

Stay classy San Diego.

Share This

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Comments are for members only. Sign up here to become a member for free.

Get our Newsletter!


Parasyte: The Grey and The Question of Being Human

A new K-Drama just arrived on Netflix and it is for all of you Sci-Fi and Body Horror lovers. Let’s review Parasyte: The Grey from the director of Train to Busan.
by Art of Lily KApril 11, 2024
1 2 3 828

Read more

Scaredy-Cat Club Presents: 3 Werewolf Movies With a Bite!

Shana shares some of her favorite werewolf films in preparation for the spooky season!
by Shana MartinSeptember 20, 2023 

Evil West Review: A Fistful of Bloodsuckers

Want to relive the glory days being a cowboy, hunting monsters, and killing Vampires? Then Evil West is the game for you.
1 2 3 218
© 2024 CouchSoup, LLC. All Rights Reserved
Terms of Service | Privacy
© 2022 CouchSoup, LLC. All Rights Reserved