Dr. Holden (Dana Andrew), a psychologist knowledgeable about the occult, is dismayed by a friend's strange death, leading him to investigate a demon-worshipping cult in England. But the leader of that sect, Prof. Karswell (Niall MacGuinness), resists Holden's inquiries by calling up an actual demon to fight the good doctor. Can Holden hold his own in a battle of good vs. evil?
Based on the M.R. James short story "Casting the Runes," Jacques Tourneur's film is considered to be one of the true classics of the horror genre, relying heavily on the power of suggestion to create a heavy atmosphere of fear and dread. The famous, much-debated monster was added by the studio against Tourneur's wishes. The original, uncut version is known as NIGHT OF THE DEMON.
"[A]ll subtlety and suspicion, smoke and mirrors." - 01/01/2004 Total Film, p.134-5
4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his 1957 chiller continues to enthrall....Special effects, advanced for the time, create uncanny atmospheres..." - 12/01/2010 Uncut
"One of the most viscerally effective of all occult horror films....The film constantly catches the viewer off guard..." - 01/01/2011 Sight and Sound