When psychologist John (Dana Andrews) Holden's full original length. Plus, catch the rare truncated American release back to back. A British production, NIGHT OF THE DEMON was released in the UK in a 95 minute running time. For the American market, the film was cut to 82 minutes, re-titled CURSE OF THE DEMON, and released in 1958. This DVD presents, for the first time in the US, the fully restored 95-minute version as seen by British audiences in 1957, as well as the rare, truncated American release.
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