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Curse of the Demon / Night of the Demon

This 1957 British supernatural thriller of necromancy and deviltry is widely considered one of the finest horror films ever made and a genuine high point in British cinema. Night of the Demon is best known under its American re-edit release title, Curse of the Demon. Both the original U.K. version and the shorter U.S. version appear on this disc. Under either title, this sublime spooker is required viewing. When American psychologist and die-hard skeptic John Holden (Dana Andrews) arrives in rural England to disprove the alleged black magic of "witch cult" leader Dr. Julian Karswell (Niall MacGinnis), he's far from ready to accept the fact that he's marked to be the latest victim of an ancient, monstrous "fire demon" invoked by Karswell to destroy his enemies. Director Jacques Tourneur employed every tool in his kit to control the mood and atmosphere and catch us off our guard with meticulously constructed dark compositions, sudden surprises, and cold splashes of humor.

Columbia TriStar's DVD "double feature" edition delivers fine-looking prints with digitally mastered high-def 1.78:1 (anamorphic) transfers. The audio is monaural DD 2.0 that's stout and clear and more than adequate for the job. Keep-case.

—Mark Bourne

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