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The self-possessed horrors of Late Night with the Devil

A still of actors Ingrid Torelli, David Dastmalchian, and Laura Gordon in Light Night with the Devil.
Courtesy of IFC Films and Shudder

Horror films live and die by their conceits. And sometimes, the best way to make a movie scary is to place it in an environment that’s not scary at all.

Is there anything further from spooky than a brightly lit TV studio? The surprise box office darling Late Night with the Devil, which hit horror streamer Shudder this weekend (and might be more suited to home viewing), tries to make one of the most innocuous American broadcast traditions into a terror. David Dastmalchian, a character actor who you’ll recognize from the margins of half a dozen Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve movies, gets a rare star turn as Jack Delroy, the host of late-night talk show Night Owls. But in an era where Johnny Carson rules after-hours broadcast,…

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