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Curse of the Demon / Night of the Demon (Double Feature)

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Curse of the Demon / Night of the Demon (Double Feature) + The Uninvited (Criterion Collection) + The Innocents
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Product Details

  • Actors: Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis, Maurice Denham, Athene Seyler
  • Directors: Jacques Tourneur
  • Writers: Hal E. Chester, Charles Bennett, Cy Endfield, M.R. James
  • Producers: Hal E. Chester, Frank Bevis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Japanese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000694WH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,438 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Curse of the Demon / Night of the Demon (Double Feature)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Night of the Demon, the 95-minute uncut U.K. release
  • Curse of the Demon, the retitled and truncated 82-minute U.S. release

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

It is like this kind of thing can actually happen to a person.
The ending of the film, involving the passing of the runes, is both funny and incredibly tense, leading to one of the most stunning climaxes in horror films.
Claude Avary
Curse of the Demon is one of the greatest classic horror films ever made.
S. O'Toole

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

169 of 174 people found the following review helpful By Claude Avary on May 4, 2004
Format: DVD
The distributor advertising this DVD as a "Double Feature" stretches the truth a bit. "Curse of the Demon" is merely the shortened American version of the British film "Night of the Demon." The American version runs thirteen minutes shorter and is by far the weaker cut of the film, if still a fine piece of work. It's a nice feature to have the complete American cut on this disk for the sake of comparison with the original, but this is hardly a "double feature." And there's no reason to watch the edited, shorter version when you have the superior British original of one of the seminal horror movies of all time on the same DVD.

"Night of the Demon" hit theaters in 1957 and marked a turning point in macabre cinema. Director Jacques Tourneur had made some important 1940s horror films ("Cat People," "Leopard Man," and "I Walked with a Zombie," as well as the film noir classic "Out of the Past") that moved against the grain of the gothic fantasies that Universal produced during the 1930s. With "Night of the Demon," Tourneur cemented the idea of the modern horror film, where the terrors of the gothic, demonic, and supernatural appear within the realm of the modern, everyday world -- the essentially rational setting of the contemporary times. The success of this film would eventually lead to such movies in the following decades as "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Exorcist," which took place in the recognizable contemporary world, where the invasion of supernatural forces seemed all the more ghastly.
The screenplay comes from the short story "Casting the Runes" by master Victorian ghost story writer M. R. James. (You can find this story in an excellent and currently in-print volume of the same name.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Matt M. on May 2, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I rented this movie one night based on a great multitude of great reviews it had received online. As I popped the tape in my VCR, I wasn't sure what to expect. Imagine my surprise as I began to watch one of the single greatest horror/suspense films ever made. Everything in this film works, including the "controversial" appearance of the demon at the beginning and end of the film. The performances are quite noteworthy, especially that of the actor who portrayed Karswell. Niall MacGinnis does a great job in humanizing his character and makes sure that Karswell is leaps and bounds beyond the average evil villain in most horror films. Probably my favorite aspect is the fact the film has a film noir quality to it, which suits it fine, since it is a cross between a detective film and a supernatural thriller. It's one of the few films I've seen recently that has made me yell at the characters when they do things that may be understandable, however they are a bit on the unintelligent side. By the way, if you are a fan of this movie, be sure to check out Hammer's The Devil Rides Out, recently released in a widescreen edition by Anchor Bay Entertainment. It contains a similar occult theme, as well as the same level of sheer intensity. Oh, and I don't want to forget the fact that it stars Christopher Lee, is directed by Terence Fisher, and has a screenplay written by Richard Matheson (based on Dennis Wheatley's novel).
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 23, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
There is really only one thing significantly wrong with the 1957 horror classic "Curse of the Demon" is that the producer insisted the "demon" had to make its appearance at the beginning and ending of the film. The better move would have been to leave the appearance of the monster up to the audience's imagination as director Jacques Tourneur intended, but you know producers. Still, "Curse of the Demon" (originally released in England as "Night of the Demon") is a great horror film. The film is based on "Casting the Runes" by M. R. James, with a literate screenplay by Charles Bennett and Hal E. Chester. The story deals with a curse cast by an evil magician, supposedly based on the self-proclaimed English sorcerer Aleister Crowley. The tone for the film is amply established in the opening sequence where a terrified Professor Harrington (Maurice Dehnam) comes to the home of Dr. Julian Karswell (Niall MacGinnis). Harrington the scientist had led an expose of Karswell's devil cult and made the mistake of telling the sorcerer "Do your worst." Now he wants Karswell to call off the demon, but, of course, it is way too late for that now.
The protagonist in this story is Dr. John Holden (Dana Andrews), a noted American psychologist who comes to England to help with the investigation of the cult. Holden does not believe in the occult, but then Karswell slips him a parchment marked with runes and learns the rules of our little game: whoever holds the parchment will die on an appointed day UNLESS they can pass it on to a WILLING recipient. Sounds like big time fun, right? Holden tries to hold on to his skepticism, but in due course he becomes a true believer.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Slade Simon on August 16, 2002
Format: DVD
An underrated classic finally on DVD!!
This is a truly great horror film based on the short story "Casting The Runes" by M.R. James. The movie mainly uses concepts from the story and isn't a direct adaptation of the story - kinda like Roger Corman's Poe movies. The names Karswell and Harrington are the only ones that appear in both James' story and the movie. It was directed by Jacques Tourneur whose Cat People (1941) is probably more well known. Unfortunately, the studio mettled a bit and forced Tourneur to show the demon way too early in the movie.
Dr. Holden arrives in England only to discover that his colleague, Professor Harrington, has died under mysterious circumstances. During Dr. Holden's research into what happened, a curse that involves the use of Runic symbols is discovered. Karswell is the leader of a local religious cult.
This DVD contains both Night of the Demon (UK version) and Curse of the Demon (US version - 13 minutes hacked out). Both movies are letterboxed. The image quality is great. There were a few points where it seemed the audio might be slighted distorted, but I'm not sure if it would be noticeable to the average viewer. It's not distracting. Something you'd have to be listening for.
The close-ups of the Demon are great considering that this movie was made in 1957. The wide shots are not as impressive.
The version of Curse of the Demon on this DVD is not as complete as the version that has been on AMC. The version AMC aired was closer to the UK version - with only a few minutes missing and the "Curse" titles at the beginning. I do prefer the UK version and would recommend skipping Curse of the Demon unless you just want to compare how the versions were edited. Just select Night of the Demon to see the complete, unedited version.
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