Genre: Supernatural, Occult
Source: Channel TCM
This is just one of those awesome movies that within the first five minutes I already know its going to classic. Not only that but the direction was fantastic! The story was incredibly well written and filled with great lines and genuine suspense. Curse Of The Demon is a horror film that completely stands out from all the other horror films from that era.
The plot is about an american scientist who comes to England to help formally debunk activities and claims of a certain powerful demonic cult. The story admittedly picks up and never gets boring or slow from start to finish its almost nonstop suspense and genuine frights that made me jump from my seat a couple of times. Now whats so remarkable about this suspense and scares is they all almost completely accomplished through simple objects popping out of nowhere like for instance a branch or little kid in a crude Halloween mask, the use of shadows as well as the atmosphere also made large contributions to the suspense and horror. Interesting enough that demon you see in the poster only makes like two actual physical appearances in the entire movie, yet you don't really notice it and it seems like its there throughout the whole movie,now that's masterful filmmakeing if you ask me. Anyways when you see the demon its pretty freaking cool, the special effects were great and very memorable. The creature design its self is very cool and medieval looking. Not to mention this movie has a really chilling and freaky seance scene, that was extremely well acted.
This movie was directed by Jacques Tourneur who had previously done directing some work for Val Lewton with such movies as I Walked With A Zombie and Cat People. His style used in thouse movies is clearly reflected into this movie. Heck there's even a "Leopard" attack in this movie which was obvious brush off from Cat People. The Screenplay was written by Charles Bennett who had written for Alfred Hitchcock a number of times with films such as The 39 Steps and The Man Who Knew Too Much; which happen to be two of my favorite Hitchcock films. Now when you combine two high class people like Tourneur and Bennett its no surprise to why this movie was so good and a guaranteed classic.
After I got through watching this I started to think to myself has this ever been remade? There would be absolutely no reason to remake this, but still I was curious to see if id been done yet. Come to find out it hasn't been remade but Sam Raimi was really trying to remake it but couldn't secure the rights to it so instead he made a movie that borrowed very heavily from it that movie is called Drag Me To Hell. Now Drag Me To Hell is a very good modern horror film in my opinion but it does borrow many elements from Curse Of The Demon such as the passing of the demons curse through something as simple as a piece of paper or button, and how the demons curse would take effect after three days, to just to name a couple. Also I can see the influence this movie has had on Raimi`s earlier work such as The Evil Dead.
Altogether I really did enjoy this movie a lot. it`s a very unique horror film and is without a doubt years ahead of its time. Its masterfully directed and has more then enough chills and suspense. As well as a outstanding cast. Overall its simply a perfect movie especially for Halloween time.