Stephen King-Approved: The Best Horror Movie of 2024 Releasing This Week in Theatres

Stephen King-Approved: The Best Horror Movie of 2024 Releasing This Week in Theatres
Image credit: AGC Studios, Legion-Media

Bonus feature: it has a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.


  • This movie premiered at SXSW 2023.
  • It's due for cinema release on March 22.
  • Stephen King and movie critics are in agreement.

Stephen King, the author who wrote Carrie, Misery and The Shining, clearly knows a thing or two about what makes a successful horror movie. On this occasion, he agrees with the critics who have weighed in on what is being called the best horror movie of 2024 on Rotten Tomatoes.

Nostalgic horror

It can sometimes feel like making a horror movie is all about trying to create something more gruesome or stomach-churning than what has been seen before. There's certainly an argument to be made that gore gets people talking and is useful from a PR perspective.

But the best horror films, no matter how graphic, maintain all the elements of good filmmaking. A compelling plot, characters you can relate to, and a sense of suspension of disbelief are essential to getting viewers to care about horror movies.

Nostalgia is also always appealing. Late Night with the Devil, framed as a 1970s talk show, delivers all those things. And as an added bonus, it comes with the seal of approval from the greatest horror writer of his generation.

Stephen King called it 'absolutely brilliant'

Posting on Twitter last year, Stephen King said, 'I got a screener. It's absolutely brilliant. I couldn't take my eyes off it. Your results may vary, as they say, but I urge you to watch it when you can.'

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As co-creator of the film, Cameron Cairnes added, 'You couldn't ask for a better endorsement.'

It's a found-footage horror

In an interview with Far Out magazine, Stephen King talked about how much he loved The Blair Witch Project when it was first released in 1999. The author talked about how 'the damn thing looks real,' 'feels real,' and is 'like the worst nightmare you've ever had' thanks to the way it was presented.

The found footage format has been used several times since then, with mixed results. But with Late Night with the Devil, the consensus is that Australian brothers Cameron and Colin Cairns have nailed it.

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When you consider that The Blair Witch Project only has an 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, you get an idea of how good Late Night with the Devil is.

What's it about?

The film stars Suicide Squad's David Dastmalchian as Jack Delroy, the host of a fictional late night talk show in the 1970s. This particular episode of Night Owls featuring Jack Delroy aired on Halloween night in 1977.

In keeping with the Halloween theme, Delroy's guests include parapsychologist Dr. June Ross-Mitchell (played by Laura Gordon) and Lilly (Ingrid Torelli, a young girl who survived a mass suicide at a satanic church).

When things go wrong, it's not just the people in the studio who should be afraid.

Inspired by the strange world of late night TV

In a statement about the film's background, the Cairns brothers said: "In the '70s and '80s, there was something slightly dangerous about late-night TV. Talk shows…were a window into some strange adult world. We thought combining that charged, live-to-air atmosphere with the supernatural could make for a uniquely frightening film experience."

This experience of being part of a world that only exists at night certainly comes across in the supposed found footage. There's an edge to it from the start that critics agree draws the viewer in and has an element of foreboding. But while the occasional curse word or drunk guest was the biggest risk at the time, the movie takes that foreboding and runs with it.

The movie is full of twists and turns, and while it's different in nature from Stephen King's most successful horror films, it's easy to see why he's such a fan. It's a heart-pounder with twists and turns galore. And it's real enough to scare the hell out of you.

Late Night with the Devil is in theaters March 22.

Source: Twitter, SMH, Far Out, Variety.