The best movie you missed in theaters just arrived on streaming — and it’s 97% on Rotten Tomatoes

 David Dastmalchian as Jack Delroy in Late Night with the Devil.
David Dastmalchian as Jack Delroy in Late Night with the Devil.

Big-budget blockbusters have been hitting theaters at a regular clip in recent months making it easy to miss some less high-profile movies. Catching "smaller" movies on the big screen becomes even more tricky when many chains decide to skip showing them in favor of another “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” screening.

“Late Night with the Devil” is one such movie. While I was able to see it at my local movie theater on opening weekend back in late March, before I could even recommend it to more than a few close family and friends, it had already been replaced by more showings of forgettable popcorn flicks like “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire." Yes, I’m bitter it didn't get more time in the spotlight.

It’s a great shame that many people likely missed their chance to see “Late Night with the Devil” in theaters, as it’s easily one of the most creatively inspired horror movies of the last few years. And it completely changed my opinion on the found footage format, reminding me that when used in the right context it can ratchet up the tension and increase the scares.

Fortunately, if you missed this movie in theaters, now is your chance to atone for that mistake. This fantastic movie is now streaming at home, on the horror-specific service Shudder. Alternatively, you can buy the movie on Amazon Prime.

Here’s why “Late Night with the Devil” is the best movie you can watch this weekend …

“Late Night with the Devil” blew me away

“Late Night with the Devil” is a seriously spooky horror movie presented in the style of a late-night talk show. If you want a quick elevator pitch, think “The Tonight Show” but instead of a Johnny Carson-type interviewing an A-list pop star about their new record, they’ve brought a possessed child onto the studio set and soon enough all hell breaks loose.

In the movie, David Dastmalchian plays Jack Delroy, the host of the fictional talk show “Night Owls” which enjoyed a wave of popularity in its early seasons, but is now fading into obscurity and is struggling for rating. In a desperate attempt to get more viewers watching, Jack invites a supposedly possessed girl on his show, alongside a magician-turned-skeptic who publicly debunks those claiming to have psychic power. What follows is a live broadcast of sheer terror.

Most of the movie takes place during the broadcast but when Jack throws to a commercial break, the cameras keep rolling. During these black-and-white sequences, various behind-the-scenes shenanigans unfold as Jack juggles unhappy studio executives and disgruntled guests. We also get a glimpse into Jack’s personal life during these moments.

Much like “Night Owls” rests on Jack Delroy's shoulders, “Late Night with the Devil” hinges on the performance of Dastmalchian, and the actor is nearly flawless in the leading role. Delroy oscillates between charming and sleazy, and his futile attempts to hold the show together as things get increasingly sinister are engaging. It’s practically an awards-caliber performance.

I’m keen to avoid divulging any spoilers, as the real joy of “Late Night with the Devil” is watching the taping descend into a feverish nightmare with a few unexpected twists along the way. Plus, the blood-soaked ending is haunting. If you have the nerve for a spine-chilling horror movie, you need to see “Late Night with the Devil”.

“Late Night with the Devil” reviews — critics love it

I’m not alone in my enthusiasm for “Late Night with the Devil”. The movie currently holds a 97% score on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes from a significant sample size of 180 reviews. Plus, its audience score is also very solid at 82%.

AV Club’s Matthew Jackson has plenty of praise for the movie: “Virtually everything about ‘Late Night With The Devil’ works, from its sets to its costumes to its casting to its impeccable sound design. It’s a gem on every level, and it’s already a contender for the best new horror film of 2024” and that’s an assessment that I very much agree with myself.

Dennis Harvey of Variety noted that the movie manages to balance light comedy elements that poke fun at the late-night talk shows of the 70s with its unnerving horror. “The mix of vintage Me Decade showbiz cheese and “Exorcist”-y demonic doings is distinctive, not to mention deftly handled by the brothers as both writers and directors,” said Harvey.

However, not every critic was won over, Matt Zoller Seitz of said, “The movie gets in its own way and trips over itself repeatedly” in a mixed write-up.

You need to stream “Late Night with the Devil”

It's shaping up to be a pretty fantastic year for horror movies, but “Late Night with the Devil” is going to take some beating for my personal favorite of 2024.

It’s a totally fresh film with a note-perfect leading performance from David Dastmalchian and a slowly developing sense of dread that matches the very best of the genre. It’s a must-watch either on Shudder or via Amazon.

Meanwhile, if you want to know which other scary flicks are set to arrive in theaters over the next eight months, we’ve got a guide to the best new horror movies set for release on the big screen in 2024 from “A Quiet Place: Day One” to “Alien: Romulus.”

More from Tom's Guide