Stephen King Recommends Unmissable Horror Classic, Calls it a “Spiritual ancestor to Hereditary”
Halloween might be over, but that doesn’t mean the scares need to come to an end. Recently, horror maestro Stephen King took to Twitter to spotlight Jacques Tourneur’s 1957 horror film Curse of the Demon, calling it a spiritual “ancestor” to both The Wicker Man and Hereditary. Check out the tweet below:
Curse of the Demon is a personal favorite of mine, a beguiling and often frightening example of early folk horror and demonic dominion. I’d put it up there with the likes of Night of the Eagle as landmark examples of rural British horror and the terror innate in dabbling in forces beyond our understanding. Check out a trailer and synopsis for Stephen King’s pick below.
Per TCM: An anthropologist investigates a devil worshipper who commands a deadly demon.
Famously, the production of Curse of the Demon was plagued by internal strife and disagreements (something Stephen King might from even scarier from his days attached to 1999’s The Haunting). Notably, producer Hal E. Chester contended with writer Charles Bennett and director Tourneur over whether to show the titular demon or not. Chester prevailed, and the final cut of the film does, in fact, feature a giant demon, though in fairness, it looks pretty metal. It likely wasn’t the ideal creative call—what’s unseen is always scarier—but it’s what we have, and it could have been a lot worse.
Earlier this month, we additionally spotlighted several of Guillermo del Toro’s picks from the Turner Classic Movies library. Between both him and Stephen King, horror fans will have no shortage of classic titles to check out as the weather turns colder and the year winds down. Seriously, there’s little better than a classic horror movie in the dead of winter (or, in the case of 1945 British horror anthology, in the Dead of Night).
What do you think? Have you had a chance to check out Curse of the Demon? What are some of your favorite folk horror films? Do you agree with Stephen King’s assessment? Let me know over on Twitter @Chadiscollins.