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Controversial horror film about the devil that feels like you're in the room makes $666,666 at box office

Controversial horror film about the devil that feels like you're in the room makes $666,666 at box office

It's a hit at the box office, but some people are furious about its use of AI.

A satanic horror film steeped in controversy has summoned a shocking $666,666 at the box office on Sunday – and we are officially freaked out.

The movie, which features a late-night host inviting a young girl who claims to be possessed by the devil on to his talk show, was stirring up controversy even before the creepy box office total.

Beyond the obvious – people somewhere start yelling anytime the devil is featured in a film – the devil-focused movie has also caused an upset surrounding its use of AI.

The film features a teenage girl who may be possessed by a demon.
IFC Films

The movie, called Late Night with the Devil, has been criticised online after the directors admitted to using generative AI for images in the film.

Speaking to Variety, they said: “We experimented with AI for three still images which we edited further and ultimately appear as very brief interstitials in the film.”

While the three images only appear very briefly, it has still led to a huge backlash online, with film TikToker @cinema.joe saying: “The question becomes, where do we then draw the line with generative AI in movies, if we allow three, then why not four? Why not five? Why not the background? Why not the music, or background actors?

“If we don’t put our foot down on zero, what kind of message are we sending.”

He goes on to say: “I really like Late Night with the Devil, and it sucks that this one decision made by a few people is affecting this really talented cast and crew.”

This has led to the film being review bombed on Letterboxd, with four of the top five reviews on the platform being negative reviews citing AI (and the fifth was someone wishing this movie would happen to Jimmy Kimmel).

Whilst many fans have spoken out against the use of AI – the film has still had an overwhelmingly positive response.

A $2.8 million opening weekend in the US, including the supposed $666,666 on the Sunday, has seen the film debut at number six, a massive achievement for an indie horror film dropping at this time of year.

Late Night with the Devil is a found footage film which will make you feel like you’re in the room, with a creepy premise and brilliant acting.

Late Night with the Devil, despite the controversy, is a brilliantly made horror film.
IFC Films.

One fan posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) said: “LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL had me grinning until credits.

“Rarely do horror films fill a cinema with laughter, gasps, smirks and genuine moments of fantastic, practical gore.

“I understand the AI criticism, but what an original. Five stars, [David] Dastmalchian is a leading man for sure.”

Posting on Letterboxd, Mike Flanagan, director of Midnight Mass and The Haunting of Hill House was effusive in his praise of the film.

He said: “Was lucky enough to see this ahead of its theatrical release. David Dastmalchian carries this atmospheric and riveting real-time horror broadcast with a wonderful performance.

“The only other movie I can think of that is this is remotely comparable to is GHOSTWATCH. Highly recommended!”

While we’re still not too sure we trust that the film made $666,666 – it certainly has had us wondering… what if?...

Featured Image Credit: IFC Films

Topics: Horror, Entertainment, Film and TV