Late Night with the Devil: AI, Controversy, and a 70s Horror Revival


The recent horror film “Late Night with the Devil” has sent shivers down spines and sparked heated debate online. This Australian production, directed by the brothers Cameron and Colin Cairnes, takes viewers on a darkly comedic journey through a desperate deal with the devil, all set against a backdrop that throws back to classic 70s horror aesthetics. But what truly set the internet ablaze was the revelation of the film’s use of artificial intelligence (AI) in its creation. Let’s delve deeper into “Late Night with the Devil,” exploring the plot, the controversy surrounding AI-generated visuals, and the film’s place within the horror genre.

A Pact Gone Wrong: A Look at the Plot

The film centers around Matilda (played by Ella James), a struggling singer on the verge of giving up on her dreams. Desperate for a break, she stumbles upon a dusty record player and a mysterious record. This record, as it turns out, is a gateway to the underworld, and Matilda unwittingly summons the devil himself, played with charismatic menace by Julian McMahon. A deal is struck: Matilda’s soul in exchange for instant musical success. However, as with any Faustian bargain, things quickly go awry. Matilda’s newfound fame comes at a terrible cost, and she must find a way to break the pact before she loses everything, including her own humanity.

“Late Night with the Devil” blends elements of classic rock-and-roll horror with a modern twist. The influence of films like “The Devil’s Bargain” (1971) and “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968) is evident in the exploration of ambition, temptation, and the price of achieving one’s desires. The devilish charm of McMahon’s performance adds a layer of camp and dark humor, keeping the film from becoming overly bleak.

The AI Uprising: Controversy and Ethical Questions

The most talked-about aspect of “Late Night with the Devil” is undoubtedly the use of AI-generated visuals. The directors, the Cairnes brothers, initially presented the film as utilizing practical and digital effects. However, after the film’s release, they revealed that a small portion of the visuals, specifically three brief montage sequences, were created using AI art. This revelation sparked controversy online, with some viewers criticizing the lack of transparency and questioning the potential impact of AI on filmmaking.

The debate surrounding AI in film raises several key questions. Will AI eventually replace traditional special effects artists? How can filmmakers ensure transparency when utilizing AI tools? More importantly, how will AI influence the artistic vision and storytelling capabilities of cinema? While “Late Night with the Devil” only utilizes AI for a minimal portion of its visuals, it serves as a catalyst for a larger conversation about the future of filmmaking in the age of artificial intelligence.

A Throwback to 70s Horror: Style and Influences

“Late Night with the Devil” wears its love for classic 70s horror on its sleeve. The film’s grainy aesthetic, the use of practical effects for gore and creature design, and the pulsating rock score all evoke the era of films like “Carrie” (1976) and “The Exorcist” (1973). The costume design and set pieces further enhance the nostalgic feel, transporting viewers back to a time of flamboyant rock stars and gritty horror storytelling.

This embrace of 70s horror isn’t merely stylistic; it serves the narrative as well. The era’s focus on themes of societal anxieties, disillusionment, and the rise of the occult finds a natural fit in Matilda’s journey. Her struggles as a struggling artist grappling with the dark side of ambition resonate with the anxieties of the 1970s audience disillusioned with Vietnam and the counterculture movement fading idealism.

Legacy and Impact: A Devilish Delight or a Sign of the Times?

“Late Night with the Devil” is more than just a horror film; it’s a conversation starter. The film’s blend of genre elements, its embrace of 70s nostalgia, and the controversy surrounding AI in filmmaking all contribute to its unique identity. Whether you find the AI use a clever homage to the film’s retro style or a worrying sign of the times, the film undeniably leaves a lasting impression.

For horror fans seeking a nostalgic thrill ride, “Late Night with the Devil” delivers devilish delights. The performances, especially McMahon’s portrayal of the devil, are captivating, and the film’s exploration of ambition and its consequences is timeless. The debate surrounding AI adds another layer of intrigue, making the film a must-watch for anyone interested in the ever-evolving landscape of cinema.


Q: What is “Late Night With the Devil” about?

A: The 2024 horror film follows Jack Haley, a desperate talk show host willing to do anything to boost his ratings. He invites Dr. June Ross Mitchell, a controversial figure claiming to have made contact with the Devil, onto his show. During the live broadcast, things take a terrifying turn, blurring the lines between reality and the supernatural.

Q: What’s the controversy surrounding AI?

A: The film utilizes AI-generated imagery for a handful of brief interstitial shots. While some viewers appreciate the artistic touch, others criticize the filmmakers for not crediting the AI or relying on a “shortcut” instead of traditional visual effects.

Q: How much of the film uses AI?

A: The filmmakers, the Cairnes brothers, have clarified that only a small portion of the film (reportedly three stills) were created using AI. These stills were further edited and incorporated into the final cut.

Q: Where can I find the AI-generated scenes in the movie?

A: Identifying the exact frames can be tricky. However, reviews and online discussions mention the AI being used in surreal or dreamlike sequences.

Q: On YouTube, some reviewers slammed the AI use. Why?

A: Critics raise several concerns:

  • Ethical Concerns: Some argue that using AI without proper credit undermines the work of human artists and visual effects specialists.
  • Artistic Integrity: Critics might feel the AI doesn’t mesh well with the film’s overall aesthetic, creating a jarring disconnect.
  • The “Lazy Filmmaking” Argument: Some viewers perceive the use of AI as a shortcut taken by the filmmakers instead of crafting elaborate visual effects.

Q: Are there any who defend AI usage?

A: Absolutely! Here are some counter-arguments:

  • Innovation in Horror: Some praise the film for pushing boundaries and experimenting with new technologies to create a unique horror experience.
  • The AI as a Tool: Proponents argue that AI is just another tool in a filmmaker’s arsenal, similar to how CGI revolutionized special effects.
  • Focus on the Story: Some viewers believe the AI debate distracts from what truly matters – the film’s narrative and its exploration of themes like desperation and the dark side of fame.

Q: Where can I find more in-depth discussions about the AI debate?

A: Several resources offer analyses and opinions on the film’s use of AI:

  • Film Review Websites: Websites like Rotten Tomatoes, IGN, and Metacritic often feature reviews that mention the AI controversy.
  • YouTube Film Analysis Channels: Content creators specializing in film analysis might dedicate videos to “Late Night With the Devil,” exploring the AI’s impact on the film.
  • Filmmaker Interviews: Look for interviews with the Cairnes brothers or other members of the production team. They might offer insights into their decision to use AI.

Q: Beyond the AI, is “Late Night With the Devil” worth watching?

A: Reviews are mixed. Some praise the film’s atmosphere, acting performances, and exploration of dark themes. Others criticize the pacing, plot execution, and reliance on jump scares.

Q: Should I watch the movie before looking up the AI controversy?

A: Absolutely! Forming your own opinion about the film’s use of AI is more valuable after experiencing it firsthand. Reading reviews or watching discussions beforehand might influence your perception.

Q: Are there any similar films that explore the intersection of technology and horror?

A: If you’re intrigued by the concept of AI in horror, here are some recommendations:

  • Ex Machina (2015): A thought-provoking sci-fi horror film exploring artificial consciousness and the nature of humanity.
  • Black Mirror (TV Series): This anthology series features several episodes that delve into the dark side of technology and its impact on society.
  • Unfriended (2014): A supernatural horror film set entirely on a computer screen, showcasing the dangers of online interactions.

To read more, Click Here

About the author


Add Comment

By Goushia

Get in touch

Content and images available on this website is supplied by contributors. As such we do not hold or accept liability for the content, views or references used. For any complaints please contact Use of this website signifies your agreement to our terms of use. We do our best to ensure that all information on the Website is accurate. If you find any inaccurate information on the Website please us know by sending an email to and we will correct it, where we agree, as soon as practicable. We do not accept liability for any user-generated or user submitted content – if there are any copyright violations please notify us at – any media used will be removed providing proof of content ownership can be provided. For any DMCA requests under the digital millennium copyright act Please contact: with the subject DMCA Request.