Mike Flanagan doubles down on defending an “absolutely excellent” horror movie after its use of AI prompted backlash and calls for a boycott.


  • Mike Flanagan defends
    Late Night With the Devil
    despite backlash over its use of AI art. The film has been praised for overall excellent horror elements.
  • AI-generated art was only used in three brief title cards in the film. Its directors stand by the decision to include this technology.
  • Despite calls for boycotts,
    Late Night With the Devil
    holds a strong 97% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Many still recommend the film.



Mike Flanagan defends Late Night With the Devil despite backlash and calls for a boycott. Released in theaters on March 22, the found-footage horror film follows a fictional late-night talk show host (played by David Dastmalchian) and a demonic event that occurs during a live broadcast of a Halloween special in 1977. Late Night With the Devil‘s use of AI has sparked controversy and its directors, Cameron and Colin Cairnes, have defended the inclusion of AI-generated images, which only appear briefly as title cards.

Now, Mike Flanagan is doubling down in his defense of Late Night With the Devil. The acclaimed horror director posted a positive review of the film on Letterboxd back in November 2023, but after the recent controversy over the film’s use of AI, Flanagan added an update to his review on March 21 to say “the movie remains absolutely excellent, and remains highly recommended.” In the comments, he continued to share his support, but declined to elaborate. Read Flanagan’s full review and responses below:

Late Night With The Devil Has Been Well-Received Despite Its AI Controversy

David Dastmalchian looking confused as Jack Delroy in the Late Night with the Devil trailer

Despite the controversy over its use of AI-generated art, Late Night With the Devil has been very well-received. In March 2023, the film premiered to positive reviews at SXSW, where audiences didn’t even notice its inclusion of AI art. That issue aside, Late Night With the Devil‘s reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, praising its enjoyingly ominous tone and Dastmalchian’s outstanding performance. As a result, the film holds an exceptionally strong 97% score on Rotten Tomatoes. It wasn’t until a recent Letterboxd review expressed disappointment in the film’s use of AI art that the controversy and calls for a boycott began.

Late Night With the Devil
earned $2.8 million in its first three days, the largest opening weekend ever for IFC Films.


Late Night With The Devil’s Record-Breaking Box Office Explained (Did It Really Make $666,666?!)

Independent horror flick Late Night With The Devil had an impressive box office opening, taking in a very specific amount of money from theaters.

Flanagan’s positive review is just the latest for Late Night With the Devil which seems to suggest that many are willing to overlook its use of its use of AI-generated art in favor of an otherwise excellent horror film. As the directors said in their response to the controversy, AI was only used for three still images which appear as “very brief interstitials” in the film.” Though many are appearing to give Late Night With the Devil a pass, questions about the ethics of AI art in film will remain and continue to be discussed for years to come.

Late Night With the Devil
is playing in theaters and will be available on Shudder on April 19.

Source: Mike Flanagan/Letterboxd

Late Night with the Devil Movie Poster Featuring David Dastmalchian as Jack Delroy Standing in Fire

Late Night With the Devil

Late Night with the Devil is a horror thriller starring David Dastmalchian as Jack Delroy. Delroy is a late-night talk show host in 1977 trying to keep his broadcast on the air. But when he tries to communicate with the devil through a young girl live on the air, things don’t go according to plan.

Cameron Cairnes , Colin Cairnes

Release Date
March 22, 2024

Image Nation Abu Dhabi , VicScreen , AGC Studios , Good Fiend Films , Future Pictures , Spooky Pictures

Umbrella Entertainment , Maslow Entertainment

Colin Cairnes , Cameron Cairnes

David Dastmalchian , Laura Gordon , Ian Bliss , Fayssal Bazzi , Ingrid Torelli , Rhys Auteri , Josh Quong Tart , Georgina Haig

86 Minutes

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