Set in 1929 England, by Terence Fisher, Richard Matheson, and featuring Christopher Lee? Tell me more! What is it with the British and period pieces? This is based on a 1934 novel by Dennis Wheatley. The dialogue is a little stiff. No one talks like this. Lee plays the man who can fix all kinds of demonic invasions with a crucifix, and defeat demons he summoned in the first place.
This script is throwing demons at you left and right, and half those apparitions look silly. If you like witchcraft, there’s plenty of this here; just don’t try this at home in case it works. This is an ambitious script, and, sometimes, Fisher just can’t keep up. He’s a good storyteller, but some of these effects are too demanding. Those car scenes look awful and that demon, embarrassing.
It’s fun to watch grown ups in suits summoning and fighting the devil. At the time, screenwriters were tackling vampires more than demonology, so kudos for trying something different. Must they speak of demons, though, the way some talk about chemistry, like there’s a rational explanation behind it all? The special effects don’t stand the test of time, but the film is otherwise competent.