Late Night With the Devil Directors Explain the Use of AI Art Amid Backlash

The found footage horror film Late Night With the Devil was experiencing positive hype. The South By Southwest Festival-premiered film has 96% on Rotten Tomatoes calling it “delightfully dark” and praising its star David Dastmalchian. However, a new twist about AI art use has led to social media backlash, with its directors responding.

The Late Night With the Devil trailer showed fictional footage of a 1970s late-night show featuring a supposedly possessed girl. This attempt to boost ratings follows a series of horrific mind-blowing events. Speculations occurred from social media users about finding alleged AI images in the movie. Directors Cameron and Colin Cairnes cleared the air with Variety about the allegations.

“In conjunction with our amazing graphics and production design team, all of whom worked tirelessly to give this film the 70s aesthetic we had always imagined, we experimented with AI for three still images, which we edited further and ultimately appear as very brief interstitials in the film,” said the directors. “We feel incredibly fortunate to have had such a talented and passionate cast, crew, and producing team go above and beyond to help bring this film to life. We can’t wait for everyone to see it for themselves this weekend.”

One X post showed one of the AI images was of a skeleton dancing in the middle of a pumpkin patch. The post even went as far as to discourage others from seeing the found footage film.

AI art in film has been a testy subject ever since last year’s SAG-AFTRA Strike. The deal said that replicating an actor’s resemblance requires consent. AI use also “can’t be used to undermine a writer’s credit or separated rights.”

How Did the AI Art Allegations Start?

On March 19th, a Letterboxd review by user based gizmo felt knowing about the speculations of AI art in Late Night With the Devil would stop them from enjoying it.

“There’s AI all over this in the cutaways and ‘we’ll be right back’ network messages. For this reason, I can’t enjoy the amazing performances and clever ending.”

The review then continued to say they found it “insulting” to find “blatant AI” use in the 1970s-set film and how cinema shouldn’t accept this form of art. After that, low ratings were pouring in for the movie on the site. As conversations continued on X, users felt disappointed an artist wasn’t hired instead and threatened to skip the film altogether.


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