On the heels of Talk to Me, the Adelaide-shot horror flick that became a breakout hit in the US last year, another Aussie-made supernatural feature, Late Night With the Devil, is taking America by storm.

Framed as a found-footage film about a 1977 late-night talk show broadcast, writer-directors Colin and Cameron Cairnes’s Late Night With the Devil follows struggling TV host Jack Delroy (David Dastmalchian), who is battling declining ratings. Desperate to stop the slide, he invites a teenager who is said to be possessed by the devil, Lilly (Ingrid Torelli), onto a special Halloween-themed episode of the show, as well as a parapsychologist who looks after her (Laura Gordon) and psychic Christou (Fayssal Bazzi). Things do not go well.

Though it’s set in the US, Late Night With the Devil bears a strong Australian influence. One of the film’s key inspirations was famed American-born, Australian late-night host Don Lane, who often invited “supernatural experts” onto his show.

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“We’d stay up late way past our bedtime and watch Don Lane try to convince Australia that the paranormal was real and the ghosts were real,” Colin tells Broadsheet. “He was a genuine believer and him being this tall, charming American, Australians lapped it up. So that definitely stayed with us and had a major influence on the world we created, but also [on] the character of Jack.”

The golden era of US talk shows in the ’70s and ’80s was also a major reference for the brothers, whose past features include 100 Bloody Acres and Scare Campaign. For authenticity, they prioritised real, in-camera effects, rather than digitally generated ones.

“We used practical effects and prosthetics,” Cameron says. “[But] there were just some things we weren’t gonna be able to do live on set, lightning strikes and things that just can’t be done practically. There was a lot of blood being splashed around on-set, vomit and real-life worms.”

Filmed at Docklands Studios in Melbourne, the feature was made in just 20 days. Yet, one of the biggest challenges for the siblings was sorting through the enormous amount of footage they had in the can.

“There was so much material Colin and I [shot], and we wanted to look at every single frame,” says Cameron. “We were going over takes, trying it one way, trying it another, and just the sheer amount of footage to get through was exhausting.”

One of the most exciting moments occurred when the film received an endorsement from the King of Horror himself, Stephen King. Both brothers are lifelong fans of the author.

“Stephen saw the film [just days after it premiered at South by Southwest in Texas], responded almost immediately, and said he loved it,” Colin says. “We didn't sleep for a couple of days. We were on such a high that the Master of Horror had given it his stamp of approval.”

Late Night With the Devil is already breaking box office records for its distributor, IFC Films, in the US. The brothers are not letting the success go to their heads, but are determined to enjoy the moment – and say the times we’re living in might be helping the film resonate.

“We didn’t go out of our way to make it about today but I think whatever’s going on in the world always feeds into what you’re doing and it is a pretty doom-laden era,” Colin says. “There’s a lot of doom and gloom around at the moment. So, I think that that might explain why it is resonating as well.”

Late Night with the Devil is in cinemas April 11.