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June 06, 2006

The Omen curse


The Guardian reports Guildford cathedral's dean, Victor Stock is fretting about an "Omen curse", that is to say thirty years of bad publicity for the place in the wake of occult horror classic "The Omen". Though I would have thought moaning about it to the press to be counter-productive in so far as one wished to avoid underlining the connection. Particularly so with the release of a remake shot not in Surrey but in Prague.

Stock believes that The Omen should never have been produced and has urged audiences to stay away from director John Moore's new version, released this week, which stars Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles, Michael Gambon and Pete Postlethwaite. The film follows the assimilation of the 'son of the Devil', Damien, into an ordinary family, who are soon the centre of tragic and bizarre events. The story takes its inspiration from the Bible's Book of Revelation which purportedly predicts the rise of the Antichrist.

This is all a bit rich. First off, is this not exactly the sort of troubling news a Church meant to believe in it should want to draw as much attention to as is humanly possible? I may think Revelation is barking nonsense but it is remotely possible the Dean of Guildford Cathedral is meant not to. Second, and if Wikipedia may be relied upon in this instance, a golden archangel weather-vane was added to the Cathedral as a visual element for the original "Omen". The congregation liked it so much they decided to keep it once filming was done (it now doubles as a "visually sensitive" antenna).

Dean Stock and I are at least in lock-step agreement about the virtue of staying away from this remake. A remastered, rerelease of the original for today's auspicious 6/6/06 date would have been clever and respectful. Using Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles as grotesque meat-puppets in a scene-by-scene remake is just panto without the jolly hockey sticks and the warm glow of gin, tonic and good company. "Michael Gambon should know better." Quite right.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at June 6, 2006 09:44 AM


Ghost of a Beast, eh?

Posted by: Eric Scheie [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 7, 2006 03:30 PM

I had the devil of a time (sorry, it had to be said) convincing someone that the Omen movie was a remake.

Oh, the humanity!

Posted by: Fred Kiesche [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 13, 2006 02:14 PM