ENTER THE DEN OF SIN: DEVIL’S DUE

Bob took off after the break, but as soon as we put “The Omen” in the player things were starting to look up. The title sequence was “sweet” and featured an upside-down cross. People were encouraged but confused by the presence of Gregory Peck. My husband then repeated his assertion that Richard Donner is one of the best action directors of all time.

Yet, as stoked as everyone seemed to be, no one would shut the hell up. My husband tried to find someone who shared his love of Michael Bay to accompany him to The Island. Several conversations about Scientology started up. Arnie’s chances at a run for president were debated. River loudly carried on a conversation on his cell-phone, causing us to miss crucial plots points, but if you’d like to know his schedule for the next week, just let me know.

Corinne and I were about ready to start busting skulls, but people were able to stay on topic long enough for us to get the general gist. Again, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 25 years, you at least have a working knowledge of the basic plot of “The Omen” and I won’t bother recounting it. I was a little concerned about Peck’s age, and no one was sure whether his constant tonsil hockey sessions with Lee Remick were romantic, or icky.

Will was confused by the dog. “Is the dog Satan now?” he asked. I commented that it was according to the Son of Sam, but my joke was lost as Will had missed the ‘70’s. Corinne liked the spooky music. Brendan wanted the Knights Templar to show up and start kicking ass. When Nick showed up an hour in, he pointed out that if Christopher Lee were in the movie, it would have been over by now.

Corinne commented that having a nanny was sort of like being able to turn your kids on and off. “You don’t actually have to take care of them,” added my sister. “But you still get to love them,” responded my husband. I was more struck by the obvious influence “The Omen” must have had on “The Shining,” including an almost identical ground level tracking shot of a kid on a tricycle motoring through a giant manor house.

Graeme pointed out that while there wasn’t much happening in the movie, it was still a lot more exciting than “The Amityville Horror.” It was better put together, and while it was obvious that Donner was merely aping Hitchcock for a lot of scenes, there are far worse directors you could be stealing from. My sister waxed nostalgic for “the days when you could board a plane with a bag of knives,” to which the rest of the Peanut Gallery responded that Peck was a diplomat on his own plane and could: a) “carry a gun,” b) “practice his shooting wherever he wanted,” c) “murder a whore,” d) “already had.”

Brendan was amazed that Peck had outsmarted the Hounds of Hell and Nick wanted to know how he did it. The answer was very simple: “he’s Gregory-Fucking-Peck.”

Rumblings from the Peanut Gallery: Suffice it to say, “The Amityville Horror” has definitely lost something over the years, and the too clean DVD transfer made all of the effects look even cheaper and sillier than they actually were. Particularly disappointing was the bleeding wall sequence which was so clear you could actually see the holes that the blood came out of. “The Omen” on the other hand still managed to be suspenseful and spooky, but like Corinne said, knowing that there are sequels did make the ending somewhat anti-climatic. My husband on the other hand asserted that it was possible to make an “Omen” TV show, and for it to be good.

Mariko McDonald and her husband host a weekly film night in their apartment, affectionately known as the Den of Sin. It’s kinda like evil film school. Monthly screening schedules are available at http:filmgurlland.blogspot.com and if you happen to live in the Vancouver, BC area and are interested in catching a screening please drop her a line at filmgurl79@hotmail dot com. Suggestions, hate mail and cute pictures of cats also accepted.

And of course you can always offer up some juicy Back Talk>>>




Posted on August 10, 2005 in Features by
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