Before I start, I just want everyone to know that the original episode guide for Cursed Films seems to be wrong. Episode 2 should be about Poltergeist but instead, it’s The Omen. Just a heads up.

The Omen, from 1976 by director Richard Donner is about a little boy who is the Antichrist. Since its release, there’s been three sequels, a 2006 remake and a legacy that changed the world of horror forever. Horror in the form of a child with a sweet face. The very concept terrified people as did the supposed curse that haunted the production.

The second episode of Cursed Films takes on a more mysterious route than its pilot. The episode is primarily split in half with part one explaining what might’ve cursed The Omen, and the second half explaining why so many people believe that it’s cursed at all. That curses appear only when you look for them, so desperately believing one exists that it actually manifests at a mental level. Your mind puts it there for you to see, to establish a form of make-believe control. That bad things happen because someone or something causes them, and a simple blessing, spell, or positive thought can redirect it elsewhere. This is essentially what happened with The Omen.

The curse of production

The episode begins with former members of The Omen crew listing everything that happened during production. Things that feel like it came straight out of the film itself. Before production began, they were told by a religious advisor that making a film about the Devil would invite him in. Podcaster Matt Gourley says it perfectly, “the curse attached to The Omen is an interesting one because it kind of almost seems self-inflicted.”

Several of the jets carrying crew members were struck by lightning, all within a few days of each other. Then a plane that was supposed to have Gregory Peck on it crashed, killing everyone on board. If there was a curse in that occurrence though, I would feel that the pilot was its target. Not only did he die but when the plane crashed, it hit a station wagon that had his wife and child inside. Feels less about The Omen when looked at objectively.

In London, the crew had additional trouble with the IRA, who were very active around this time. The restaurant, Scott’s Oyster Bar, they were planning to eat at was bombed. It wasn’t the only bombing that took place in 1975 though; Hilton Hotel, Green Park Underground Station and the six collective bombs that went off on January 27. None of which had any connection to the film. There was also a fatal car accident after the film wrapped and an event that took place in the zoo where they filmed the baboon scene. A trainer was killed by a tiger.

It all makes convincing evidence for a curse.

The why and the how

Cursed Films has an interesting technique when giving its final analysis. This was also in the case with Episode 1 but to a lesser extent. It offers two major explanations. One psychological and one paranormal. At least two speakers are members of the occult, a black magician and a witch. They share their opinion on the matter, including possible reasons that a curse might attach itself to a movie. They’re joined by numerous religious experts who claim the Devil himself is responsible.

At one point a man named Michael Correll (a witch known as Uncle Birth) casts a curse on an unnamed film for the viewers’ pleasure. The episode shows the whole thing. He stands in a circle in a Matrix coat and performs the ritual for the cameras. It’s probably the weirdest thing I’ve seen in a half-hour documentary. However, the whole second half backtracks against everything, giving a more straightforward, logical explanation involving the brain’s need to see patterns.

There is also the subject matter to consider. A taboo topic that, similar to The Exorcist, was too frightening for people to acknowledge. Fun fact: nothing unusual occurred during the making of the 2006 remake. Does that mean Satan only cares about original productions? Is he a film snob?

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)
About the Author

Rachel Roth is a writer who lives in South Florida. She has a degree in Writing Studies and a Certificate in Creative Writing, her work has appeared in several literary journals and anthologies. @WinterGreenRoth

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