‘The Omen’: The Spooky Story Behind the Film’s Fabled Curse

The 1976 horror film, The Omen, freaked out audiences with a story centered around the Anti-Christ. In it, tragedy surrounds a boy named Damien, who is the Devil’s son. On top of the inherently scary plot, there are rumors that the film’s production was cursed. The Shudder documentary series, Cursed Films took a look inside the spooky behind-the-scenes occurrences of The Omen.

'The Omen'
‘The Omen’ | Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images

‘Cursed Films’ explored ‘The Omen’

Cursed Films premiered on Shudder with a five-episode season diving deep into films that many fans believe to be cursed. Episode 2 of the series tackles The Omen. The official synopsis for the episode reads as follows:

“A series of unfortunate events plague the cast and crew during the making of “The Omen,” raising concerns that the film might be cursed by the Devil himself.”

On the show, experts in film and supernatural fields of study weighed in on the validity of the supposed curse. Many threats, accidents, and deaths surrounded the film’s production. Some blamed evil forces, while others chalked it up to a series of morbid coincidences.

Accidents and deaths surrounded ‘The Omen’

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Cursed Films revealed a string of accidents and deaths involving cast and crew members from The Omen.

The star of the film, Gregory Peck, was scheduled to take a particular flight. But the actor had to cancel his travel. Upon takeoff, the plane that Peck was supposed to be on hit a flock of birds, crashed into a station wagon carrying the pilot’s wife and two children, and killed everyone on board the aircraft and vehicle.

Later, when Peck was headed to England to shoot The Omen, his airplane was struck by lightning. The film’s writer, David Seltzer, took a different flight to England, which was also hit by lightning.

Once in England for filming, the cast and crew shot a sequence in an animal park, where, tragically, an animal handler was killed. What’s more, a special effects supervisor lost his fiancé in a traumatic accident. It happened near a road sign that read “OMMEN, 66.6 KM,” a chilling reminder of 666, the Mark of the Beast, which is depicted in The Omen.

The executive producer, Mace Neufeld, recalled an incident in which he was planning to eat at a certain restaurant, but an explosion destroyed the building. Neufeld called the series of unnerving events “more than coincidental.”

The director of ‘The Omen’ received threats

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The Omen can be extremely polarizing due to the subject matter of the Anti-Christ. Some fans relish the genre and enjoy the horror elements in the story. Others balk at The Omen or any films that involve themes surrounding demons, hell, or possession.

Although most naysayers simply avoid watching the content, there are a few individuals who would threaten violence to the filmmakers involved. The director of The Omen, Richard Donner, was the victim of such threats. In Cursed Films, he explained, “In the making of The Omen, I got a lot of crackpot threats. One of these terrible letters I had gotten said my blood will run in the streets for doing what I did.”

The overall response to the film proves that the disgruntled folks were in the minority. Donner went on to finish The Omen amid fan frenzy and critical acclaim. The film boasts a Fresh Rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 86% on the Tomatometer and an Audience Score of 80%.

Does Donner believe the movie is cursed? On the contrary. In Cursed Films, he calls the production “blessed.” Fans can check out the full episode of Cursed Films: The Omen now streaming on Shudder.

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