“Can a sixth-grader watch The Omen in your cinemas? The movie has an adult rating.”
My uncle called Sathyam theater at my request. I had seen “The Omen” playing at 1:00 PM on Sunday afternoon, and I wanted to watch the movie. I was in sixth standard. The movie was rated “A”, i.e. “Adults only”. For good reason – would you want kids watching horror movies willy-nilly?
I was, however, a goody-two-shoes and wanted to make sure it is okay for me to watch an “A” rated movie. Hence my request to ask my uncle to call the cinemas.
“Sir, if the boy has the nerves to watch a horror movie, he is welcome by all means.”
Have you ever noticed how the irresponsible responses make for good stories?
The theatre manager’s words were music to my ears. And my uncle took me to watch The Omen.
Why Would Anyone Watch a Horror Movie?
I don’t understand why anyone would wilfully subject themselves to two hours of voluntary scares.
I mean, don’t we go through life battling fears? Why pay money to get your brains scared? Horror is a genre with whom I have maintained social distancing (and any other distancing you can think of).
The sixth-standard version of Prahalad didn’t reason this way.
Watching a horror movie got my excitement levels up.
I Wanted to Watch “The Omen” Thanks to My Dad
Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot.
There are but a few of the books and movies my Dad mentioned over the years, largely in passing. I, of course, wanted to check them all out. And I did. (My Dad spoiled the ending of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None for me. But that is a different story.)
I checked out all recommendations except “The Omen”.
When I saw “The Omen” playing in the theatre, I was excited beyond belief.
On another note, I miss the days when theatres played older movies. It is a delight to watch them on the big screen. The newer movies seldom fascinate me.
A Benign Horror Movie
Calling a horror movie benign feels like an oxymoron.
Yet, The Omen didn’t have any over-the-top scary scenes. The first half felt like we were watching any other movie.
Gregory Peck plays the role of an American Diplomat living in Rome. His wife delivers a baby who dies on being born. Peck secretly adopts a baby whose mother died in childbirth, without his wife’s knowledge.
A few years later, the family relocates to the United Kingdom. Strange events happen around the baby (whose name is Damien). He refuses to go to church. A ferocious dog arrives at their home. Damien’s nanny hangs herself during Damien’s fifth birthday party.
A priest tells Peck that Damien is the son of satan, and that he will kill his pregnant wife’s baby if he remains alive.
The first half of the movie was all background information informing the viewer that Damien is the devil.
If the child’s hair contains the “sign of the beast”, i.e. the number 666, this would unequivocally prove that Damien is the devil. In the middle of the night, Gregory Peck takes a pair of scissors and snips off Damien’s hair.
After some good old snipping, the director shows us a red 666.
All of a sudden, I remember I am watching a horror movie. I experience shivers and chills. It was a moment to remember.
Damien indeed is the devil.
A Horror Movie to Remember
Spoiler: Gregory Peck does not succeed in killing Damien. Which, of course, translates to sequels. There were three other sequels made.
I didn’t watch any of them. I had had enough of horror movies, thank you sir.
The Omen was the perfect horror movie I could have watched. And my uncle was the best partner in crime I could have asked for. We watched more movies together, watching Kamal Hassan’s Kalaignan with him in the theatre was more exhilarating.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s write choice article for this story.
Image Credit: Rosie Sun from Unsplash
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