Tuesday , 16 July 2019

Damien picks up where The Omen left off – review

Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man: and his number is 666.

Damien - with dogs

The Beast, False Messiah, the Man of Lawlessness, the Antichrist – all are names given to the Son of Satan. When he arises in power, he is to lay waste to all of mankind. It is his destiny. And there are protectors who will do everything in their power to make sure the prophecy comes to be. Death and destruction are his constant companions. Now it is time for him to understand who he truly is and what he is meant to be. Thus lies the premise of A&E’s new series, Damien, which serves as a direct sequel to the 1976 20th Century Fox flick, The Omen. In that movie, Damien was just a 5-year old boy, generally oblivious to the evil surrounding him, whereas now he is a grown man, having recently turned 30, and becoming aware that something is not right.

“Look at me, Damien. It’s all for you.”

Damien - The Omen

The original film, The Omen, is one of the great, classic fright films of the 70s. Continuing the newfound horror of demons and the devil seen in Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, The Omen took the premise of the ultimate evil even further. Not content to limit the setting to basically one house and one city, The Omen sent audiences on a worldwide quest to unearth horrifying secrets and devastating truths. Starring Gregory Peck as U.S. diplomat, Robert Thorn, and Lee Remick as his wife, the movie dealt with their gradual realization that their adoptive son may be the personification of evil itself. The film was probably most notorious for ushering in the use of creative, grisly deaths, from a priest impaled by a lightning rod, to perhaps the greatest decapitation scene of all time. While later franchises, like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm St., also became known for their gory displays of carnage, it wasn’t until The Final Destination films, starting in 2000, that imaginative, Rube Goldberg-esque means were used by unseen forces to get characters to meet their demise in gruesome fashion, like in the Omen films.

“There’s always been someone else, some thing, like a dark cloud hanging over me.”

Damien - Syria

In the TV show, Damien (Bradley James) has now turned 30, and is a war photographer who surrounds himself with noise and mayhem as a means of keeping at bay the repressed memories of his youth. When an elderly woman confronts him in war-torn Syria, appearing to know him, it triggers some of these lost memories, and sets him on an investigation, just like his father before, to uncover the truth behind his ancestry and ultimate destiny. As death seems to follow him wherever he goes, he ultimately learns that he is indeed the Antichrist. Whether or not he accepts his true identity, and embraces it and all that comes along with it, will be played out as the season progresses. While there are those who know who Damien is and are out to stop him before he can reach his preordained destination, there are also those aiding him, including one protector who has watched over him since he was a child, played by Barbara Hershey, who is convincingly menacing, manipulative and mysterious. Also appearing in future episodes is Scott Wilson, last seen as the loveable voice of humanity, Hershel, on The Walking Dead. It will be great to see this terrific actor, who should’ve won an Emmy for Dead, again on the small screen. Glen Mazzarra, who served as executive producer and showrunner for seasons two and three of The Walking Dead, performs the same duties here.

“The Devil does exist. He lurks in the dark corners of the heart.”

Damien - cast

Two episodes in, it’s still too early to know whether Damien will succeed in carrying on the tradition of The Omen, but they are continuing to showcase grisly death scenes, from throats ripped open to a man bisected by the hood of a car. What is interesting, though, is that the producers have decided to completely ignore the second and third films of the series. (There was also a fourth film, the made-for-TV, Omen IV: The Awakening, as well as a 2006 unnecessary remake.) In the second film, Damien was a teenager in military school, while the third film, The Final Conflict, saw an adult Damien, played by Sam Neill, having fully come to terms with his devilish side and ready to fulfill the prophecy. By tossing everything else aside, the producers are able to concentrate on a Damien coming to grips with who he is and how he deals with it. Furthering the ties to the original film, clips featuring Gregory Peck, Lee Remick and other stars from that film, are interspersed throughout the show, as Damien’s memories gradually become unlocked. This lends a credibility to the small-screen continuation that is rarely seen with television sequels and such (Ash vs. Evil Dead being another.) We also see the return of the ever-present, bloodthirsty Rottweilers, who keep a watchful eye over Damien, ready to tear apart anyone getting in the way, as well as the seven daggers of Megiddo, which are to be used to kill the Antichrist. Satanic-sounding choirs are also on hand, as a portent to whenever sinister happenings are on the way.

“The Darkness is coming.”

Damien - negative

A show like this rests upon its lead, as it needs to be someone who is at once charismatic and charming, yet capable of sinister doings. Bradley James may be the best personification of Damien yet, as he starts out as a good person. He wants those he cares about to stay away from him and his ‘cloud of darkness,’ and he’s not afraid to risk his life to save others. But he may not be able to escape the inevitable truth, that he is meant to bring about Armageddon, as told in the Book of Revelation, and hopefully, the show will effectively convey his descent, or not, to the dark side.

Naturally, a show dealing with the bible and prophecies, should get into some pretty heady material, and Damien is unafraid to tackle questions of faith or the lack thereof. When someone in Damien’s circle loses a loved one, she believes, “she can’t be gone, this can’t be all we have….death isn’t the end.” Damien, himself, while never someone of faith, questions how God could let a good person die so senselessly. He also asks God/Jesus what He wants from him, and what he ever did to Him so as to deserve such a fate. Ultimately, Damien is meant to “become the greatest tyrant the world has ever seen, plunging it into darkness, plague, famine, war – the end of days – until he is defeated by the returned Christ during the last judgment.” At one point, a priest asks, “If you could’ve killed Hitler, before he unleashed all his horrors on the world, would you have? This….is worse.” It’s an interesting idea, one brought up before in time travel movies. And you can’t help but equate the prospects of an evil, hate-filled tyrant destroying the world with that of a certain political frontrunner dominating the headlines here in America. While we hope, and pray, that calmer, wiser heads will prevail here in the real world, on the small screen, we look forward to all the death and destruction to come as Damien confronts the evil that lurks within him.

Damien airs Monday nights on A&E, following another classic horror character, in the excellent prequel, Bates Motel. Together with Fox’ more lighthearted, Lucifer, it makes for a devil of a night for television watching.

6 comments

  1. Catherine M. Reynolds

    Where is my son? I am his mother, the suffering omen. I prayed for miracles in America and I prayed for this child also. He is not the son of THE DEVIL. He is MY son. So I would not be alone in this life. I am sure that many forget that their number is also 6, they have broken a commandment or two themselves and who knows it best but myself, the suffering omen of that. I want to meet my son. I was pregnant as a toddler and the child was taken from me. I had talked to the baby saying my little movie star when I was pregnant. Tampa General Hospital said it was sexual rape, yes, it was but then we all came from Adam and Eve, did we not? So stop calling him the son of the Devil. I am his Mother, I am the Mary John Lennon met in person. I was sent back by GOD, I pray for miracles as the statues crying and other amazing miracles. Where is my child at? I demand to know who took him and what became of him!

  2. Catherine M. Reynolds

    I made millions of people rich, successful, and it was NOT evil. I actually wrote the book Lord of the Rings and drew the Helms Deep castle. My grandmother was Madele Helms, related to Sir Francis Scott Drake. He is also related to Robert E. Lee, the southern general. Yes, but I am Mary sent back, God hears my prayers and I am the woman who called down the fire from the sky in Revelation and prayed for miracles right in front of people. Yes, I am her and where is my son? Tell him his mother is looking for him. I know what issue of blood means in the Bible and I prayed for the blood to stop and it has stopped. The ordeal that I went through to be married and have children in this lifetime almost killed me. I was abused mentally and physically. I sang lovely love songs and peace songs which were stolen from me where ever I went to. Yes, people do sin and they steal and God does get angry but the Bible warns you beware of the angry woman and I am her. Do not speak evil of my son, do you understand me? I will write the last chapter after all is over with and this is no joke. I drew the peace sign and some call me The Fatima Prophecy. I do not pray to Satan and you dummies, he was sent to Hell for all eternity. My son, I love you. That’s all I can say. You have half siblings alive, Jaime, Daniel, and Jesse who was born on Christmas Day by the way. You are not evil, you are a blend of what the world is like today and nothing more. Get in contact with me. I am now 60 years old and waiting to meet you. I was told as a teenager about you but I was not ready then to meet you. I am now. Mary Reborn…you must be born again in the Bible. Remember, many are called but few are chosen. I love you so much son. Mary of God renamed Catherine.

  3. Catherine M. Reynolds

    I called myself Rose Mary in first grade. I went to a Baptist pink church in Tampa, Florida who told me that Satan was going to persecute me worse than anyone alive. Bad people attacked me over and over and over again. I know what evil is and the meaness of people and their contrite hearts. I was attacked and nearly killed when preaching door to door about Jesus. He was my son in another lifetime. I have proof of it. I am reincarnated. So this world has always been crazy and wars fought and lives wasted by it. I drew the peace sign intending to create a better world and more peaceful to live in. I have a collection of miraculous photographs and could write a book on God answering prayers so don’t you believe a word of it that you are evil. You know that there are problems in the world and we do not live in a perfect world but we all do have feelings. We all have a story to tell. The first miracle I prayed for was for my hair color to change from black to red when I was only an infant and my black hair fell out and red hair grew instead. I can pray for miracles and you my son, came to me when people did not know that a baby can have a baby. You are chosen of God to show us things as I am. I had milk in my breasts for you but you never got to drink it. I have always felt empty armed and wondering if you were okay somewhere. Do no be afraid to contact me now, the time is now to contact your Mother. Oh yes, two witnesses in Revelations my son. I am Mary and God is with me. A white cloud was over me and no one else in the room in a photo taken of me. Trust me, there is much ignorance in the world over right and wrong and people making stuff up as they go along. I am strong now and I am here for you. I prayed for statues to cry tears of blood. Your mother is the fair and chosen one’s beloved. Suffering omen of Revelation. To be sure my son, did you hear my voice inside the womb talking to you? I heard my Mother’s voice inside the womb. My little movie star…you are more to me now than you will ever know.
    Do not be afraid, I will protect you and they shall be afraid of names they called you and I.

  4. Catherine M. Reynolds

    I was not a stupid girl. I taught art to Bob Ross, Thomas Kinkade, Donna Newbury and drew comic strip characters and Walt Disney characters. I made up the song to the movie Pocahontas. I drew the movie characters. I was injured and my hand ailing me so people took it and the credits from your Mother. Angry? Me too. People are wicked but you are not. You were prayed over to come. Yes, we moved from Tampa, Florida to Dunedin, Florida, then to New Port Richey, Florida. What motivates people to lie my son? What are they covering up? Think on that.
    I also created the UPC symbol, named the Frisbee and Flowbee, I made the first cabbage patch doll, I drew the design for Troll dolls, I made limp legged rag dolls and spool dolls as well. I made Carol Duval famous of a TV craft show. I wrote poetry…Footprints is now famous and Do Not Quit and the Serenity Prayer poems. I invented the Swiffer but had a company develop it. I wrote to companies to make Reese Peanut Butter cups and Dr. Pepper. Pepsi used my song I would like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony on a Christmas commercial. I made many people rich by songs like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Karen Carpenter, Joe Cocker, Michael Bolton, Barbara Striesand, and I don’t have room to type it all in. John Lennon came to meet me in Dunedin, Florida. Where are you? You are all I can think about now. I prayed for 27 warts to fall off of my hands…27 chapters in the Bible son. You were meant to be here. I hope you know that. No matter what goes on. God knows who I am and why I suffered so much. I never knew where they took you or what name they gave you. I named you Edward. You are to me, Edward Scott Reynolds. That’s what I would have called you. Do you like that name? I hope so and you are Scott free from the crazy family I was born in.

  5. Catherine M. Reynolds

    What do they know about flesh and illness anyhow? If someone can get possessed by an evil spirit or not?
    Then what about those who have a saint in them? I know my son the mysteries of God and this astounds them. I prayed for a man named Richard Burns to get his youth back and he changed before 40 inmates at the Dallas Correctional Facility in Pa. Miracles are and always shall be my middle name now. Once I walked the land with a true miracle, his name, Jesus. When I was little I told my Mother, Elaine, Jesus wants us to be good. I would preach door to door at less than 2 years old. Oh yes, I was born answering my name Mary when the OB doctor asked for my name. I am the mystery of faith to be sure and you too my son, destined for this task. Do not be afraid of being alive in this world. I wanted to end my life at 17 years old but God said no, he spared me because I was attacked, raped, robbed, and lied to and lied about. Extreme evils go on around us all the time and it seems mankind never learns. They keep repeating sins and evil still goes on. I must show you the miraculous pictures that I have prayed for and they shall keep you safe. Elaine knew that I was going to be an unusual birth. She was selected by God to allow me back into this world, right on time as the omen of the Bible of a time when the world was in denial of true miracles. They wrote about me in Christian Signs and Symbols and Ancient Prophecies. I am that woman with amazing abilities. How I want to see your face and tell you how I have missed knowing you all these years. Please know what I say is true. Elaine Marie Reynolds took me to Tampa, General Hospital where you were born. Do not let them scare you into finding me now.

  6. Great info. Lucky me I ran across your website
    by accident (stumbleupon). I’ve book marked it for later!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*