What We Watch on Halloween: American Dad! and The Omen

The Omen at Halloween

Steve: It was 1987. Or 1988. Those days seemed to fly by on a combination of new music, new friendships and seeing outraged faces in tutorials because I was too ‘working class’. That’s how it seemed to me. Or was it 1990.

Is it important?

Well, I’m establishing background.

Just tell the tale, Steve, no one wants to hear your life story.

OK, that’s enough from you, Simon.

Ahem. Anyway, it was October. Halloween October. A midnight showing. Of The Omen. In Salford. At this time, there were still old industrial plots that stood empty.

There were three of us. And one said it would be OK to park the car on the road near a factory, we didn’t want to pay the car parking fee. Not us, we were smart. He knew the owner, see, he’d be fine about it. I think he said that. Anyway, this was a road. There were just no houses on it.

You know the movie. I was poo poo kacka the first time I saw it and have been every time since. It isn’t a horror movie, it’s a paranormal thriller. With very scary rottweilers. And it gets me right in the scary senses. That night was no different.

And the night was given an extra frisson because the film started at midnight. It was cold and clear when we left the cinema.

No one was around. So silent we spoke in whispers. There was a feeling of expectation. That anything could happen. And that wasn’t good.

Good, there was the car. Only a few minutes before we were in. And then I heard it. A guttural growl. I turned slowly. Only I had heard. It was my burden alone.

Two dogs. Doberman pinchers. Regarding me with a combination of interest and outrage. It’s OK, it’s OK, these were guard dogs for the factory. We were on the road next to it. They wouldn’t be interested in us.

Still, a fright. Another growl. I looked around with ease this time; after all, they couldn’t get out the gate. Then it dawned on me. There wasn’t one.

‘Lads…’ I slowly said. ‘There’s dogs.’ I jerked my head in their direction, hoping it wouldn’t enrage the canine confederacy. ‘Sh*t sh*t sh*t,’ said Chris as he reached for the car keys. There were a lot of keys and his fingers weren’t quite working.

‘Erm…lads. The dogs…’ The other two looked round. The dogs were on the move. Walking towards us. Still about 50 feet away but getting closer. ‘Chris, come on, keys, keys!’ almost shouted Paul through his teeth.

That did it. Chris dropped them. I looked for the dogs. They weren’t there. They were here. Nearly. Running with a graceful purpose which could only mean one thing. ‘Come on, come on..’ Chris muttered.

We heard a click. Wrenched the doors open, threw ourselves in, me lying full length on the backseat. Pulled my body back the other way, grasped for the handle, pulled the door too with a satisfying clunk, just as nails scratched the paint outside.

Silence. Heavy breathing. Then another clunk. Not so satisfying. One was on the bonnet. Staring at us. Waiting. ‘What do we do?’ whined Chris.

‘Turn the engine on,’ I quietly answered. ‘What if we hurt it?’ ‘Turn the f**king engine on,’ I shouted above the sound of a god hurling itself at my door.

Well, of course as soon as the dog heard the engine, it was out of there. And we were off too, laughing with relief.

But I never forgot. And that’s why I can only watch The Omen graveyard scene with Gregory Peck and David Warner through my fingers.

What are you watching this Halloween? Let us know in the comments!

Written by TV Obsessive

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