Given the sheer number of demonic horror films that have been released over the last several decades, it’s near-impossible to do something that hasn’t been done before when you’re dealing in the well-worn sub-genre. For that reason, the “666 Park Avenue” promo released by ABC today felt…well, more than a little familiar. Below you can check out the promo for yourself, followed by a list of 6 similarly-themed big-screen efforts that entered my mind while watching the new spot.
“666 Park Avenue” stars Dave Annable, Rachael Taylor, Terry O’Quinn, Robert Buckley and Vanessa Williams. It’s slated to air at 10pm on Sundays this fall. (Note: you can also check out ABC’s full 2012-13 schedule here.)
1) “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968)
In “666 Park Avenue,” an attractive young couple (Rachael Taylor and Dave Annable) move into an upscale Manhattan building complex that’s the center of a demonic conspiracy. In “Rosemary’s Baby,” an attractive young couple (Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes) move into an upscale Manhattan building complex that’s the center of a demonic conspiracy. Do you see where I’m going with this?
2) “The Devil’s Advocate” (1997)
Terry O’Quinn’s nefarious building owner calls to mind Al Pacino’s nefarious defense attorney in the 1997 Taylor Hackford-dircted horror flick “The Devil’s Advocate” (though whether O’Quinn’s character actually turns out to be the Devil himself, as Pacino’s did in “Devil’s Advocate,” remains an open question). In addition, the glamorous inhabitants of the building that can be seen swooping in on Taylor’s character in “666 Park” feel similar to the devilish ladies that did the same with Charlize Theron’s character in “Advocate.” If Taylor’s character ends season 1 with a shorter, sleeker ‘do, I’m calling foul.
3) “The Sentinel” (1977)
This little-known 1977 horror flick (which at one point actually features “Vacation” mom Beverly D’Angelo masturbating through a leotard) centers on a New York fashion model who moves into an oddly-affordable Brooklyn Heights brownstone (red flag!) that’s actually, wouldn’t you know it, a gateway to Hell. With all the portals opening up and sucking people into walls in the promo, could a similar revelation be in store in “666 Park”?
4) “The Omen” (1976)
Like “666 Park,” Richard Donner’s “The Omen” utilized the “Number of the Beast” (a.k.a. 666) and overt references to “beasts” in general (note Taylor’s basement discovery in the promo) as a means of drawing chills.
5) “Poltergeist” (1982)
Ok, so “Poltergeist” isn’t exactly a “demonic” horror film, but that shot of the tenant being flung upside-down against the wall by some unseen force in the promo couldn’t help but bring to mind that freaky JoBeth Williams wall-dragging scene near the end of Tobe Hooper’s 1982 fright flick.
6) “1408” (2007)
This John Cusack horror film (based on a Stephen King short story about an evil hotel room) features one chilling moment in which a ghostly woman reenacts her own suicide jump – something that also occurs with the spirit near the end of the “666 Park” promo. Ok, so…time to move?
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