Democratic candidate called police after mistaking horror film promo as threat from angry constituent

Amanda Taylor, a film blogger and Democratic candidate running for Missouri’s House of Representatives, called the police after she mistook promotional material for the new horror movie The First Omen as pro-life propaganda.

Last month, Taylor received an anonymous letter in the mail that included a single child-like drawing of what appeared to be four dark figures surrounding a young girl in mid-air suspension.

“Right away, I was thinking, ‘Ah, this has something to do with abortion,’” Taylor told Business Insider. “The day before I had received something from a pro-life organisation so I was like, ‘Okay, I’m starting to receive all the propaganda stuff.’”

Taylor said that she then sent the mysterious letter to her campaign advisor, who immediately called the police out of fear that it had come from an unhappy, pro-life constituent.

“She called me, and she was like, ‘Put that into a plastic bag, wash your hands, the police are on the way,’” Taylor said, explaining that there was concern the letter had been laced with a dangerous substance.

After a couple of weeks, it was eventually discovered that the letter had been sent from Walt Disney Studio’s senior publicist, Marshall Weinbaum.

The drawing had apparently been a part of the company’s promotional campaign for its new horror film, The First Omen, starring Bill Nighy.

(L-R) Nell Tiger Free and Nicole Sorace in ‘The First Omen’ (20th Century Fox)
(L-R) Nell Tiger Free and Nicole Sorace in ‘The First Omen’ (20th Century Fox)

It turns out that the drawing appears in the film, which lands as the sixth instalment in The Omen franchise.

Taylor was sent a follow-up drawing of the same young girl floating in the sky above five grim-looking women. This time, however, it had been accompanied by a press release with the film’s name and a synopsis.

“That was the best promotion I’ve ever seen,” she said. “But it’s also the one that’s affected me the most.”

From director Arkasha Stevenson, The First Omen is a prequel to the 1976 horror mystery The Omen. It follows a woman who uncovers the Catholic church’s plans to bring about the birth of evil incarnate to Rome.

In her four-star review of the film for The Independent, Clarisse Loughrey calls it a “surprisingly great movie that avoids cheap scares and bravely tackles the institutional horrors of religion and authority”.

The First Omen is really only held back by the fact it’s been ordained as a prequel,” she writes, calling it “a vicious, blood-slicked, coiled-up, oddly beautiful expulsion of horror, rooted in a distinctly Catholic expression of sexual turmoil”.

The First Omen is out in cinemas now.