mdtinney's Movie Review of The Omen (1976)

Rating of

The Omen (1976)

666 at it's best.
mdtinney - wrote on 09/17/09

In 1968, an innocent woman gave birth to the Antichrist (Rosemary's Baby). In 1973, Satan himself took control of a teenage girl, scaring people witless for ages (The Exorcist). In 1976, his son came back, this time under the appearance of a five-year old boy...
Over 30 years later, The Omen remains one of the best horror films of all time. I watched it again a few days ago, and I had trouble falling asleep the following night. Like in Halloween, there's almost no gore at all, but that doesn't weaken its ability to shock. If you want real horror but can't stand blood, The Omen is perfect. The movie begins in Rome, where American diplomat Robert Thorne (Gregory Peck) is told his son died just after birth. Since his wife (Lee Remick) doesn't know about it, he accepts father Spiletto's offer: to take care of an orphan and raise him as his own child. Five years pass, and Damien (Harvey Stephens) seems to have a great time living in London with the Thornes. If it weren't for that priest, Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton) who starts telling Robert the kid must die. And that inexplicable suicide at the birthday party. And that photographer, with whom Robert begins to realize the truth: what if sweet little Damien was actually the (literal) Antichrist? The Omen's power doesn't lie in the atrocious deaths or other "typical" shock factors. It's the subject itself that's unsettling. Consider the scene where Thorne (brilliantly played by Peck) starts having doubts about his son: should he kill him or not? That's a thought which is supposed never to even be joked about. It's the prospect of murdering a child that upsets the most, or at least that's what happened to me (I actually felt sorry for Damien, even though I knew I was making a mistake). And the whole thing is made more chilling by Jerry Goldsmith, whose score is arguably the best (read: scariest) horror soundtrack ever, bar John Carpenter's Halloween theme. Those tunes, alongside the last shot in the film (trust, you'll have a hard time forgetting that one) make The Omen unmissable for those who love the genre. Rosemary's Baby aside, it's the best film ever made about the Antichrist.

Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Are you sure you want to delete this review?
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?