The Omen

Year: 1976

Director: Richard Donner

Written by: David Seltzer

Threat: Spawn of Satan

Weapon of Choice: Devil Dogs

Based upon: Original

IMDb page: IMDb link

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Other movies in this series:
Damien: Omen II
The Final Conflict
Omen IV: The Awakening

Rish Outfield's reviews
Gregory Peck and Lee Remick play the Thorns, happily married, wealthy, in a position of influence (he is the American Ambassador to Great Britain) in London. But something is wrong with their family. Ambassador Thorn never told his wife, but five years ago, their actual child died at birth and was switched before anyone could notice. Now, beginning on the child Damien's fifth birthday, things start to take a turn for the Evil. Ominous warnings (what other kind of warning would you expect in a movie titled The Omen?), strange dogs, and freak accidents begin taking place, and Thorn begins to realize that his son may be more than he appears to be.
Obviously, this wasn't a slasher film, but it was better than 90% of those movies put together. We all use the name 'Damien' to designate some kid with devilish qualities (okay, I always do), and this is the reason. Harvey Stephens gives a chilling performance as the child, and his is the face I always imagine when anyone mentions this film. This was Dick Donner's breakthrough film, and remains fresh, inventive, and disturbing a quarter of a century later. The Omen is a fantastic movie, frightening, smart, well-done, and compelling. Gregory Peck is stubborn about his duty, but he's understandably stubborn, as it makes me wonder, "How would I feel if my child were the Antichrist?" The music by Jerry Goldsmith ("Ave Satani"?) is eerie, Donner's direction and pacing is great as usual, and the ending just SUCKS! Of course, that's not in a bad way.
Best Scare: The horrible, horrible death of David Warner's character. Yeeeeee-uck!
I'd Recommend It To: Anyone out there who likes quality psychological horror. See it again.

The tyranist's thoughts
Spooky. The copy we rented appeared to have some severe sound problems so I missed about one third of the dialogue, but this movie is legitimately creepy. That kid is evil. The only piece that was hard to swallow was how stubborn Mr. Thorn was about killing his son. He had more evidence available that the kid was the devil incarnate than I thought was necessary. But he still hesitated. It may be that my point of view is affected by the fact that I sat down to watch the show knowing full well that the kid was Satan spawn. Very well done.

Total Skulls: 10

Sequel setup skull
Rips off earlier film
Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie
Future celebrity appears
Former celebrity appears
Bad title
Bad premise
Bad acting
Bad dialogue
Bad execution
MTV Editing
Girl unnecessarily gets naked
Wanton sex
Death associated with sex
Unfulfilled promise of nudity
Characters forget about threat
Secluded location
Power is cut
Phone lines are cut
Someone investigates a strange noise
Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door
Camera is the killer skull
Victims cower in front of a window/door
Victim locks self in with killer
Victim running from killer inexplicably falls
Toilet stall scene
Shower/bath scene
Car stalls or won't start
Cat jumps out
Fake scare
Laughable scare
Stupid discovery of corpse
Dream sequence
No one believes only witness skull
Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth skull
Warning goes unheeded
Music detracts from scene
Death in first five minutes
x years before/later skullskull
Flashback sequence
Dark and stormy night skull
Killer doesn't stay dead
Killer wears a mask
Killer is in closet
Killer is in car with victim
Villain is more sympathetic than heroes
Unscary villain/monster
Beheading skullskull
Blood fountain
Blood hits camera
Poor death effect
Excessive gore
No one dies at all
Virgin survives
Geek/Nerd survives
Little kid lamely survives
Dog/Pet miraculously survives
Unresolved subplots skull
"It was all a dream" ending
Unbelievably happy ending
Unbelievably crappy ending
What the hell?