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Silly and exploitative, The Omen is a shocker

Ominous twaddle as the devil walks amongst us, causing all sorts of trouble in a guilty pleasure of a movie series.

The Omen.
Don't look now!

THE PITCH?

Ominous twaddle as the devil walks amongst us causing all sorts of trouble.


And how.


Satan comes to life in human form, and we follow his demonic development from murderous toddler (kids, huh?), through troubled adolescence (bloody teenagers), into gloomy adulthood dominated by a penchant for murderous plotting (but that’s the mid-life crisis for you) ending, sort of, with a bit of gender-bending.


Made lots of noise and loads of money in the 1970s, before re-appearing in glossy, angst-inducing form as a by-the-numbers retread with Mia Farrow as the devil's handmaiden.


Holy moly.

THAT TRANSLATES INTO?



The Omen (1976)


Gregory Peck and Lee Remick add Hollywood glamour to a plodding, cumbersome, campy tale of the toddler from hell and his steady advance on The White House (a plot-line somehow lost between The Omen and its immediate sequel).


Surprisingly high production values for such nonsense.


It was 1976, The Omen is mainly set in England, and it rains a lot.


Remembered for its spooky music, and, oh yeah, the quite effective beheading of David Warner.



Damien: Omen II (1978)


Looks great, like an expensive TV movie, which it kind of is.


Don Taylor's first sequel is just as silly as The Omen, but this time, because the devil is a surly teen, Damien: Omen II has added character development and there's a creeping paranoia running through the movie about corporatism and militarism.


Sort of cool.


Better music than the first one, fewer gory chills, and with a certain pouting and theatrical gesturing on the part of William Holden and Lee Grant, Omen II is more respected than, you know, actually liked.