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  • This movie plays with the intellect. It is frightening for what is not seen. From the grey overcast that blurs the skies of London and the dead stillness of the great Pereford mansion that houses the ill-fated Thorn family to the deepest recesses of civilization in the hollow underground of an ancient excavation site, the film effectively captures the viewer's interest and draws them into a world that is on the verge of the ultimate disaster - the birth of the anti-Christ.

    Born into the world of politics and wealth, little Damien Thorn is the darling of the beautiful and privileged Robert and Katherine Thorn. Mysterious accidents and the overall feeling of death begin to shadow their lives until the horrifying truth of Damien's birth is uncovered millions of miles away in a grave in a decaying pagan cemetery in Italy. Gregory Peck gives a fine performance as ambitious politico Robert Thorn, a man who slowly discovers that his fate is interlinked in ancient biblical prophecy. With escalating horror, he uncovers a grand design that's unfolding under the unsuspecting eyes of the entire world - and he and his perfect family are at the centre of it. His search for the truth is one of the best in films, taking him to the farthest reaches of the globe and climaxing in an exciting and bizarre confrontation between himself and the face of evil.

    Lee Remick is ethereal as his beautiful and tragic wife. The rest of the cast - Billie Whitelaw as the creepy Mrs. Baylock, David Warner as the doomed Jennings and Leo McKern as the mysterious archaeologist Bugenhagen - give the movie its singular dark and moody quality. THE OMEN has a few disturbing moments that shock rather than disgust, but the film is loaded with memorable scenes that are ingenious. It's the 'feeling' that the film incites that makes this movie unique. The haunted performances of the actors, the creepy-crawly musical score, the insinuation that doom is slowly creeping into the world with the birth of one lone child, all succeed in making THE OMEN one of the truest horror films.

    Sometimes it's the knowing that something is going to happen that is more frightening than actually seeing it happen ...
  • Robert Thorn the American ambassador to Great Britain watches his wife's pregnancy when a priest tells him that his newborn has died, but he convinces him to substitute the baby (the wife not knowing) with another child that lost its mother in labour at the same time. Watching their young child growing up, he starts show unnerving signs, which the parents slowly start picking up on and also bizarre tragedies start occurring. This leads Robert on a whirlwind investigation that all points to his son being the Anti-Christ.

    Right off the heals of 'The Exorcist' successful stint with moviegoers comes another one of those endless 70s religious themed horror flicks involving Satanism. 'The Omen', I'd definitely say is one of the better horror films in the shadow of "The Exorcist', but I'll even go to say its an vast improvement over it's influencer. That might be a surprise for some, but I found this film superior as it was more entertaining, fascinating and truly creepy in its context and shocks. Everything about it has a knack for falling into place. From the impending doom that's achieved by its coldly layered atmosphere to a premise that teases the viewer on how it's all going to play out. I won't deny that it seems silly enough when you pay close attention to it all, but with such conviction in the performances and that off confident direction, these factors makes sure that it doesn't slip overboard into cheesy daftness. Another stroke of brilliance would be Jerry Goldsmith's memorably, nerve-wrecking score with those explosive chants scattered throughout.

    On a grand scale the film was efficiently catered with well established cinematography and polished set-pieces that had penetrating might, which director Richard Donner handled with precise skill. Even when there wasn't much happening he knew how to keep things compellingly tight with good pacing and impressible imagery. Though, when it came to the essential thrills, he caps off some remotely tense (dogs' attack) and macabre moments (infamous decapitation) that display bite and flair. The climax is great and the ending is a fitting imprint too. The plot is filled with shocking revelations, interesting characters and it emits a glorious amount of excitement and dread from it mysterious outset.

    The performances are that of top quality by a stellar cast. Gregory Peck and Lee Remick are convincingly excellent as Mr and Mrs Thorn. David Warner turns in a marvellous performance as the photographer Keith Jennings. Then Billie Whitelaw is genuinely creepy as Damien's nanny Mrs. Baylock. Patrick Troughton is superb as the withering Father Brennan. But my applause goes to Harvey Stephens' who's the epitome of evil… well; he definitely looked the part and had a memorizing awe as Damien. Although, Peck deserves more credit really, as he brought such devotion to his character that we honestly feel the pain and confusion that hits home.

    One of the true benchmarks of horror, along the same lines of 'The Exorcist', but for me it beats that film all ends up. Expect a devilishly good time!
  • The Omen is one of the best horror films to have come out in the 70's. It isn't gory, it doesn't have sex, it is just plain terrifying. Everything about the movie contributes to feel of the movie. Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar winning score, the great acting, the cinematography and the scary as hell ending.

    It's the 6th hour on the 6th day of the 6th month. Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) has just found out his newborn son is dead. He can't let his wife Katherine (Lee Remick) know though, since it would devastate her. But when a priest offers him another newborn whose mother died, all problems are solved, they name him Damien.....

    The Omen is one of my favourite horror films. When I first saw it, it scared the living hell out of me. The score, done by Jerry Goldsmith is now one of the most famous horror movie scores. It sets the mood and sends a chill up your spine. The acting is outstanding (especially Billie Whitelaw as Mrs. Baylock). Gregory Peck and Lee Remick are, as usual, fantastic. Billie Whitelaw is pretty much flawless as the evil nanny and Harvey Stephens, although he doesn't say much, is very good as little Damien.

    The last thing that makes the movie scary are some of the most bizarre deaths. The most known of them is a decapitation which is one of the scariest deaths in horror history.

    5/5.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Always avoid people born on the 6th June – especially if they are called Damien and bizarre violent accidents seem to happen to those around them!

    Since this film has recently been remade, I thought it would be a good time to look back at the original – a horror classic!

    In 1973, 'The Exorcist' broke all boundaries; previously, horror movies had only concentrated on the dark side, there were hardly any references to main stream religions. The basic rule was if the Devil was in it, God wasn't. Even Rosemary's Baby released five years before has hardly any reference to God or a more heavenly supreme being. The reaction that followed the release of The Exorcist was that the public loved it but the censors didn't and it was banned in the UK for twenty five years. The Exorcist may have fallen foul of the censors but it opened the flood gates for this sort of movie and three years later The Omen was released on 06/06/1976.

    What do you think a good horror movie should have? Is it a superb cast, a brilliant score, a battle of good versus evil artfully portrayed on screen, or maybe a sinister and ambiguous open ending? No matter which of these sways your opinion 'The Omen' has all these and much, much more!!!

    Firstly, let's look at the cast, Lee Remick and Gregory Peck are the leads, these two names are nothing short of Hollywood elite. Lee Remick is perfect as the mother who as the movie progresses realises there is something very wrong with her child. (I'm not sure what tipped her off – was it the baboons attacking her car or her son's feral reaction at the thought of entering a church?) Gregory Peck again is perfectly cast, as no one does noble and principled like Mr Peck. However, it is not only the leads that are terrific, the supporting cast includes David Warner and Tommy Duggan who both put in notable performances but it is Billie Whitelaw that eclipses them all as Damien's overly polite yet sinister nanny.

    The score of a horror movie is very important, it has to chill to the bone and help create and maintain a feeling of an ever present danger. Jerry Goldsmith's soundtrack is probably one of the best scores ever written for a horror movie. It is perfect for The Omen, gloomy, disturbing, chilling music, interlaced with what sounds like religious choirs portending the end of the world. It really is that good and if you don't believe me, consider the fact that it won Jerry Goldsmith an Oscar the following year.

    By this stage, I know that most of you who were considering going to see the new Omen film at the cinema are now thinking to yourselves 'maybe I will rent the old one instead!' but for the few that are still on the fence here are a few other points to convince you. The 1976 version had a great plot, a child adopted into the corridors of power, whose destiny is to destroy the world, this is a simple and perhaps unoriginal premise however David Seltzer quotes Revelations at every turn and comes up with very original ideas to kill people off. Today, we are used to seeing a lot of blood and gore when people get killed in this genre but this is one thing that the omen lacks. Gore is pre-empted by well choreographed violent outbursts, each one being more frightening and compelling than the last, from a priest being impaled by a church spire to a reporter being decapitated by a pane of glass. These events all build to the foreboding finale. In the last scene we see a little boy, holding the hand of the President of the United States, turning around and smiling at his father's funeral. What greater ending could there be!?!

    The Omen stands out in this genre and has stood up to the test of time. To-day horror movies are packed with the latest teenage idols and gratuitous violence has replaced good plots and imaginative thinking. (There are exceptions to this of course, Dog Soldiers, The Ring etc.) The Omen combines, a great cast, a great score, and brilliant storytelling without a teenage idol in sight.
  • This movie scared the heck out of me when I saw it in the theaters in 1976, and it's still creepy today. It was almost 30 years later when I finally saw it for the second time and I thoroughly enjoyed it again, although it wasn't terrifying to me anymore. The DVD version is excellent because it presents the movie in the 2.35 widescreen mode, which is essential to the viewing of this film if you are a fan of cinematography. A VHS formatted-to-TV picture would lose too much of the great camera-work done in this film. I was amazed how beautifully filmed this movie is, so if you love this film and don't have the DVD, please consider getting it.

    The story was a bit slower than I remembered it back in '76 but still provides enough action and plenty of chills. This time around, I found the nanny (Billie Whitelaw as "Mrs. Baylock") to be more scary than the devil/kid! I didn't even remember her from 30 years ago but she got my attention on the DVD. It was a very effective job of acting by that woman.

    In the meantime, I always enjoy looking at Lee Remick's gorgeous face with her magnetic eyes and Gregory Peck is usually rock-solid in roles he plays. This is no exception.

    Although I question some of the supposed quotes from the Book Of Revelation from the Bible (there is no "s" in Revelation, the screenwriters showing their biblical ignorance.), the movie is still a good witness to people who don't believe in Satan. They might after viewing this movie.

    This is one of the classics of the '70s and often underrated. The sequels to this were simply not memorable and not worth your time. I don't know about the re- make that just came out, but it would be tough to top this film. I think I'll stick with this one and I won't wait another 30 years to see it again. Maybe tonight!!
  • Well made horror movie where numerous people meet horrible deaths by terrible demonic forces . This terror movie fundamentally centers on the rebirth of the anti-Christ, it's a creepy story where occur gruesome and bizarre deaths concerning Satan's son . American diplomat's family ( Gregory Peck and Lee Remick) adopts a baby , he's named Damien and has the devil mark : 666 . One time grown-up , young boy possessed with mysterious demonic powers causing wreak havoc and bizarre killings wherever he goes . The parents hire a nanny (Billie Whitelaw) and she schemes that delightful child anti-Christ can carry out all the evil plans . The little boy seems to be around when inexplicable deaths happen including rid of several interfering adults with the aim for world domination . Damien is poised for ruling devil over earth . Meanwhile the father is warned by a priest named Brennan (Patrick Thoughton) and a photographer( David Warner) and going on inexplicable deaths , as numerous of the roles come to a sticky final . At the ending the film puts a Biblic phrase : ¨Here is wisdom, let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast : for it is the number of a man , and is number is 666¨. Book of Revelation Chapter 13 verse 18 .

    After the ¨Exorcist¨ , ¨Richard Donner's Omen¨ was one of the most famous films of all time and the major possession movie of the 70s and created an authentic sensation , originating various sequels: ¨Damien, Omen 2 ¨ with William Holden and Lee Grant ,in which Damien is again adopted by a basic couple and proceeds to wreak havoc wherever he goes ; ¨The final conflict¨ with Sam Neill and ¨Omen 4, the awakening ¨ with Faye Grant and Michael Woods ; furthermore a modern remake . The chief excitement lies in seeing what new and amazing victim can be dreamt by the believable effects . Meantime Damien seems to dispatch new bizarre killing every few minutes of the movie . Charismatic performance of excellent protagonists , Peck and Remick , and all around with special mention to Patrick Thougthon as unfortunate priest and Billie Whitelaw as nasty servant . Impressive score by Jerry Goldsmith , deservedly winner one Oscar and colorful cinematography by Gilbert Taylor . The motion picture is originally written by David Seltzer an compellingly directed by Richard Donner .Followed in 2006 by a remake by John Moore starred by Liev Schreiver and Julia Styles , the inevitable comparison between Schreiber and Gregory Peck reveals that Liev is just too cool for this role and though redundant to original film is a fitting description of the director John Moore ,however is sometimes a shot-for-shot recreation but it doesn't insult the viewer's intelligence. ¨ The Omen¨, the story about a little boy possessed with mysterious demonic powers who murders those persons who anger him was a phenomenon and remains one of the highest horror pictures of all time. The movie's intelligence , believable Fx , breathtaking score, luxurious photography all combined to make it a classic and its influence cannot be overstated . Along with ¨The exorcist¨spawned a wave of demonic possession movies that goes on unabated nowadays .
  • Rightfully tense and spooky thriller from director Richard Donner that grabs its audience and does not let go until the shocking finale. American Ambassador Gregory Peck has come up with an idea after his new-born son dies at birth: he decides to pass another child off to wife Lee Remick as their own. Life in England seems grand for a few years, but as the child becomes a toddler (in the form of the young Harvey Stephens) strange murders start to occur. The child is really the son of Satan, born of a goat, and his only goal is to grow up and take over the world for his unearthly father. As the truth slowly unfolds, the film twists into disturbing murders and highly unholy situations. Not a film for the faint of heart and certainly not a perfect film, but still one of the stronger films of the usually luke-warm genre. 4 stars out of 5.
  • 'The Omen' scared the bejesus out of me as a kid. Watching it again all these years later much of its impact has worn off, and yes, it has dated quite badly, but it's still a wonderfully entertaining movie, probably second only to Polanski's 'Rosemary's Baby' in the Satanic/apocalyptic genre. It definitely wipes the floor with recent pretenders like 'Lost Souls' and 'End Of Days'.

    One of the reasons it still works is that the actors take the (sometimes silly) material so seriously. And when you have actors of the calibre of Gregory Peck and David Warner it certainly helps. Peck is utterly convincing as the Ambassador who doesn't want to believe the shocking facts staring him in the face, and Warner, who often found himself in second rate b-grade rubbish, obviously relished his role as the inquisitive reporter who helps convince Peck that things are not as normal as they seem. Along with Peckinpah's 'Cross Of Iron', one of his best roles. Lee Remick is strong as Damien's worried mother, Billie Whitelaw chilling as the mysterious governess, and Patrick Troughton ('Dr Who' #2) is very good as a dying priest who knows the truth about the Thorn's son.

    Forget the sequels, 'The Omen' is classic Satanic schlock, and still has more than a few scares left in it. Essential viewing for fans of 70s horror.
  • Following the heels of the success of The Exorcist, The Omen tells the story of the son of Satan being born from a mysterious pregnancy and given to a U.S. ambassador and his wife in Italy. The couple raise the young child, but things begin to happen to the couple as the boy matures. A governess hangs herself. The child acts wildly when brought near a Church. A spooky governess appears from nowhere to take care of the child. A black evil dog takes up residence at the child's bedroom. To complicate matters, a priest gets in touch with the father and tells him to beware his son and that he is the spawn of evil. The Omen works very well due to several factors. The script is generally well-written. The story is very implausable in some places, but it works on the whole. The use of powerhouse stars like Gregory Peck and Lee Remick in the leads help to give the film the royal treatment, making sure no one mistakes the budget, level of ability, and time put into this production. Peck is very good in his role as a man convinced(finally) of horrifying news. The rest of the cast does equally well with some fine performances by Billie Whitelaw as the crazed, manical governess, Patrick Troughton as the conscience-torn priest, David Warner as a helpful photographer, and Harvey Stephens as the young, sweet-yet evil looking Damien. Most of the film's success can be attributed to director Richard Donner. Donner keeps the pacing of the film tight, uses some first-rate pan shots, and creates a mood and suspense that build climatically throughout the film. Some of the scenes that are most memorable include Damien on a tricycle, Peck and Warner in a cemetery, and most famous of all is the priest's demise. A wonderfully shot sequence. The music in the film is a great asset to the overall mood. A very good film....not nearly as gory or shocking as The Exorcist but still as powerful in its own right for its seemingly somewhat realistic adaptation of scripture.
  • The first and best in the series of films about devil-child Damien teamed a great cast (Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Patrick Troughton, Billie Whitelaw) with Harvey Stephens in a chilling performance as the child.

    The deaths most of the cast meet are inventive and in some cases, memorable for many years after viewing the film - giving the opportunity for some unusual and striking visuals, while the whole film is soaked in that loud Goldsmith score to great effect.

    The sequels, alas, were poor in comparison, but 'The Omen' stands alone of its type of seventies horror schlock.
  • "The Omen" was included in a recent book I read of THE 1000 MOVIES YOU MUST SEE BEFORE YOU DIE! - ironic since fellow IMDb user Theo Robertson claims it was included as an entry in a similar book titled THE 50 WORST FILMS OF ALL TIME.

    I've always really liked "The Omen" and, like Theo, think it is superior to "The Exorcist." It's more chilling and freaky and subtle. There isn't any fake pea soup here, either. Which isn't to say that "The Exorcist" isn't any good - but it hasn't fared as well over the years.

    "The Omen" is just really good. It was released the same year as Exorcist if I'm not mistaken and Gregory Peck gives a fine performance. The part where a character's head is lopped off and rolls across a street in slow-motion, and then director Richard Donner cuts to a whole new sequence, is really chilling and bizarre.

    It's that sort of eerie unexplained stuff that makes this, in my opinion, superior to a lot of the other stuff out there - i.e. many other trashy supernatural flicks that don't hold anything against this.
  • A film that polarises opinion irrespective of its religious incantations, some unimpressed by its comic-book style hokum, others like myself willing to be immersed in the tale of the anti-Christ (Stephens) born into a wealthy American family living abroad, setting a course for Satan's second coming. Peck, playing American Ambassador to the UK and his wife Lee Remick lose their child during birth, but with the assistance of corrupt clergyman Martin Benson, Peck manages to procure a replacement child of shady origins. In the history of bad decisions, this is right up there with the most catastrophic, as the baby Damien wields his unassuming temperament against those conspiring to subdue the rise of the devil on earth.

    David Warner co-stars as the intrepid photo journalist who's bitten off more than he can chew investigating a series of strange events surrounding the family, former "Doctor Who" incarnation Patrick Troughton has a memorable supporting role as a doom-saying priest, and other notable roles are played with aplomb by Martin Benson, Leo McKern, Bruce Boa, John Stride and Anthony Nicholls to name a few. Jack's daughter, Holly Palance has a great cameo in one of the film's many penultimate moments, early on at the birthday party.

    Billie Whitelaw's inspired performance as the sinister house-keeper is perhaps the template that would be emulated many times over (e.g. Dimitra Arliss in "Bless the Child" for example), and in my opinion, the real sleeper in this film. Her measured performance is one of the key aspects that elevates this tale beyond the comic-book hokum for which some reviewers hold contempt, notwithstanding the fuzzy logic on the religious overtures, which to be honest, who really cares. It's only a movie, and a chilling one at that, director Richard Donner immortalising himself with this effort, which in my opinion is easily in the top ten horror films ever made for its imagery, atmosphere, visual effects and of course, "Ave Satani" soundtrack.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    *The Omen SPOILERS*

    Rome, June 6, 6:00 AM: American Ambassador Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck), after finding out that his wife Kathy (Lee Remick) gave birth to a stillborn child and doesn't know it, accepts to adopt an orphan newborn boy, whose mother died while giving birth to him.

    Everything goes well, until the boy, who has been called Damien (Harvey Stephens)'s fifth birthday party, when Damien's nanny (Holly Palance) joyfully hangs herself in front of all the children there.

    From then on, things begin to get weirder and more dangerous as more accidents happen around Damien, and a photographer, Keith Jennings (David Warner) finds out that the photos he took of the people who died have clues on it as to how the pictured person will die (e.g. a diagonal line extending from the nanny's neck in a photo where she is tending to Damien).

    Keith and Robert, who has also noticed the weirdnesses happening, investigate about Damien's real mother and find out a shocking truth, one that the new babysitter Mrs. Baylock (Billie Whitelaw) is part of...

    'The Omen', in my opinion, is one of the best satanic horror movies of all time; the actors are all in part, the script works perfectly, the music is scary as hell and the direction is top-notch, and it still holds up today, unlike 'The Exorcist' which looks pretty dated and has also lost its edge of terror.

    It's the first of a well-thought out trilogy, even if the second and third movies are pretty weak, and has had an unnecessary third sequel (Omen IV).

    As it's custom nowadays, this classic too has unnecessarily been remade, but there is no way it's superior or even as good as this classic.

    The Omen: 9/10.
  • This movie appears in the book 50 Worst Movies Of All Time alongside such fare as ROBOT MONSTER . This is completely undeserved because i rate THE OMEN as one of the best horror movies from the 1970s , if not all time . The book in question makes a big deal of how young Damien's parents experience some ghastly going ons without realising something is seriously wrong , but this is churlish since the audience ( like in most horror movies ) are one step in front of the protagonists , we instantly know what's going on even if the characters on screen don't and this is what makes the narrative so suspenseful , we're waiting for Ambassador Robert Thorn to put two and two together . It should also be pointed out that these types of tradgedies do happen in life and there's a rational explanation with no supernatural causes involved

    Comparisons with both THE OMEN and THE EXORCIST will be made but this is by much the better film I think . Both films deal with satanic powers and both are very dead pan but unlike THE EXORCIST the serious tone of this movie doesn't go against it , THE EXORCIST goes out of its way to shock the audience while THE OMEN keeps its discipline and is all the better for it . Richard Donner brings shock moments where it's needed like the revelation of the priest after the fire , the scene in the cemetery and the lorry accident at Megiddo and unlike the shock scenes in THE EXORCIST they're never unintentionally funny . Giving roles to well known Brit character actors like Patrick Troughton , Billie Whitelaw , Leo McKern and David Warner also helps the movie a lot

    The only real criticism I have is that it's not as good as I originally remembered after seeing it for the first time , but that's a problem with a great number of movies I've seen , or that the biblical city of Megiddo is nowhere near the location described in the screenplay ( It is in fact a few short miles west of the border of the West Bank on the route to Jenin ) but that won't matter to 99.9% of the rest of the audience . If I ever write a book called 50 Best Horror Movies Of All Time THE OMEN will definitely feature in it
  • Gafke19 December 2005
    The date is June 6th. The city is Rome. Ambassador Robert Thorn's wife Katherine has just given birth to a stillborn son. Rather than devastate her with the news, Robert agrees to take in another baby born on the same night, in the same hospital, and whose mother died giving him birth. No one but Robert and the hospital priest will ever know that the baby isn't theirs. Six years later, terrible events begin to occur and all of them seem to be centered around the Thorn's son, Damien. A nanny hangs herself at a birthday party, a grim priest tells Robert that he knows who the boy's mother really is, and a news reporter named Jennings is finding alarming omens in the photographs he takes, omens which foretell a violent death for anyone who gets too close to the truth. When Katherine suffers a suspicious miscarriage, Thorn and Jennings head for Rome to find out if it's true: is Damien the Anti-Christ, son of Satan? And if he is, will Robert be able to destroy him?

    This movie followed in the wake of The Exorcist, and was immensely popular. Movies about apocalyptic disasters and demonic children were hot box office commodities in the 70s, and The Omen had both topics covered. However, The Omen was also an intelligently scripted, beautifully filmed and very suspenseful thriller to boot. It wasn't just a rip off of The Exorcist; it had its own story to tell, one taken from the Book Of Revelation, the most grim and frightening book in the Bible.

    The characters played by Gregory Peck and Lee Remick may be the "beautiful people" - rich, powerful and privileged - but they are still real people, and quite accessible. Kathy is a strong but emotionally fragile woman who seeks help from a psychiatrist. Robert will do anything to protect her from heartbreak and pain. It is their devotion to each other that makes this film so tense as we watch their lives unravel. Robert thought that by taking Damien in, he would simultaneously save his wife from grief and give an orphan a home, but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and in this case, that road is very real.

    David Warner as Jennings and Patrick Troughton as the cursed Father Brennan also win our sympathy as the ill-fated men who try their best to help Robert. Billie Whitelaw as Mrs. Blaylock is evil personified. We like her even though she's Satan's minion - it's her wicked, secretive smile and the fact that she'll do anything to protect Damien. Even Damien himself has our sympathy, even though little kids in tiny little suits are just really upsettingly scary. It's not Damien's fault that he is what he is - he didn't ask for this dubious honor, after all - and when he begs Robert not to kill him at film's end, it's hard not to feel sorry for both of them.

    This is a great film, filled with vicious Rottweilers, nasty deaths, powerful music and great performances by the entire cast. Should not be missed by film buffs in general and horror fans in particular.
  • Gregory Peck looks suitably concerned as it turns out that the baby he hastily adopted on the night of his own baby's death may be the son of the devil. Turns out the book of revelations details the second coming of the Antichrist or something, so it's an all out adventure for Peck and sidekick David Warner as they try to get to the bottom of the conspiracy.

    Good old Christian doctrine comes into play here as we've got the doubting (at first) Peck, who writes off Damien's behaviour as that of a normal five-year-old. As the proud father of my own little Damien, I have spent many an hour checking my kid's scalp for three sixes, especially after he's tried to put our budgie in a blender or destroyed a piece of furniture, but at least I haven't had a priest turning up at my door pleading for me to kill my own child. Also, I'm sure that when our babysitter killed herself it was just due to the brimstone tinged contents of our kid's nappy, rather than being compelled to swing from a rope by a persuasive dog.

    The first Omen film is rather good. It's filled with dread and there's some pretty good set pieces in there, plus when you've got decent actors like Peck and Warner playing it pretty straight that helps things too. It's still worth a watch after all these years, but sad to say any of the sequels don't really stand up to the original.
  • Mokele22 January 2005
    I don't understand why "The Omen", one of the greatest films of the genre, has such a low rate. This is a true masterpiece for many reasons: unforgettable and terrific moments as the scene in the cemetery, a wonderful score by Jerry Goldsmith, very good performances of all the cast... But it wouldn't be so great without it's perfect ending: that boy is certainly more than you can imagine... and he already knows this when he smiles to the camera. Slowly we enter into the nightmare, step by step, death by death, and at last we have no doubt of what's going on; so does Gregory Peck, but his enemy seems to be stronger than anyone all the times, and maybe that's the most frightening thing about "The Omen". Easily the best film of Richard Donner and surely one of the scariest movies ever made.
  • Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) is the American ambassador to England. His wife Katharine (Lee Remick) gives birth to a baby who is born dead. Without letting her know Thorn switches her baby with another whose mother died while giving birth. Things are fine until Damien (Harvey Stephens) turns five. Then people start dying and Peck realizes that little Damien may be the Antichrist.

    HUGE hit in 1976. I saw it when I was 14 at a theatre. I remember liking it but being disappointed. It had an R rating so I expected a much bloodier picture than what I saw. Seeing it again my feelings have changed a little. It still is a very good film and it really doesn't need blood and gore to tell it's story...but I now find it slow and uninvolving. Everyone knows the ending by now and for a film that runs almost two hours that's not good. Still it is worth seeing.

    The direction by Richard Donner is great (he really knows how to use a widescreen); Remick and Peck are excellent (although I do wonder how they got them to agree to do a horror film); the deserved Oscar-winning score by Jerry Goldsmith helps the film immensely; the script is good and Billie Whitlaw is downright terrifying as Mrs. Baylock--the scene where she goes after Remick in the hospital has always scared me silly.

    The deaths are inventive (to put it mildly) but very bloodless. Even when Jennings (David Warner) gets his head cut off there's next to no blood. Also that's the best part of the picture--the effect is convincing, the music is pounding and Peck's reaction is realistic.

    So this is a little slow but the writing, acting, direction and music more than make up for that. I give it an 8.
  • homs40529 October 2006
    i thought this was one of the best movies i have seen. it was one out of about two movies that actually scared me. Gregory pecks acting was great and damn always had a creepy little grin on his face that you could tell was evil. the last scene was one of the best i would say this is a must see for any horror film enthusiast. This is not your average horror film, it has to do with real life things and was a movie that wouldn't just scare you right away it would get into your head. if i had to say this would be in my top three movies I've ever seen. i have not yet seen the new movie but i doubt that it will be even comparable to what this movie accomplished.
  • And I thought Rosemary's Baby (my personal favourite) is the most scary movie on the God's rival Satan's child entry into the world of ours. I was proved wrong when I saw The Omen. The Omen takes the idea of Rosemary's Baby forward and tells you the story of a family who finds that their son can be the son of Satan. The atmosphere is enhanced by haunting back ground score, water tight screenplay, sincere acting, taught direction and a lot of scary moments making this horror experience a masterpiece. There are many scenes that stand out like a group of Baboons attacking the car carrying Satan's son, father and the photographer finding the dead mother of Satan's son, father reciting a verse from bible after finding the news of death of his beloved, the killing of photographer and many more. It might be hard to go and re- watch the movie because of its genuine scare moments but it stands at very top in my list of best horrors because as they say "horror lies in knowing something bad is about to happen". All horror lovers, don't miss it and all people who get scared easily, please stay away from it!!
  • The moral dilemmas, the mounting tension, stoic Gregory Peck and Lee Remick coming to their own separate conclusions, the baboons, the Priest, the photographer revelation, the graveyard dogs, that freaking scary Nanny and our beloved Damian: the scariest kid on film as the Antichrist! The mythology needed little explanation and the acting took this horror to the highest level of suspension of disbelief. Director Richard Donner weaves it all together with a Carmina Burana -esque score . And yet the eternal question lingers "What do you know about my son"? How can you not consider what you would do faced with this horror scenario? That is why this is so horrifyingly personal and a must watch!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "The Omen" of 1976 is a true classic of occult Horror that is capable of mesmerizing and giving the viewer the creeps even after repeated viewings. Richard Donner's film was doubtlessly inspired by William Friedkin's earlier classic "The Exorcist", and, along with Friedkin's film, one of the absolute must-sees involving satanic kids. This simply is a film that works perfectly on all levels: The most intriguing Horror topic is illustrated with a spine-chilling and fascinating premise, and executed brilliantly on all levels. The film is an incredibly atmospheric, persistently suspenseful and genuinely creepy Horror Thriller and an intelligent Drama at the same time. The fascinating story is brought to screen with greatness in all aspects, be it the ingenious settings and cinematography, the constantly high suspense-level, the great acting or the tense atmosphere which is underlined by a simply unforgettable score.

    Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) is the American Ambassador in Rome. When his unconscious wife Catherine (Lee Remick) gives birth to a stillborn baby boy, Thorn can't bring himself to tell her. At the suggestion of a priest, he exchanges his dead son with another newborn boy, whose mother has died in childbirth, making his wife believe the healthy boy is hers. Both his real son, who died, and the the other boy whom he accepts as his son were born under a bad Omen: it is the sixth hour of the sixth day of the sixth month; the year is 1966. The couple name the boy Damien... Five years later, the Thorns have moved to London, where Robert has become the U.S. Ambassador to England. With Damien's fifth birthday party, mysterious things begin to happen around the boy...

    "The Omen" is one of several 'demonic child' films from the 70s, but, in my humble opinion it is definitely one of the best ones. Personally, I would even say it surpasses both previous films that it is most often compared to: Roman Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby" (1968) and Willaim Friedkin's "The Exorcist" (1973). These two films are both classics, no doubt, but while "Rosemary's Baby" has dated a bit, and also has its lengths, and the "Exorcist" has many unforgettably creepy moments but sometimes lacks cohesion, "The Omen" is incredibly suspenseful from the beginning to the end, and its coherent and extremely creepy script is brought to screen in a brilliant manner in all parts of the film, forming a stunningly uncanny and tense wholesome. The film has an intensely creepy atmosphere and a constantly gloomy feeling of doom from the beginning. The story simply is very creepy as such, and director Donner brings it to screen in a manner that is truly magnificent. The photography, choreography and settings, and, maybe most memorably, the brilliant, spine-chilling score - this film's atmosphere is rich in all aspects.

    At the same time, "The Omen" is also a compelling and highly intelligent film with complex characters. The acting is superb. Gregory Peck's reputation as one of the greatest actors ever in cinema is no coincidence, and he is once again brilliant here. Great performances also come from the other cast members, such as Lee Remick who plays the wife, David Warner, or Patrick Troughton, who plays a great little role and whom fellow Horror fans will also know for his roles in Hammer's films such as "Scars of Dracula". Utmost praise has to be given to then-six-year-old Harvey Stephens, who once again proves that children can be the creepiest of all Horror creatures. His performance is scary and very powerful, one of the truly memorable child-performances in Horror cinema. The film mainly builds up suspense through plot and atmosphere and isn't very action-packed. Yet it includes several highly memorable disturbing and gory moments. The ingenious decapitation sequence is only one of them.

    "The Omen" is an absolute must-see for all Horror-fans and film- lovers in general. A remake was done in 2006, but I will probably never watch it (recent Horror remakes tend to make me angry). This original is a spine-chilling occult masterpiece that must not be missed... by anyone!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    One of my all time favorite horror films is The Omen.The Omen is a very scary and original film. Director Richard Donner directed this classic film. Any film that has to do with demonic stuff just creeps me out.

    The Omen is the story of Robert Thorn(Gregory Peck) and his wife(Lee Remick). After his wife has a miscarriage, Robert decides not to tell her and adopts a new child. Named Damien.Damien, Robert, and his wife decide move to London because Robert is an ambassador. On Damien's birthday one year, a woman commits suicide. After that, a bunch of other bad things start to happen. Soon, Robert becomes under the impression that his son is the son of the devil. He also learns a bunch of other horrible truths.

    The Omen is a creepy ass film. Most of the horror films nowadays blow. But I still try to remember ones like this, and this really is a genius film. Richard Donner has directed many great movies such as Lethal weapon and surprisingly, The Goonies. The Omen is one of the best horror films ever.

    The Omen:****/****
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Ambitious American ambassador Robert Thorn (an outstanding and dignified performance by the inestimable Gregory Peck) begins to suspect that something is amiss with his adopted son Damien (well played by gifted child thespian Harvey Stephens) following a troubling series of odd and fatal "accidents." Thorn and cynical photographer Keith Jennings (the always excellent David Warner) embark on an investigation which takes them all over Europe in order to uncover the truth about Damien's possibly satanic origins.

    Director Robert Donner and screenwriter David Seltzer give the fantastic supernatural premise a semblance of plausibility by firmly grounding said story in a believable everyday world. Moreover, Donner maintains a steady pace throughout, keeps the tone resolutely creepy and serious (there's a welcome absence of any dumb and obtrusive humor), and stages a few elaborate murder set pieces with breathtaking go-for-it verve (an impalement on a huge spike and a stunning decapitation by a large runaway pane of glass are especially effective while a cheery young nanny happily hanging herself at a birthday party proves to be genuinely shocking and disturbing). Better still, the special effects are used in an admirably judicious manner and the picture overall primarily relies on developing and sustaining a potently unsettling gloom-doom mood to get under the viewer's skin. The tension gradually builds to a nerve-wracking fever pitch and culminates in a truly harrowing last third. The uniformly sterling acting by a first-rate cast qualifies as another major asset: Peck and Lee Remick as Torn's sweet, yet frail wife Katherine bring a tremendous amount of class to the film, Billie Whitelaw gives a positively chilling portrayal of sinister governess Ms. Baylock, Patrick Troughton excels as intense priest Father Brennan, and Leo McKern contributes a neat cameo as occult expert Carl Bugenhagen. Kudos are also in order for Gilbert Taylor's glossy cinematography and Jerry Goldsmith's supremely shivery'n'spooky Oscar-winning score. A superior mainstream horror hit.
  • kairingler11 June 2008
    This is one of the scariest of alltime of the horror movies period. it has some of the most horrifying death scenes i think of all time,, I thought this was one of Gregory Peck's better roles that he has done,, Lee Remmick did a fine job as well, loved the child who played Damian also,, but the show goes to the dogs,, those demonic devil dogs gotta love em. i thought that the explanation about Rome and the comet and the Jews was almost believable, although a stretch for me. The scene where Damian has to go to church is classic,, gotta love that one,, also where Damian runs over his mom is good to. it's unfortunate that the new Omen is basiscally a shot for shot remake, with just a few tweaks from the old one, the original Omen has a great musical score that should not be missed, it has some of the most haunting music that i've ever heard for a horror movie,, overall i give it a great thumbs up.
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