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One strange comfort film, The Omen 1976 – Movie Review

Horror classic The Omen celebrates its 45th birthday this year. Let’s take a look at the film in this review.

The Omen 1976 is an important movie for me because I relate it so much to my family. I was introduced to it by my grandfather years ago, he’s watched it with me a number of times and even gave me his DVD box set last year.

It’s one of the first horror movies I ever saw and kick started my love for the genre.

Strangely, it’s one of my comfort movies and one that resonates with me as a film watcher and horror fan, and someone that has a great attachment to my family.

Is it a weird movie to watch with your grandfather? Maybe.

Is it a weird movie to feel comforted by? Absolutely. But I’m glad that I did and I’m glad it brings that comfort. The nostalgia I feel when watching greatly outweighs the weird nature of it all.

Directed by Richard Donner and starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, The Omen is about Robert Thorn (Peck), the ambassador for the United States, who’s wife Katherine (Remick) has a stillborn baby. Robert agrees to bring home another baby… but with that comes grisly deaths and strange events, all leading up to the reveal that their boy Damien is the son of Satan.

The film is deceptive at first. Opening with lovely scenes of bliss between Robert, Katherine and Damien.

Horror is the last thing on the audience’s minds as adorable photos of the trio flash on screen and you see him grow up until the age of 5. This is where the movie takes a turn for the worst.

One thing that makes the film scarier isn’t actually in the final cut. The behind the scenes reports are so tragic it’ll make you believe it was cursed. From scenes that mirror real life events, to animal trainers being killed on set, these tragedies melt into the finished product and create a sense of foreboding dread.

The almost 2 hour run time goes by fast. You’re constantly on edge, waiting for the next revelation to come, or the next gruesome death at the hands of the 5 year old boy.

Once the thrills begin, they don’t slow down for a second. No jump scares, no horror tropes. Just good old fashioned, beginning to end terror.

The Omen is one of the only horror movies that sends a genuine shiver down my spine. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it leaves a permanent mark.

One part of the film that gives me goosebumps is the performance of the actors, specifically the actor who plays little Damien. Harvey Spencer Stephens (who was 6 when the movie came out) is a stand out and carries his own weight against a number of heavy hitting actors of the time. While a mostly physical performance, it makes the plot and themes of the film all the more scary.

The movie may not be scary by today’s standards, but it’s a staple of the genre and one that can be appreciated by everyone.

Avid fans of horror like myself, or people looking to get their foot in the door will be fans of this film.

There are two sequels and a remake that I haven’t seen but after re-watching this movie I’m keen to give them a go. Especially given the remakes release date of 06-06-06 (great gag there).

I firmly believe this is a movie that everyone should watch at least once and it’s highly accessible, being streamed on Disney +. The second film and the remake are also on Disney + if you want to give them a shot too.

A true classic and one that only gets better with age, The Omen is a must see. Happy birthday to one of the greatest horrors of all time.

5/5 stars from me.

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