THE OMEN

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
SEPTEMBER 7, 2013

Filled with numerous iconic horror film moments, “The Omen” will always be a classic, despite several massive flaws and misguided plot twists. The memorable demonic tale of a family bringing home a child who isn’t theirs only to find that the devil possesses him, “The Omen,” delivers to life horror staples that will present themselves in countless films to follow. Straddling a tone between 1968’s “Rosemary’s Baby” and the flawed tone of “B” horror films to follow, the film is sometimes eerie, sometimes hokey, depending on where the story lies. To be clear, every scene involving Damien (Harvey Stephens) is entirely thriving. Whether it’s the long drive to the Cathedral where Damien becomes animalistic or the cold stare as his nanny commits suicide, all of these encapsulate what a 70’s horror film should be. But when the film ventures off into Robert (Gregory Peck) and Jennings (David Warner) hunting down where the baby was born and what “666” means, the film loses its horror demeanor and becomes more of a thriller, becoming less and less subtle as the film goes on. Had the film stuck to moments around Damien, it could have been a much stronger film. Instead, it equals its moments of genius with misplaced tangents. With performances on par with similar horror films and tones reminiscent from “The Exorcist” and “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Omen” will always be remembered as a staple of classic horror even if it does flounder from time to time.

RELEASE DATE
June 25, 1976

DIRECTOR
Richard Donner

WRITTEN BY
David Seltzer

STUDIO
20th Century Fox

R

HORROR
111 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Gilbert Taylor

COMPOSER
Jerry Goldsmith

EDITOR
Stuart Baird

CAST
Gregory Peck
Lee Remick
David Warner
Billie Whitelaw
Harvey Stephens
Patrick Troughton
Martin Benson
Robert Rietty

PRODUCED BY
Harvey Bernhard

BUDGET
$2.8 million

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