If you’ve been following my 61* Days of Horror series, there’s no way that you couldn’t have guess that The Omen, the penultimate in religious horror, would be the perfect ending to this series. The Omen has all of the trappings of the best horror films: The creepy little White kid, the wife who’s fears are ignored by her husband, the husband who only comes to the truth too little too late, wealthy people who refuse to hire private investigators, the Devil, and pretty much everything you need to be terrified and highly paranoid for a few days. Bonus points to those who managed to watch the entire Omen series!
So it’s like this: The Omen is centered around a prophecy of the AntiChrist, a demonic entity that comes into this world in human flesh, but has no ounce of humanity in him. This AntiChrist is supposed to eventually attain the highest position in the land, and then bring upon the apocalypse and the end of humanity. Unfortunately for American diplomat Robert Thorn (Gregory Thorn), that AntiChrist happens to be his son. Robert was told that he and his wife’s, Katherine (Lee Remick), child was stillborn, and after a heart to heart with the hospital chaplain, who tells him that another woman died in labour, he is convinced to secretly adopt the orphaned infant, not telling anyone (not even his wife) that this is not their biological child. That was his first major fucking mistake.
The Thorns raise their son, Damien (Harvey Spencer Stephens), without hiccup for five years, but when Damien’s nanny hangs herself at his fifth birthday party, and is replaced by a new nanny, Mrs. Baylock (Billie Whitelaw), who just shows up at their doorstep, horrible things start happening. Now, I kind of blame the Thorns for doing absolutely no checking into this woman’s background before letting her into their home. The woman’s gaze alone is bone-chilling, and that’s putting it mildly, but even before she gives them legitimate reason to be, the Thorns seem completely intimidated by the woman, whilst Damien loves her completely. Damien soon proves to be adamantly, violently opposed to attending church, and viciously hated and feared by zoo animals, but (classic White horror parents), while his mom takes this very seriously, his father (still holding on the secret that Damien isn’t their biological child), does his best to ignore very clear warning signs.
Violence swirls around Damien after Katherine learns that she is pregnant, and when Robert starts taking the bizarre events around his son seriously, every person who tries to warn him about or aide him in learning more of Damien’s history ends up dying a gory death. As Robert moves closer to the truth about Damien, traveling from Italy to Israel to find out how to stop the demonic force whom he was foolish enough to give his name, he learns an invaluable lesson on the importance of marital honesty and a legal, effectively-communicated adoption process.
The Omen is one of those classic horror films not just because it’s older than I am, but because, like most horror film, nearly all of the horrible things that happen to the family were like totally preventable, had the Thorns, specifically Robert Thorn, employed honest, investigation, and common sense back when it could have made a difference. Well, if horror doesn’t teach us anything else, it’s that certain people will live their entire lives determined to learn things the hard way.
I give this one 5 stars.