One Minute Review: The Omen (1976)

Release Date
June 25, 1976
Director
Richard Donner
Screenplay
David Seltzer
Distributed By
20th Century Fox
Budget
$2.8 million
Horror
Rated R
111 minutes

The Omen

Filled with numerous iconic horror film moments, “The Omen” will always be a classic, despite several huge flaws and misguided plot twists. The memorable demonic tale of a family bringing home a child who isn’t theirs only to find that he is possessed by the devil, “The Omen” brings 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 completely successful, whether its 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.

 

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