31 Horror Movies I Own #17: The Omen (1976)
“It’s all for YOU, Damien!”
This is one that had a HUGE impact on my horror-obsessed teenage brain. Even though I don’t really believe Satan exists, the devil in the form of an adorable toddler is a creepy concept I can get behind, probably because the thought of my own child being evil enough to plot my murder scares the (insert expletive here) out of me. Note: I don’t have any children. *ahem*
Gregory Peck and Lee Remick are perfect as the initially clueless parents of “the chosen one”, Damien, and the kid. MYGOD the kid. Harvey Stephens as Damien somehow managed to charm me with his cherubic face, and then scare the crap out of me within the space of two breaths. It’s a shame he never really did anything else (except a cameo in the remake).
There are so many AMAZING moments in this; Damien’s nanny hanging herself (smiling the whole time) at Damien’s birthday party, a priest impaled by a wrought iron post, a freak be-heading, and my favorite: Damien viciously ramming his tricycle into a table his mom just happens to be standing on so she “accidentally” tumbles over the edge of a balcony and breaks every bone in her body.
Every piece of this film from the direction to the story to the acting is near perfect—not to mention the heart breaking ending, wherein Peck finally believes his son is the spawn of the devil and must be stopped before he takes over the earth (i.e. murdered…by his own dad). YEESH. Don’t let the year it was filmed deter you, this totally holds up and is more than worth a watch.
I actually own the whole set of The Omen films (there were 3 more after this one), including the 2006 remake—which I thought was pretty decent, even if Mia Farrow as the evil nanny is 100x scarier than the child they picked to play Damien. None of the sequels live up to the brilliance of the original, but each one has its own charms.