“The 21st century will be spiritual or will not be” (Andre Malraux). It seems the seventies did not wait for being spiritual and was indeed highly spiritual and even maybe showed the excess of spiritualism, as judged by the rise of sectarian groups with their doomsday predicators. But one trend in Hollywood was this association of supernatural and Christian belief. We have seen it in “The Exorcist”, we will see it in “Carrie” and “Amityville” and we have it as a masterpiece of “The Omen” trilogy, as we will discuss today the first movie of this unholy trilogy, “The Omen”.
Why spiritual we will ask me? Because it is all about a movie depicting the birth and growth of the Antichrist, impersonated by Damien Thorn, the son of Robert Thorn, an US diplomat stationed in Rome. It all starts with Robert Thorn being called about the stillborn of his son following his wife labor. Excruciated by the pain of the loss, a priest propose him to adopt a newborn that was given birth in the same time than his son died, with his mother died during the labor process. Robert accept the offer and present the newborn to his wife, giving the name of Damien Thorn.
Little is knew he has indeed accepted to nurture the Antichrist himself! Things go pretty smooth during the first five years, until the 5th birthday party of Damien. Robert has been promoted US ambassador in the UK and things are just gonna start to speed up. Here starts the show, with the nanny establishing eye-contact with a rottweiler to end up in the next couple of minutes standing on the roof top, calling Damien to watch her obey his order and hang herself in front of dozens of kids. Thats some brutal start. Then comes a replacing nanny guarded by two Rottweiler. Things sounds scary and indeed it quickly becomes as things darken more and more, with unexplained and spectacular deaths (including the impalement of the priest). Robert Thorne pays little attention until he got approached by Keith Jennings, a photographer that not only have disturbing photos showing hints on people deaths but also wants to find what is behind the forecast of his own death!
Although the absence of gore would suggest a slow-paced film, the mounting pressure brought by the work of Richard Donner have this weight and fears, emphasized by the chorus in Latin orchestrated by Jerry Goldsmith.
If you have not seen this movie before, I highly recommend it to see, followed by the second part that constitutes a natural evolution of the first one. You can pass on the Third as Damien is now himself rose into being the US ambassador of UK himself! It is really a bad movie and appears more an attempt to juice on the popularity of the first two. You can forget about it but if you are curious you can still watch it.