The Omen [DVD] 
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US Ambassador Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) is persuaded to substitute a newborn baby whose mother has died in childbirth for his own stillborn son. By the age of five the child, Damien, seems to be exerting a malevolent influence on the Thorn household, suffering a violent fit when he is taken to church and causing his nanny to hang herself. Thorn searches for an answer to his son's behaviour and meets maverick priest Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton), who tries to convince him that Damien is in fact the Antichrist and must be stopped at all costs. The Ambassador at first dismisses this as the crazy rantings of a religious maniac, but subsequent events suggest that maybe the priest had a point.
In 1976 The Omen was a hit among critics and audiences hungry for more after The Exorcist with its mixture of Gothic horror and mystery and its plot about a young boy suspected of being the personification of the Antichrist. Directed by Richard Donner (best known later for his Superman and Lethal Weapon films), The Omen gained a lot of credibility from the casting of Gregory Peck and Lee Remick as a distinguished American couple living in England, whose young son Damien bears "the mark of the beast". At a time when graphic gore had yet to dominate the horror genre, this film used its violence discreetly and to great effect, and the mood of dread and potential death is masterfully maintained. It's all a bit contrived, with a lot of biblical portent and sensational fury, but few would deny it's highly entertaining. Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar-winning score works wonders to enhance the movie's creepy atmosphere. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
On the DVD: The all-new 45-minute documentary, "666: The Omen Revealed", has contributions from all the major behind-the-scenes players, including director, editor, screenwriter (who confesses the movie was only set in England because he wanted a free trip to London), producer and composer. The latter, Jerry Goldsmith, has his Oscar-winning contribution to the movie recognised with a separate feature in which he talks through four key musical scenes in the score. There's also a thought-provoking short called "Curse or Coincidence?" in which the many bizarre accidents that happened during shooting are related, including the terrible story of what happened to the girlfriend of the man responsible for designing the decapitation scene--spooky. Director Richard Donner and editor Stuart Baird provide a chatty audio commentary to the film, and the DVD package is completed by the original theatrical trailer. --Mark Walker
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Top Customer Reviews
THE OMEN is an outstanding gothic cult horror thriller of the 70s, made 3 years after THE EXORCIST. While THE EXORCIST was unnecessarily hyped as a scandal movie (it didn't impress me much) THE OMEN was spared such a fate. It was banned for about 3 years in New Zealand, but available everywhere else. It doesn't make THE OMEN any less creepy, though - a demonic child, intense and disturbing, but rather unbloody, death scenes and a very unsettling atmosphere certainly don't make this a movie for everyone.
Directed by Richard Donner, who brought us the LETHAL WEAPON movies and the awesome LADYHAWKE, did a great job with THE OMEN, which sure deserves its cult status. Relying less on gore and more on atmosphere, this is more a thriller than a horror movie.
The cast is great, especially Gregory Peck, who is just a brilliant actor, and also Patrick Troughton (Klove from SCARS OF DRACULA) who brilliantly plays Father Brennan or the especially creepy nanny Mrs. Baylock (played by Billie Whitelaw). We also get to see a young David Warner and Lee Remick. Also remarkable: Harvey Stephens who plays Damien.
Charlton Heston, Roy Scheider, Dick Van Dyke and William Holden were considered for the lead role of American ambassador Robert Thorn, but turned down the role.
Jerry Goldsmith deserves to be mentioned for his great score that really add to the movie's atmosphere - especially the credits at the beginning - and he more than deservedly won the Oscar for his score (I'll just say "Ave Satani").
Personally, I liked THE OMEN better than THE EXORCIST. THE EXORCIST is overrated, THE OMEN is just really good, while it does avoid anything really taboo breaking and gorehounds will probably scoff at it, still it is a gothic horror thriller at its very best.Read more ›
Katherine (Lee Remick) and Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) are a wealthy, older American couple. Katherine is pregnant and, while in Italy, gives birth to an ostensibly stillborn boy, a fact that is kept from her. Knowing how much his wife wanted the baby and the difficulty that she had in conceiving, Robert agrees to have the dead baby supplanted by a living newborn whose mother died in child birth, keeping this information from Katherine. They name this baby Damien.
All goes well for the prosperous Thorn family, until Damien turns five. A series of dramatic, unusual events begin to occur around the Thorns, all seemingly stemming from Damien. Well guarded by a self sufficient, somewhat creepy nanny (Billie Whitelaw), there are those who would believe him to be the Antichrist. By the time that Katherine and Robert begin to realize who Damien may truly be, their lives are out of control. With the aid of an inquisitive photographer, a repentant priest, and an archaeologist who holds the key to the destruction of the Antichrist, Robert Stone becomes a man with a mission. Will Damien let him complete that mission? Watch this movie and find out. You will not be disappointed. I guarantee that you will be sleeping with the lights on and the covers over your head.
David Seltzer wrote a terrific screenplay.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not necessarily a horror film though some parts are a bit scary for it's time probably groundbreaking. I like the eeriness of it
The prophetic coming of the anti- Christ
This first instalment in the series had one of the better cast of actors and scripts.Published 4 months ago by Brian
When you have Gregory Peck acting and Richard Donner directing then you know you have a great chance to watch a fulfilling movie and The Omen ticks all the boxes in the horror... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Colonel Decker