Coming out of the vogue for theological shockers in the wake of The Exorcist (1973), The Omen arguably threatened to beat it at its own game.
In this tale of a couple – Robert (Gregory Peck) and Katherine Thorn (Lee Remick) – who begin to discover that their adopted son, Damien (Harvey Stephens), is in fact, Satan junior, the gore and shocks come fast. But it’s the growing sense of menace played against the seeming innocence of the young boy that really makes this one disturbing.
The sequels were a great example of diminishing returns, but The Omen is a brilliantly constructed and truly terrifying movie.
Seeing lots of British character actors bite the dust in a dizzyingly bizarre fashion is worth the price alone.
John Stride s