The Number Of The Beast

WEIRDO’WEEN #24: The Omen [1976]


Let’s revert back to movies that everyone knows, shall we? Last night, as I was looking for black pants for work at Giant Tiger[for you that aren’t in Canada, it’s a discount store that sells a bit of anything and everything] I came across a familiar title on DVD. What’s better, is it was a steelbook cover of the film, and it was only $10. Naturally, I felt compelled so I picked it up.

When I got home, I opened the shrink wrap – to check the disks inside, since Giant Tiger generally sells pre watched DVDs – and they were pristine. I was so excited to have found, not only a movie, but The Omen in Steelbook format! [click here to see what my copy looks like!]

weirdo'ween-#24The Omen is a strange sort of film: it’s been remade a few times, it’s had two sequels, [which show Damien as he grows from child – to teenager – to adult] and it’s been considered one of the scariest films ever made; ranking up with The Exorcist. I mean, this movie has one hell of a reputation attached to it!

Let’s play around that last comment: that the movie has a reputation. This movie is one that plays with your mind, and I don’t mean for the extreme violence! I mean it’s real scary, and that’s because of what you don’t see on screen.. From the grey overcast that are seen overhead in the skies of London and the empty stillness of the great Pereford mansion where the destined to be doomed Thorn family lives, to the deep and hollow underground ancient excavation site; the film is really effective at capturing the viewer’s interest and ends up drawing them into a world that is on the verge of what can only be described as the ultimate disaster – the birth of The Anti-Christ.

in His defense, Damien didn’t ASK to be the Anti-Christ. He just kind of ended up being it.. [am I defending the wrong person again?]

The movie revolves around our little devil, who goes by the name of Damien Thorn, who is born into the world of politics and wealth and is the darling child of Robert and Katherine. It’s when mysterious accidents [and the overall feeling of dread] begin to shadow their lives, the horrifying truth of Damien‘s untimely birth is uncovered millions of miles away.. in a grave in a Pagan Cemetery found in Italy.

Gregory Peck gives a damn good performance as ambitious politician Robert Thorn: a man who slowly discovers that his fate is linked to an ancient biblical prophecy. When he finally starts to figure out what’s really happening, he discovers what can only be described as a grand design that’s unfolding under the unwatching eyes of the world.. to make it worse, his “perfect family” are at the center of it all! His search for truth is one of my absolute favorites in film, as we see him going to the farthest reaches of the globe, begging for the answers before it’s too late; and ending with an exciting face-off between himself and the Devil, himself.

Lee Remick is beautiful as his tragic wife. The rest of the cast – Billie Whitelaw as Mrs. Baylock, David Warner as the photographer Keith Jennings, and Leo McKern as the archaeologist Bugenhagen; they’re all so good at helping the movie ‘feel’ its dark and moody atmosphere. The Omen has a few more disturbing moments that shock us, rather than that of disgust, but the film is loaded with memorable scenes! It’s the ‘feeling’ you get in the pit of your stomach that the film gives you; it’s what makes this movie unique. With the performances of the actors, the creepy music score, and the inevitable feeling of doom that is slowly creeping into the world all because of the birth of one child, make this movie one of the truest horror films ever made. Like a few other movies I’ve reviewed lately – this movie succeeds in making you realize that sometimes it’s the knowing that something is going to happen that is more scary, than actually seeing it happen.

When we do see violence on screen, it’s choreographed almost perfectly, each one being more compelling than the one before it. From a Priest being impaled by a church spire, to a reporter being decapitated by a pane of glass. These events all build to the overwhelming finale. By the end of the film, we see a little boy: clearly Damien, holding the hand of the President Of The United States, turning around and smiling at his father’s funeral – For a movie about the Devil’s son; that to me is the definitive ending. Making this movie go from amazingly well written, to downright terrifying.

So if you haven’t seen The Omen, I highly recommend it. [it’s almost a horror rite of passage!] The important thing to remember though, is that it’s from the 70s, which means it might feel dated in it’s acting/script. But with a cast as great as this one, you forget when this came out, and you feel sheer terror as Damien becomes nothing more than the Anti-Christ! But maybe you’re not a fan of horror movies that involve demon-children. Maybe you have a choice for a different movie review? If so, read on!

If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review[s], please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow when I talk about weirdo’ween #25! – so be sure to STAY TUNED!