Pssst, want to check out The Omen in our new look?
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There's more to The Omen than I remembered. On the surface, it's one of those horror movies that trades on dispassionate kids being creepy. And obviously, it banks on the 1970s interest in the occult, with its da Vinci Code-like investigation of the Antichrist myth across Europe. But watching it again, I was taken by the subtext. This is about post-partem, isn't it? Though it's literal in this case, the mother comes to believe her child is evil and indeed, NOT her child. And though not exactly the poster child for adoption, Damien comes to be the rejected child who finds comfort in the arms of a nanny. That he's also at the center of a war between Heaven and Hell (in which Pat Troughton is a soldier, always fun to see a former Doctor as a doomsayer) is almost besides the point. The Omen also has great atmosphere and every death scene is memorably staged by director Richard Donner (Superman, this isn't). An iconic supernatural detective story with thrilling horror moments peppered throughout.
Goddamn, that decapitation was pretty spectacular.
There are two types of Horror films:
One, which relies on cheap scares and in-your-face monstrosities, much like The Conjuring.
The other type, relies on eerie cinematography, bone-chilling music, and induces a gradual stream of terror which besets your heart even after the film is long over. Example: The Omen (1976)
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In 6 official lists
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This movie ranks #31 in TSZDT's The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films
This movie ranks #81 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills
This movie ranks #139 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000
This movie ranks #177 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
This movie ranks #372 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Adjusted Box Office
This movie ranks #655 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die