Richard Donner

The Omen (1976) - Richard Donner

96/100

A true classic that sits with you!

Director: Richard Donner

Producer: Harvey Bernhard

Writer: David Seltzer

Starring: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, and Billie Whitelaw

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Release Date: June 6, 1976

Country: UK/USA

Budget: $2.8 million

Box Office: $60.9 million

The Omen is a dramatic supernatural horror film from director Richard Donner and writer David Seltzer. It stars Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, and Billie Whitelaw. The film had debuted on June 6th, 1976. And had been released by 20th Century Fox. The movie was a financial success, drawing more than $60 Million at the box office. It had even won Best Score at the Academy Awards, as well as getting nominated for two others. This is an iconic picture that had spawned a few sequels and even a remake.

Robert Thorn and his wife Katherine were trying to have children for quite some time. However, after a stillborn birth, Thorn is approached by a priest and offered to take a newborn that’s mother had just died. He agrees without consulting his wife, and Robert, Katherine and their new son, Damien, moves to England for Robert’s new position as The U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom. However, strange events begin to take place. Robert is warned by a priest that the child might not be his own and his wife isn’t safe. It sounds crazy, but a lot of weird things are happening and no one can explain them.

The general idea for the film was being tossed around since 1973. Writer David Seltzer was interested in making a movie about the Antichrist and had worked off of an idea pitched to him from a friend. The story was shaped as a psychological thriller but had such heavy dreadful tones, the horror could not be ignored. The scene with the Thorn family arriving at church is so suspenseful and terrifying. It had my stomach in knots. Richard Donner did an amazing job of delivering uneasy terror.

Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, and Harvey Spencer Stephens all do a terrific job of acting. I couldn’t see anyone else in the role of Robert Thorn. Gregory Peck has that gruff intensity that doesn’t overshadow his class. He was a great choice for the leading role. Lee Remick sells her fear really well. Damien terrifies that poor woman. It’s said that her reactions during the baboon scene were real and it looked that way. And Harvey Stephens is THE Damien. When you say The Omen to me, I think of that creepy kid’s face. All of the actings was really good. David Warner and Patrick Troughton were perfect too.

The Omen is a brilliant picture. It’s aged quite a bit, but it still holds up much better than the 2006 remake. The story draws you in and leaves you filled with a terrible heaviness. I’d say that’s pretty effective. It explores the horror’s of the occult and features heavy use of satanic imagery. I would suggest it to those that had been entertained, or scared, by The Exorcist and The Changeling. It’s a horror movie that’s presented as a big-budget blockbuster. Do yourself a favor and watch this on Halloween. If you have a creepy kid, you might not get to sleep!