Thursday, 28 July 2011

Movie Review: The Omen (1976)

Director: Richard Donner, 1976
IMDB listing

Pros: atmospheric music, good pacing, Gregory Peck
Cons: 70's clothes

Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) substitutes an orphaned child for his own stillborn son, born June 6th at 6 am.

On his 5th birthday, Damien's nanny commits suicide. One of the priests present at Damien's birth, tries to warn Robert about his son's demonic nature. By the time Robert listens it's almost too late.
The movie begins slowly. After the adoption, Robert is appointed Ambassador to London.  Damien seems to grow up a normal, happy boy.  When things start going wrong it's easy to attribute the happenings to normal phenomenon until a photographer notices something odd when he prints pictures of the priest.

Only the musical score hints at Damien's true nature.  His rosy cheeks and black curls look positively angelic. A very creepy contrast.

The only downside to the film is the obviously dated wardrobes. It's hard not to laugh at some of the fashions, which is rather detrimental to the mood of the film.

The acting is superb and the plot subtle and intricate. There are a few disturbing scenes, though mild by modern standards and little gore.

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