Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Omen (1976) - Don't mess with the Devil's child...

I'll immediately give you some advice guys - don't watch the 2006 remake of this classic. Whether you have seen the 1976 Omen or not, it will completely ruin it. Never rely on remakes guys, as the majority of them destroy the old classics. Well to be fair, one exception for my rule not to watch remakes is the Evil Dead (2013) remake. However, apart from that epic film, you shouldn't really consider watching remakes - especially if you lived through the 60's to the year 2000, where horrors made then have now became legendary classics. My opinion of The Omen (the 1976 version now guys) was that it was very different and imaginative at the time it was made. I mean, for the devil to control the body of Damien (Harvey Stephens) was a remarkable idea. 
Unfortunately though, look at the amount of pathetic attempts there are nowadays to recreate a somehow 'better' film based on the exact same background of The Omen. Pure trash. What annoys me even more about it is that there are a few found-footage films I have seen which revolve around the same 'Devil's son' idea, and in no way possible, are they at least 'appropriate' in my opinion.
Well, I think I have made it perfectly clear to you my opinion on remakes (man, they are bad!), I'll now move onto the basic plot of this fantastic thriller. It is directed by Richard Donner, and lasts approximately 111 minutes. It is a fairly large movie, full of thrilling moments, and a fantastic storyline. Basically, a couple consisting Robert (Gregory Peck) and Katherine Thorn (Lee Remick) seem to be living a very happy life. They are happily married together, and Robert has recently just been promoted to being the US ambassador of Great Britain. However, a minor problem to their happiness is their desire for more children. From this, Katherine has a rather stubborn child, and instantly, Robert is approached by a mysterious priest who recommends they adopt a new born baby from a woman who has recently just passed away after birth. Without telling his wife about this, he agrees to take this newborn baby - Damien (Harvey Stephens) - and does so. Soon later, the ambassador and his wife travel from Rome to London where they begin a new life. However, it is not long until strange events begin to occur in the presence of the new little baby Damien. Not only strange events, but deaths become more frequent in the midst of Damien. Furthermore, Robert begins to continuously receive mysterious warnings from a priest about his son Damien that he may be the anti-Christ. After momentum builds, and deaths become more frequent, Robert Thorn is aware that he may be raising the Devil's child, just as the priest had told him.
Whilst I don't find this film very scary, it is much more of a thriller, but it definitely has its moments. It is a very intriguing film, and I feel that Harvey Stephens played the character of Damien exceptionally well. I loved how it showed you how Damien grew up at the beginning - it portrayed him as a funny little innocent baby, always having a smile on his face. He was one of those babies that would make all the girls/women exclaim "He's so cute!". However, this changes dramatically as Damien becomes a few years older to the point where he can walk and talk. From this moment, the evil begins, and Damien takes on his full anti-Christ characteristics. It is first discovered when Robert and Katherine attempt to take him to Church, and he starts screaming and attacking his own mother. The contrast of his character from a young child, to a child was a key factor to the film in my opinion in clearly depicting the impact the Devil had on his soul.
Overall, this film is a pure classic and is definitely a 'must-watch'! Remember, I seriously recommend you watch this instead of the remake, even if you aren't a fan of older horrors! It is highly recommended. I also thought the eerie ending to the film was successful in concluding that a sequel was coming as Damien creepily turned and grinned at the audience at his parents' funeral! I really enjoyed watching the character of Damien being played, as I feel Harvey Stephens did a remarkable job from the moment he was a young child until he was truly identified as the Devil's child with a 666 birth mark on his head! Fantastic horror classic, get it watched!

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