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          When Kathy Thorn gives birth to a stillborn baby, her husband Robert shields her from the devastating truth and substitutes an orphaned infant for their own - unaware of the child's satanic origins.
          The horror begins on Damien's fifth birthday when his nanny stages a dramatic suicide. Soon after, a priest who tries to warn Damien's father is killed in a freakish accident. As the death toll mounts, Robert realizes his son is the Antichrist and decides he must kill the boy to prevent him from fulfilling a cataclysmic prophecy.

"The child is dead. He breathed for a moment. Then he breathed no more."
                - Robert Thorn

         When it comes to The Omen, you can almost guarantee there will be something about the film you will like. It's a film which plays on multiple aspects/events in life that most people, initially, see as a positive event but can quickly turn into a nightmare. (If you're given a shitty hand, in the preverbal card game known as life, that is.)
         "But what aspects/events are you referring to J.P.?", you might ask. Well, my horrific friends, let me explain...

         (If you have not already, please read the plot outline at the top of the page before continuing)

         1. Adoption - I realize that adoption is not exactly what were dealing with in The Omen, but the overall concept is still very real through the eyes of Robert Thorn, the father who deceives his wife by exchanging their dead baby with a recently orphaned one. Yes, he was doing it to protect her from the grief, but after realizing what he's "adopted" into the family, I bet he wished he would've told her the truth.
         Adoption is always a gamble. Couples who choose this path of acquiring a family always run the risk of getting more than they bargained for. Or course, this is also true if you have your own children but the simple fact that you have little (or no) information on the child's past while adopting can blow up in your face in the long run.
         For example, what if the child you adopt was set on the front steps of a hospital and abandoned? Would the authorities know anything about the mother or the full situation of why she abandoned her child? Usually not. So what's to say the mother hadn't been using drugs? Or that she wasn't drunk the majority of the pregnancy? Or course, much of the time the child will be deformed in some way or the signs will be apparent. But what if the mother (or father) had serious mental issues? Diseases that are inherited but do not show their true destruction for many years? These are all fears that adopting couples must confront during their decision.
         Would you have wished you would've made a different decision after your adopted child becomes a teenager and the true colors begin to show? I would be pissed if my adopted child turned out to have a severe alcohol issue because of Mom and Pops, have alcohol fetal syndrome, becomes a ritalin child attempting to burn down your house every night and wearing Moms high-heels to step on kittens heads. Starting to understand how Robert Thorn must have felt?

         2. Religion - Robert Thorn and his wife, Katherine, had a more urgent and unique issue with their son, Damien. Apparently, he's the son of the Antichrist. The spawn of Satan that plans to kill his mother and her fetus to ensure his inheritance as the Ambassador to Great Britain. After acquiring this political power he will use it to spark the beginning of the end for humanity.
         Sounds far fetched, but you'd be surprised at the amazing amount of religious fanatics out there who have dedicated their lives to ensuring the end of the world. They feel the purification of the human race can only happen through armageddon. Sounds sane, eh? Think this only happens in far away countries, eh? Wrong. These fuckin' crazies are everywhere. Your neighbor is probably drawing up plans for a super-sized lazar that will cause the sun to explode, causing the earth to burn as it would in the fires of Hell. Well, maybe not, but there are far more of these people than most people think. Believe me.
         I, myself, do not believe in these superstitions. So the plot for The Omen is not as effective on me. It targets people who have strong religious beliefs. Take The Exorcist for example. People lost their fucking minds after seeing that film! Convinced that occurrences like what happened to young Regan MacNeil could actually happen to someone, or more frighteningly, to themselves. So films like The Omen and The Exorcist effect me more in a way that a zombie film effects most people. It's a fun concept and has the ability to scare, but it's obviously not going to happen so the effects of the fright last for a shorter period of time.
         Lets take a look at the number that pops up throughout the film, 666. We all know that this is supposed to be the sign of the Devil. Actually, it's not the triple sixes that is the sign of the devil, it's just the single number six. The three sixes joined together signifies the diabolical trinity. The Devil, the Antichrist and the False Prophet. (On the Christianity side - The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost) Apparently, for everything that is holy there is something unholy and this is what causes the essence of temptation.
         Ok. Well, many Bibles contradict the popular belief of the triple sixes. Bibles have been transcribed and rewritten into so many different languages, religions and sub-religions that the original writings have been drastically modified. Follow the holy scripture, will you? Well, they're not the original words so the meaning of the passages have changed. Therefore, one Catholic Bible will have the passage of the triple sixes (or a version of it) and one will not.
         "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."

         These are the two main fears that the filmmakers are picking on. There are others, but not nearly as apperant as these two.

         The Omen is a good watch if you're religious or not. The acting is 100% and the storyline is well put together. Don't expect fast-paced action though. The Omen does tend to seem slow at times.
         A necessity for all serious horror collections.

Cast & Crew   |   Pictures  |   Video Clip   |   Trailer

          - Charlton Heston, Roy Scheider and William Holden turned down the lead role. Gregory Peck, accepted the lead. William Holden did eventually accept a role in a sequel.

          - To make the baboons attack the car in the Windsor Zoo park scene, an official from the zoo was in the back seat of the car with a baby baboon, but the baboons had no response at all. They then took the head of the baboons, and the baboons outside went crazy. Lee Remick's terror as the baboons attack the car was real.

          - When the fishbowl falls to the ground, (dead) sardines painted orange were used in place of actual goldfish, which director Richard Donner refused to kill for the sake of making a movie.

          - The shot of Lee Remick falling to the floor was done by building the "floor" on a (vertical) wall and dollying an upright Remick backward towards it.

          - Having changed its title from "The Antichrist" to "The Birthmark," the film seemed to fall victim to a sinister curse. Star Gregory Peck and screenwriter David Seltzer took separate planes to the UK...yet BOTH planes were struck by lightning. While producer Harvey Bernhard was in Rome, lightning just missed him. Rottweilers hired for the film attacked their trainers. A hotel at which director Richard Donner was staying got bombed by the IRA; he was also struck by a car. After Peck canceled another flight, to Israel, the plane he would have chartered crashed...killing all on board. On day one of the shoot, several principal members of the crew survived a head-on car crash. The jinx appeared to persist well into post-production... when special effects artist John Richardson was injured and his girlfriend beheaded in an accident on the set of A Bridge Too Far.

          - Richard Donner and Harvey Bernhard asked Alan Ladd Jr. then the head of Twentieth Century Fox for extra money during the film's post-production period to hire composer Jerry Goldsmith, whose music they strongly felt was right for the movie after seeing him perform a live concert at the Hollywood Bowl earlier that year. Ladd was finally talked into giving Donner and Bernhard around $25,000 to hire Goldsmith, who would deliver his first and only Academy Award win for his score in 1977.

          - Richard Donner credits the success of the film to composer Jerry Goldsmith, whose music made the film scarier than it would have been had he not been involved.

          - In the closing scene, Richard Donner used reverse psychology on young Harvey Stephens telling him, "Don't you dare laugh. If you laugh, I won't be your friend." Naturally, Stephens wanted to laugh, and he instead smiled directly into the camera.

          - As part of its pre-release publicity campaign, and to point out the significance of "the three sixes" as The Sign of Satan, the movie was sneak-previewed nationwide in the USA on 6 June 1976. While audiences inside the theatres were being scared witless by the film, theatre employees were out front, busily putting up specially made posters declaring: "Today is the SIXTH day of the SIXTH month of Nineteen-Seventy-SIX!" Hokey though it was, the gimmick worked quite well, as many a theatre patron literally "freaked-out" upon seeing those posters as they left the previews.

          - According to at least one biography of Gregory Peck, he took this role at a huge cut in salary (a mere $250,000) but was also guaranteed 10% of the film's box office gross. When it went on to gross more than $60 million in the U.S. alone, The Omen became the highest-paid performance of Peck's career.

          - According to director Richard Donner, he talked the noted cinematographer Gilbert Taylor into coming out of retirement to shoot this film.

          - Mike Hodges was offered the chance to direct the movie. He refused, but actually went on to direct three weeks of Damien: Omen II before he was fired over creative differences.

          - Rottweilers experienced a surge in popularity in the US after the release of this film.

          - Richard Donner decided that Harvey Stephens' naturally blond hair should be dyed black to give him a more sinister look in his role as Damien.

          - More than twice the film's original $2.8 million budget was spent on the film's advertising and promotion.

          - Father Brennan's quotation about the "eternal sea" is completely non-Biblical, and was written for the movie.

          - Guglielomo Spoletini is dubbed by Robert Rietty.

          - Alf Joint is dubbed by Robert Rietty.

          - Terry Walsh who was stunt double for David Warner was badly injured while filming the dog attack scene despite being properly prepared for the stunt.

          - Harvey Stephens, as Damien, was largely chosen for this role from the way he attacked Richard Donner during auditions. Donner asked all the little boys to "come at him" as if they were attacking Katherine Thorn during the church wedding scene. Stephens screamed and clawed at Donner's face, and kicked him in the groin during his act. Donner whipped the kid off him, ordered the kid's blond hair dyed black and cast him as Damien.

          - The last feature film of Anthony Nicholls.



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