Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Retro Review: THE OMEN (1976)

Welcome to another installment of RETRO REVIEW where we take a trip back in time to look at films made before the year 2000.  This week we review the Richard Donner directed supernatural thriller from 1976...THE OMEN.  Enjoy!!

Gregory Peck stars as Robert Thorn who has been appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom. When his wife Katherine (Lee Remick) unfortunately has a stillborn baby, he decides to switch it with another child. Strange and frightening events start happening that seem to be connected to the presence of this child.

This film disturbed me on so many levels. It was a well-crafted film, but it frightened me. The musical score was eerie and spooky. It made me question my beliefs and reminded there is evil in real life and not just in films.

There were many scenes in this film that scared the hell out of me. The first scene to do this occurred at Damien's 5th birthday party. His nanny decides to kill herself at the party and large black dogs appear out of nowhere. Her words still resonate in my mind, "It's all for you."

The portrayal of Damien by Harvey Spencer Stephens was great. He doesn't come off as the spawn of Satan, which makes the film even scarier to me. Damien is so cute and has an adorable smile. But, looks are deceiving.

Damien ends up getting a new nanny named Mrs. Baylock and I found her immensely terrifying to say the least. The Thorns had a bad feeling about her and for good reason. You'll need to watch the movie to find out why.

The music in this film was superb, and perfect for setting the ominous atmosphere. Jeffery Goldsmith received an Academy Award for Best Original Score, which was well deserved as the music was one of the best parts of the movie. The Omen was also one of the best received movies of 1976 and received positive reviews from critics. It has an 86% approval rating on  Rotten Tomatoes.

Of course there are sequels to this film and even a short-lived TV series that portrayed Damien as an adult.. I have not yet watched any those, however, I do plan on watching them in the future.

THE OMEN had great acting and writing. The music set the mood for the film and made it even more creepier to me as an audience member. If you are a horror fan and have not seen this film, then you are missing out on one of the greatest horror films ever made.

Lisa's Score: 9/10

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