The Omen (film series)

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The Omen film series is a horror film franchise created in the 1970s. The story was originally written by David Seltzer, who chose not to continue the series after the first novel. The second novel and screenplay were then written by Joseph Howard, and the third by Gordon McGill. After the third movie was produced, a fourth was made for TV in an attempt to bring back the series, but did poorly.

The series centres around Damien Thorn, a child born of Satan and given to Robert and Katherine Thorn, before being passed along the Thorn families as a child. It is revealed among the families that Damien is in fact meant to be the Antichrist, and as an adult is attempting to gain control of the Thorn business and reach for the presidency.

Films[edit]

Three theatrical movies were produced: The Omen (1976), Damien: Omen II (1978), and Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981).

A TV movie followed in 1991, titled Omen IV: The Awakening, directed by Jorge Montesi and Dominique Othenin-Girard. Another TV movie followed in 1995, titled The Omen, directed by Jack Sholder. This made-for-television-movie, which aired on Fox, had nothing to do with the previous films, and was a pilot film made in an attempt to reboot the Omen franchise into a TV series. Although original Omen director Richard Donner was attached to the project as executive producer, the pilot failed and the series never aired. However, in 2005, The Omen author David Seltzer revamped his novel into a teleplay for the short-lived NBC series Revelations, starring Bill Pullman.

Two documentaries of the series has been made, one in 2000, titled 666: The Omen - Revealed, and the other titled The Omen: Legacy in 2001. Both can be found in the special features of the Collector's Edition DVD of The Omen (1976), released in 2006.

Novelisations and sequels[edit]

There are five novels in the Omen series, the first three being novelizations of their movie counterparts:

  • The Omen, written in 1976 by David Seltzer
  • Damien: Omen II, written in 1978 by Joseph Howard
  • Omen III: The Final Conflict, written in 1980 by Gordon McGill
  • Omen IV: Armageddon 2000, written in 1983 by Gordon McGill
  • Omen V: The Abomination, written in 1985 by Gordon McGill

Film series plot[edit]

The films follow Damien Thorn as he goes through life, first as a child, then as a teenager, and finally as an adult. He is unaware of his own powers in the first film, but learns of them in the second. He is constantly assisted by Satanic followers, such as his nanny in the first film, his uncle's business partner in the second, and a large cult when he is an adult in the third.

The first film introduces Robert Thorn, an American Ambassador in Italy. His pregnant wife Katherine goes into labour, and Robert arrives in time to find out that the baby died. At the advice of a priest, Robert accepts another child who was born at the same hour, unknown to his wife. As the years go by, Damien Thorn, the child, grows up. On his fifth birthday, his nanny hangs herself during his party at the Thorn Mansion in London. A photographer named Jennings begins noticing strange hints in the photographs he takes, foretelling the deaths of the nanny, and of a priest who confronts Robert to tell him that his son is from Satan before being impaled by a falling church spire. Soon, Robert and Jennings travel to Megiddo to find Bugenhagen, a man who apparently knows how to stop the antichrist. In the meantime, Katherine is murdered by Mrs. Baylock, Damien's second nanny, who in reality is a follower of Satan. Robert learns that he must stab Damien with the Seven Daggers of Meggido, but he initially refuses, instead tossing the daggers aside. Jennings is decapitated by a flying pane of glass while picking up the daggers, a death foretold once again by his own photographs. Robert, now convinced, takes the daggers and returns to London. After discovering a birthmark on Damien's head that proves that he is the Antichrist, Robert is attacked by Mrs. Baylock. After a struggle, Mrs. Baylock is stabbed in the neck, and Robert grabs Damien, driving him to a church where he attempts to stab the child. However, the police interfere, and shoot down Robert, killing him. Damien is then left in the care of his uncle, Richard Thorn.[1]

The second film introduces Damien's new adopted family; Richard Thorn, his wife Ann and their son Mark. Damien and Mark, both 13, are off to military school. Richard's aunt Marion tries to tell Richard and Ann that Damien is evil, attempting to convince them to send him to a different school than Mark. Marion later dies of a heart attack. Damien soon learns from his school general that he is meant to be the Antichrist mentioned in the Book of Revelation, and confirms this after finding the number six hundred and sixty six on his head, a mark he was born with. Upon learning this, he begins killing everyone who stands in his way, including his cousin Mark, and eventually Richard and Ann.[2]

The third film follows Damien as an adult, now head of his uncle's industry, trying to find the reborn Christ. While doing so, Damien and his followers are stalked by seven monks who each brandish one of the seven Daggers of Meggido. While killing off the monks one by one, Damien takes interest in a journalist named Kate Reynolds, as well as her son Peter, whom he begins to possess. At the same time, Damien is also aiming to elevate his rank among the world. He orders that all the male children born on March 24 are to be killed, as one of them is most likely to be Christ. Once he is born again, Damien's powers begin dwindling, and Father DeCarlo, the only one remaining of the seven monks, warns Kate about Damien. In a final battle, Damien and DeCarlo fight, and Damien uses Peter as a shield against DeCarlo's dagger. Peter is killed, and as a desperate attempt, Damien calls out for Christ to show himself. Kate grabs the dagger and stabs Damien in the back, and as he lies dying, Christ appears in a flash across the sky, bringing peace to the Earth.[3]

The fourth film's story centers around a young girl of mysterious origins called Delia, who is adopted by two attorneys, Gene and Karen York. At first, nothing seems wrong. But Jo, their nanny with remarkable psychic powers, begins to reveal that aspects of Delia's personality are suspect. Jo reveals part of her worries to Karen, as well as to Noah, Jo's partner. When meditating with Delia to help her discover why Delia has such trouble, bringing negative energy everywhere she goes, Jo is murdered. Alarmed and suspicious of her adoptive daughter's mysterious birth, Karen hires a private investigator to seek out the identities of Delia's real parents. What follows is a string of bizarre accidents, resulting in Karen falling into a paranoid state as she fears people are conspiring against her as she tries to reveal her daughter's true identity. It is eventually revealed that Delia is the daughter of Damien Thorn, the Antichrist, thus the granddaughter of Satan. Karen also learns that the Anti-Christ is not Delia but her twin brother, whose embryo was implanted into Karen; she has just given birth to Delia's biological brother, the son of Damien. After killing the doctor, she heads home and tries to kill Delia and her baby, the 666 symbol shown directly on his palm. At first, it is not shown who was shot because the camera pans out into view of the house. At the end it shows that Karen shot herself instead.

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
The Omen (1976) 84% (32 reviews)[4]
Damien: Omen II (1978) 43% (18 reviews)[5]
Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981) 28% (18 reviews)[6]
Omen IV: The Awakening (1991) N/A (4 reviews)[7]

See also[edit]

A remake of the first movie was released in 2006, directed and produced by John Moore, starring Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles. The film was met with mixed reviews but with general box office success. With a mild budget of $25 million, the film grossed a total of $54 million domestic and $64 million foreign to total $119 million. This film is often included in box sets of the series despite not being considered an installment.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Donner, Richard (Director) (1976). The Omen (DVD). Beverly Hills, CA: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. OCLC 70171384. 
  2. ^ Taylor, Don and Hodges, Mike (Directors) (1978). Damien: Omen II (DVD). Beverly Hills, CA: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. OCLC 45111331. 
  3. ^ Baker, Graham (Director) (1981). Omen III: The Final Conflict (DVD). Beverly Hills, CA: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. OCLC 45273673. 
  4. ^ "http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1015517-omen/". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  5. ^ "Damien: Omen II". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  6. ^ "Omen III: The Final Conflict". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  7. ^ "Omen IV: The Awakening". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-01-04.