The First Omen

Quality horror hokum

The genuinely creepy Omen was released back in 1976, with Gregory Peck and Lee Remick perhaps adding a little class to the horror genre. Unfortunately, there followed several sequels, remakes and “reimaginings,” and it could be argued that the film was partly responsible for making all these substitutes for fresh ideas into the drug Hollywood seems to be hooked on today.

Cut to the chase: it’s entirely the film it needed to be. Well made, well-acted, and unsettling in ways only church thrillers can be, but not much more. It’s a prequel, about a naïve young novice arriving at a Vatican orphanage for the spawn of unwed mothers. Is it a spoiler to ask exactly why she’s there? Fishy, no? So a decent Catholic creeper that’s too long and loses focus in its own chaos.  Great atmosphere but at the expense of narrative coherence.

Say something nice, Don. Okay, it’ll be a pretty good BGV next Halloween. Something nicer. Jeez. Okay, it’s way better than last year’s Exorcist: Believer. But that’s not hard.  (120 min)