Richard Donner's direction and David Ward's script elevated this pulp horror to something near sublime and provided 70's era scares and big box office. The tale of a young boy who may well be the anti-Christ resonated with the post-Exorcist generation and stands as a strong tale about parenthood, religion and good vs. evil. Well cast with Gregory Peck playing against type and fine turns from Whitelaw and Warner.
HLLWN2015: More iconic than great, pulling textures and elements from Don't Look Now and Rosemary's Baby and making them a bit more pop, kitsch, and safe. But Gregory Peck lends gravitas, the sound design is creepy, and the gothic imagery shows how good lighting goes a long way. I wish it explored themes it touches on: the psychodrama involved, and the suspicion that 1976 looked pretty close to the End Times already.
A fiendishly effective film, tightly constructed, emotionally manipulative and delivered with certainty. A lesson rarely heeded by other horror films. The British settings add an atmospheric tang and we're lucky to have such a good cast playing with the tosh.
A mixture of cheesiness and sincere scares. For every staple scene--"It's all for you, Damien!"-- The Omen overplays other ones-- especially when establishing Damien as evil-- thus feeling like a crowd pleaser trying to meet a scare scene quota rather than developing it naturally from story. It's more loud and brash than unnerving and disturbing, much closer to modern mainstream horror than anything during its time.