The Omen (1976)
IMDB Rating 7.6/10 111 min - Rated 18 Horror | Thriller
Stars: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick Director: Richard Donner
When the child of the wealthy American ambassador to the UK, Robert Thorn (Peck), dies at birth, he substitutes another and avoids revealing the tragedy to his wife Katherine (Remick). Some years later the child has developed a fear of churches and is surrounded by a subtle web of quiet observers. But when some of these mysterious people begin to die under bizarre circumstances, Thorn begins to suspect his son may not be what he seems. Richard Donner's epic is a deeply disturbing addition to the horror genre, exploring the traditional concept of good versus evil. It raises questions about faith and, depending on the viewers' own beliefs and opinions, will be interpreted in many different ways. The subject and material is treated with respect throughout, and Dormer was obviously aware that casting would be vital if he was to achieve the carefully considered performances he required. Peck's awesome stature provides substantial authority to both the film and character of Thorn, a somewhat sombre figure devoted to his wife and 'son'. Lee Remick is also impressive and the ever-dependable David Warner is superb as the ambiguous photographer Keith Jennings. A film with such a dark tone also requires a carefully conceived visual style if it is to remain even, and acclaimed cinematographer Gilbert Taylor (who had previously worked with Polanski, Kubrick and Hitchcock and would later shoot Star Wars) created a harsh and uncompromising style that never permits the viewer to relax. Along with its similarly themed contemporary, The Exorcist, The Omen has stood the test of time well, retaining its curious ability to use fear in order to make us consider our own views on faith.