For movie buffs, the month of October means one thing: 31 days of horror movies. With tons of horror flicks to choose from, The Daily Texan is going to be providing a daily horror recommendation. Whether you prefer ghosts, zombies or stark explorations of the human condition, we’ll be featuring horror films of all flavors. Check back every evening for the movie of the day. Tonight’s flick is the original creepy-kid movie, “The Omen.”
When I was 12, my dad sat me and my brother down and prepared us to watch what was, in his opinion, one of the scariest movies ever made: the 1976 version of “The Omen.” As we watched the film, my brother and I couldn’t help but laugh at my dad for thinking “The Omen” was so scary. We were not impressed by its lack of gore and terrifying special effects. It was hard to understand how my dad could be so freaked out by this movie that was mildly suspenseful at most. But as I’ve gotten older and re-watched “The Omen,” I’ve come to respect it as a horror movie that has inspired countless imitators.
“The Omen” tells the story of the Thorn family, whose first son dies just after birth. Robert (Gregory Peck), worried for his wife’s sanity, agrees to take the orphaned Damien as a replacement. Robert receives warnings from a concerned priest, Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton), that his son is evil, but it’s only once people start dying in horrible ways that the truth becomes clear: Damien is the Antichrist.
Don’t go into the movie expecting to be terrified. “The Omen” is almost 40 years old, so the special effects are subpar compared to modern standards, with the “gruesome” scenes appearing somewhat cheesy and unrealistic. Some may find the movie disturbing, but for the majority, “The Omen” is an older film that evokes little fear. Instead, watch the movie as the first of its kind, an inspiration to more modern, traditionally scary films of the same ilk.
This movie horrified audiences back in the ‘70s. “The Omen” was groundbreaking for its time, establishing the ‘spawn of Satan’ genre. Its Biblical themes terrified audiences, its references to the book of Revelations and “666” striking on a familiar, very real fear that was common in that era. Something depicted in the Bible was far scarier than a fictional monster like “Dracula” or “Frankenstein.” “The Omen” also provokes chilling thoughts about the end of humanity. This alone makes it worth watching.
Another thing that makes “The Omen” haunting is its musical score. The suspenseful theme of the film, composed by Jerry Goldsmith, even won an Oscar, and his intense music single-handedly makes the movie more frightening.
The film features Rottweilers portraying jackals. One dog in particular follows and guards Damien throughout the entire film. If you are set on representing “The Omen” in costume form, I would recommend wearing child-style clothing and having your pet dog follow you around all night as you show no emotion, save for the occasional creepy smirk. Even if people find you weird, at least they will approach you to play with your dog.