The First Omen

The First Omen: STOP Making Movies That Should Be A Series

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“The First Omen” takes us back to the roots of evil, chronicling the origin story of the Antichrist. We meet a young nun, Sister Katherine (Nell Tiger Free), devoted to her faith and her life within the hallowed halls of the Vatican. The film opens with a hauntingly beautiful yet unsettling scene in Rome. An air of unease hangs heavy in the air, foreshadowing the darkness to come. Meanwhile, across the continent, seasoned diplomat Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) navigates the treacherous waters of international politics. Their paths will collide in a way neither could have foreseen, thrusting them into a nightmarish ordeal that will challenge their very beliefs.

Slow Starter But Picks Up Speed

The film opens with a slow burn, taking its time to establish its characters and setting. We see glimpses into Katherine’s life of piety and devotion within the confines of the Vatican. The austere beauty of the church contrasts with the growing unease that gnaws at her. Strange occurrences, seemingly insignificant at first, begin to chip away at her faith. Unexplained visions and a deepening sense of dread hint at a darkness lurking beneath the surface of her pious life.

Meanwhile, in London, Robert Thorn, a powerful diplomat on the rise, seems like the picture of control. Yet, beneath the surface, a darkness lurks, hinted at in fleeting moments of ambition and ruthlessness. We see glimpses of his political maneuvering, the ruthlessness that simmers just below his polished exterior.

The film cleverly contrasts these two seemingly disparate worlds – the sanctity of the Vatican and the cutthroat world of international politics. As these storylines begin to converge, the suspense builds gradually. We get hints of a larger conspiracy at play, a hidden evil manipulating events from the shadows. However, the wait for the real horror to unfold feels a tad long, testing the patience of viewers eager for a jolt of adrenaline.

The First Omen Should Have Been the ONLY Omen

The movie finally kicks in, revealing the disturbing circumstances surrounding Damien’s birth and hints of a larger conspiracy at work. But here’s the rub – “The First Omen” feels like a cynical bait-and-switch. It throws everything at you in the last act – shocking revelations, grotesque imagery, and a palpable sense of dread. Just as you’re fully invested and eager to see how it all unfolds, the credits roll.

Major plot points are left unresolved, dangling like loose threads. The film feels deliberately incomplete, a clear setup for a sequel. This is a frustrating tactic, a disservice to the audience who have invested their time and money. It’s as if the filmmakers were more interested in setting the stage for a future installment than delivering a satisfying conclusion in the present one.

This approach is particularly egregious because “The First Omen” had all the makings of a complete and terrifying standalone film. The slow-burn suspense of the first two acts builds a thick atmosphere of dread. The performances are strong, and the contrasting worlds of the Vatican and international politics create a fascinating backdrop. But the decision to withhold a resolution undermines everything that came before. Instead of leaving a lasting impression, the film leaves viewers frustrated and cheated.

In a Supernatural Horror Movie, The Main Horror Is Body Horror

Classic horror chills you to the bone with lingering dread and a sense of unease that burrows itself deep into your subconscious. “The First Omen” takes a decidedly different approach, opting for a brand of horror that’s more visceral and unsettling. The film leans heavily on body horror, with scenes of grotesquely deformed fetuses and disturbing childbirth imagery.

This unrelenting focus on the physical aspects of evil is certain to turn some viewers’ stomachs. While it can be undeniably effective in eliciting a strong reaction, it comes at the expense of a more nuanced and atmospheric approach to horror.

For those who endured it in theaters, the lingering discomfort of these scenes might outweigh the lack of a proper narrative payoff. Ultimately, the effectiveness of this approach depends on your personal tolerance for graphic horror.

If you’re looking for a more traditional horror experience that relies on suspense and a creeping sense of dread, “The First Omen” might leave you disappointed.

Also Read: Abigail: Mixing Classic Horror With A Smidge Of Cheesiness

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