Keeping with the trend of satanic child possession set by literary and box offices successes such as Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Exorcist (1973), The Omen (1976) delivers a theological cinematic quest for salvation. When U.S. ambassador Robert Thorn's child is delivered stillborn he secretly replaces it with an orphan born the same morning. That morning just happens to be June 6th at approximately 6AM (666). His son, Damien, appears to be a normal, happy, healthy young blessing. It isn't until Damien's fifth birthday that things begin to go south (of Heaven) for the Thorns. A series of seemingly coincidental deaths, beginning with Damien's nanny, leads Thorn to uncover a supernatural conspiracy revolving around his so-called son. The film displays many of the thematic motifs common to the genre, but is executed with a cinematic proficiency commonly absent in run of the mill thrillers. Director Richard Donner (Superman (1978), The Goonies (1985)) managed to satisfy the needs of the story and audience without sacrificing his career to the genre.
Check back tomorrow for the next installment of the Horror Alphabet.