Support Us!
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!



Wednesday, April 10, 2024

‘The Omen’ Franchise Ranking: All Six Movies from Worst to Best

The infamous Satanic Panic is often referred to as the 20th century equivalent of the Salem Witch Trials, with innocent heavy metal fans and Dungeons & Dragons players being accused of worshipping Satan while apocalyptic conspiracy theories about the rise of the Antichrist and the supposed “Mark of the Beast” ran rampant amongst radical believers. However, what a lot of people don’t know is that horror cinema played an accidentally crucial role in inspiring this regrettable era of prejudice and misinformation.

In fact, there are a handful of specific horror films that informed most of the fears we now associate with the Satanic Panic, with some of the most influential being Richard Donner’s 1977 classic The Omen and its numerous follow-ups. Despite playing fast and loose with their religious influences, these movies would go on to popularize then-obscure bits of biblical lore (like the Satanic connotations of “666”) that most scholars had already dismissed as being figurative.

This is why it makes so much sense that Damien’s legacy continues to scare audiences to this very day, with the latest entry in the saga of the devil’s child raking in over $17 million during its debut weekend alone. And with nearly 50 years of Omen films to choose from, we’ve decided to celebrate the series with a definitive ranking of all six movies.

And while it’s technically a TV show, I’d also like to give a shout-out to A&E’s short-lived Damien series, an admittedly uneven show that still boasted an undeniably interesting premise (with the plot following an amnesiac Damien being forced to confront his Satanic origins).

With that out of the way, onto our The Omen franchise ranking…

6. Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981)

The Omen franchise sam neill

Watching an older Antichrist finally fulfill his promised role as the emissary of Satan sounds like an obviously thrilling conclusion to the Omen movies – especially when you bring in Sam Neill to portray the adult Damien and original director Richard Donner to produce the feature – but I guess there really are no guarantees in Hollywood.

Much to the dismay of horror fans, The Final Conflict feels a lot more like one of those hyper-Christian Omen knockoffs like The Omega Code rather than an official climactic conclusion to the series. And while Sam Neill is my favorite incarnation of Damien since Harvey Spencer Stephens, not even his demonic charms can save this one from being the worst in the franchise.

5. The Omen IV: The Awakening (1991)

The horror genre has always been fascinated with evil children, so it makes sense that original Omen producer Harvey Bernhard insisted on continuing the franchise after Damien’s inevitable death by bringing the story back to its roots. In this made-for-TV sequel, audiences are introduced to Delia York, Damien’s homicidal daughter and protector of the newly reborn Antichrist destined to continue Satan’s plans for humanity.

In all honesty, the TV budget and derivative storytelling make The Awakening an objectively worse product than every other film in the franchise, but I actually think that the flick’s schlocky thrills are what make it more entertaining than Part III. Delia certainly can’t compete with her predecessors, but a series of cartoonish deaths and new age mumbo jumbo make this a fun time for B-movie aficionados.

4. Damien – The Omen II (1978)

Following up on a bona fide classic is no easy task, so you’ve got to give Don Taylor and his team at least some credit for not taking the easy route and simply rehashing the events of the first movie. Chronicling the demonic exploits of a 13-year-old Damien as he uncovers his destiny while attending a military academy, The Omen II stands about by actually depicting the Devil’s Child as a real character this time around.

Of course, the added pathos can’t quite make up for a general lack of narrative direction – as well as a collection of sub-par scares. While there are a handful of exquisite death scenes here (with the elevator maiming being one of the best in the entire franchise), The Omen II simply isn’t as thrilling or as interesting as its predecessor even if it still works as a fun standalone horror movie.

3. The Omen (2006)

The Omen franchise remake

We’ve been retelling horror stories since time immemorial, so it was only a matter of time before one of the most influential scary movies of all time would be updated for a new generation. However, in the case of 2006’s inevitable Omen remake, the retelling wouldn’t really need to be updated all that much in order to make the film a massive box office hit.

A faithful recreation of much of what made the original so effective, the remake feels like a familiar new take on a classic play – which is both a good and a bad thing. The film can’t quite capture the same level of artistry and atmosphere as the original (even if the new cast is phenomenal), but it’s definitely a thrilling experience if you can separate it from its studio-mandated origins.

2. The First Omen (2024)

Many critics will tell you that prequels are an inherently bad idea because if a detailed backstory is good enough to warrant being told, it would have been told the first time around. That’s why I think Arkasha Stevenson’s The First Omen is a fascinating miracle of a film, using Damien’s history as a jumping off point to examine and expand on horrific concepts that were merely hinted at in the original film.

Sure, the end product is held back by a handful of fake-out jump-scares and completely unnecessary (and possibly studio-mandated) sequel bait that doesn’t jive well with the thoughtful craftsmanship that came before, but this prequel is still proof that passionate creators can breathe new life into even the most familiar of properties.

1. The Omen (1976)

The Omen franchise

Is it any surprise that the film that started it all would take the number one spot here? Richard Donner was one of the best filmmakers of his generation and the esoteric zeitgeist of the 70s made it the perfect time to tell a chilling story about the Antichrist, so I think it’s pretty clear that The Omen is a seminal example of “lightning in a bottle” filmmaking that can never be replicated.

From the incredibly memorable deaths to scenes and dialogue that are still referenced and parodied to this very day (with projects like Little Evil and Good Omens clearly being inspired by the story of Damien), there’s a reason why this film became such a big hit that it made the devil popular again.

The post ‘The Omen’ Franchise Ranking: All Six Movies from Worst to Best appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!