The First Omen movie review: Chilling and Unsettling

 The First Omen movie review: Chilling and Unsettling

The First Omen movie review: Chilling and Unsettling

What: The First Omen - the prequel to the Damien Saga is a visceral psychological horror that creeps into your psyche with gory and ghastly visuals.

The First Omen synopsis

A novice nun discovers a Satanic plot in this graphic supernatural horror film prequel, whose vivid horror sequences draw on themes of childbirth, sexual violence and institutional abuse

“The Miracle of Life can be a messy business”,  frivolously warns one of the Fathers in the church to Margaret Dianno (Nell Tiger Free) in the Vizzardeli orphanage. Little does she know that the orphanage where she works is involved in a shady and sinister conspiracy to bring about the birth of the antichrist.


The First Omen movie review

The First Omen, directed by Arkashsan Stevenson is the spin off to the 1976 cult supernatural horror film Omen and chronicles the events that formed the precursor to the birth of the child of Satan, the antichrist.

Its 1971, Rome. Margaret arrives here from the USA to take a veil in the city that has been witnessing wild public unrest and riots and starts working at an orphanage which is equipped with birthing facilities for unwed girls. There, she meets five people: young artist Carlita (Nicole Sorace), eccentric roommate Luz (Maria Caballero), odd-mannered Anjelica (Ishtar Currie Wilson), Cardinal Lawrence (Bill Nighy) and Sister Silvia (Sonia Braga), the Abbess.

Carlita shows Margaret a drawing of figures restraining a woman onto a bed. Later, Margaret and Luz attend a dance club, where Margaret dances with a boy named Paolo then blacks-out, her memory faded. At the orphanage, she witnesses a woman giving birth, where a demonic hand sprawls out of her birth canal; she blacks-out again.

In a chilling sequence before the interval, a girl immolates herself and hangs from the top of the abbey. The scene is fiery and disturbing and sets the rhythm for the next set of events.

Relying less on the outdoor atmospherics and more on the ominous background score, The First Omen spells cerebral horror as it internalizes a sense of doom and impending occult. DoP Aaron Moton recreates the period well but the script by Ben Jacoby hits the obscure button many times and things become difficult to comprehend when they bring in too many floating figures, demonic entity, and jarring hallucinations.

In this unsettling drama, Nell pulls off an amazing act with her torment and catharsis. There is a scene where she convulses violently, her water breaks, her womb suddenly fills, and she passes out. The actress is more than convincing and equipped with disarming conviction. That really shook me. Other actors surround her effectively, particularly Ralph Michael Ineson playing Father Brennen and relying on his deep and Yorkshire accented voice.

The First Omen – Final Words

When the film culminates with the birth of the Damien, I had a sigh of satisfaction for the circle of life and the itinerary of the franchise that kicked off in 1976.

I go with 3 stars out of 5 for The First Omen. provocative, beautifully cinematic and in touch with its head-decapitating roots, it is consistently engaging.



Rating : 3/5

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About Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee, is an IT Techie/Business Consultant by profession and a film critic/cinephile by passion, is also associated with Radio Playback as well, loves writing and conducting movie quizzes. More By Ahwaan Padhee

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