Ah, I love this time of year — changing leaves, cooler weather and the influx of autumn flavors such as a pumpkin spice and unadulterated horror. Yes, boys and ghouls, it’s that time of year where our collective interests involve being scared sh*tless. So let’s look at one of the scariest films of all time as today’s Throwback Thursday, a look at sci-fi of the past.
For many people, there’s nothing more unnerving than a creepy kid. And who’s the creepiest of them all? Damien, the young Antichrist from the 1976 supernatural horror flick, ‘The Omen’.
Packed with some of the most famously disturbing scenes, ‘The Omen’ was a breakthrough for filmmaker Richard Donner. Jerry Goldsmith’s score earned numerous accolades, and the film itself was one of the highest grossing movies of 1976. It’s on quite a few “Best of” lists as one of the scariest movies of all time.
Gregory Peck stars as American diplomat Robert Thom. After his wife Katherine (Lee Remick) gives birth to a boy who dies, Thorn gets word from the hospital’s chaplain that there’s another infant whose mother died during the childbirth. Thorn secretly adopts this child and tells Katherine that the boy is theirs.
But of course this decision catches up with Thorn. Damien is, well, weird… to say the least. As the cryptic warnings and bizarre deaths grow and grow, Thorn finally puts the pieces together about what his adopted son really is. This under-five-foot monster is the Antichrist. And he has the birthmark to prove it.
(This is yet another reason why parents should always do routine lice checks.)
What makes this movie so successful is that it’s both a horror movie and a psychological thriller. The Antichrist has popped up in a bunch of other movies and stories, but nothing quite compares to Damien’s unsettling presence that haunts both the Thorn family and the movie’s viewers.