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The First Omen

My first experience of the Omen movies was around the age of 11-12, when I caught scenes from it on the television while my family were moving houses. No one was watching me, so I managed to indulge in that moment and became pretty traumatised shortly after having seen a woman get her eyes pecked out by a raven and then hit by a fast moving vehicle. The Omen II was terrifying. It was a couple of years later that I watched the first movie, and laughed through it because I didn't find it scary at all. I was also used to a very different kind of horror then, and did not have the capacity to appreciate the art of subtle horror.

It was only in my 20's when I rewatched the films and also the third instalment, that I realised just how brilliant the films were, especially the first two. With the new movie, I hadn't read anything about it. I had somewhat expected a remake of the first movie and hadn't realised it was a prequel until the film ended. And it was only when Ave Satani started playing that I remembered fragments of my childhood. I had the great pleasure of sharing this with my partner. Yes, I was that weird kid who listened to Ave Satani on her Walkman at school to feel... relaxed. It was a pleasant memory that came trickling back. One that I had completely forgotten about until the track kicked in, and oh it was so wonderful to hear it played out loud in the cinema. It was delightfully menacing.

I'm not going to go into the plot of the film, but I will say that when I left the cinema I felt absolutely wild. The film is exceptionally shot and delivered a prequel that was unnerving and beautiful to look at. It had a strong message which was delivered through fantastic performances. The scares were varied and ranged from jump scares to gory deaths. There was a particular scene that left me feeling absolutely nauseous, I had to curl up into a ball and hold myself for the rest of the movie. I think I fell in love with creepy nun movies since I watched Black Narcissus by Powell and Pressburger (1947) as a university student. There's just something so perfect about creepy nuns and gothic architecture that goes hand in hand. As if something is just waiting to be unleashed. I've always been a fan of gothic literature and this film gave me so much, and then some. The First Omen surprised me by being so well crafted that I would consider it a masterpiece in horror. It was a brilliant surprise and may well go down as being one of my favourite horror films of all time.


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