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Film / The Omen

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"When the Jews return to Zion and a comet rips the sky,
And the Holy Roman Empire rises, then You and I must die
From the eternal sea he rises, creating armies on either shore
Turning man against his brother 'til man exists no more."

The Omen is a horror film series that started with a 1976 film. It is one of the many films that are viewed as partial inspirations for the Satanic Panic.

The films in the series are:

The movie followed a cycle of 'demonic child' movies, such as Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist.

After the first three films were novelized, two non-canon book sequels were written by Gordon McGill (Omen IV: Armageddon 2000 and Omen V: The Abomination) chronicling the exploits of Damien's son and his attempts to cause the end of the world through interfering with the international peace process. There were a number of copycat films such as the Italian-made Kirk Douglas movie Holocaust 2000. The death scenes and causes of them also allegedly inspired the Final Destination film franchise.

In 2016, a TV series based on the films called Damien premiered on A&E.

Also, although not related, the 2005 miniseries Revelations shares a writer with the original film and reuses a lot of its mythology, including the character Bugenhagen, the daggers, and the birth of the Antichrist.

Not to be confused with American heavy metal band Omen.

This movie series contains examples of:

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    The Films 

  • The Antichrist: Damien. And in the fourth film, Alexander, Damien's son/grandson (described as Delia's twin brother whose embryo was carried in her womb before being transferred to Delia's foster mother Karen).
  • As the Good Book Says...: Based on Revelation, 13:18.
  • Birthmark of Destiny: Damien, of course, bears the Mark of the Beast (hidden conveniently beneath his hair). Alexander has it too, on his palm.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Damien's many secret protectors are often seemingly nice individuals. Damien never does anything overtly evil in the first film directly and it's left ambiguous of how aware he is of what he is, but by the third act of the second film, he embraces his destiny.
  • Cassandra Truth: Anyone who brings up something being odd about Damien is usually dismissed, regardless of how rational they are. Then there's the people who flat out call him evil, his mother among them, and all are viewed as crazy. Though subverted in that certain secret Satan worshipers are deliberately being dismissive.
  • Children Are Innocent: ...not.
  • Convenient Photograph: Played for Horror in Keith's photographs of Father Brennan, where he notices the spike going through his body and inspires him to figure out the photograph clue. The more obvious "convenient" example occurs when Keith happens to catch himself in the mirror of one of his photographs, which shows him with his head severed.
  • Creepy Child: Well, he's quite adorable for the son of Satan but he still does things that creep out other characters and of course the audience. This trait is ramped up considerably in the 2006 version.
  • Death by Pragmatism: Invoked by Satan and his followers. The moment anyone becomes aware of what Damien is, or comes close to revealing it unwittingly or not, they're as good as dead.
  • Downer Ending: In all except the third movie, although even then, Damien does manage to cause a lot of pain and death before he's finally taken down.
  • Driven to Suicide: In the first film, the famous "It's all for you!" scene where the nanny hangs herself. In the third film, an ambassador is spellbound to kill himself with a gun so Damien can take his place. In the fourth film, Karen York shoots herself as she's unable to kill the Antichrist.
  • Enfant Terrible: The plot of the first film. Damien's better behaved at the start of the second, until he learns of his call.
    • Well outside of throwing a temper tantrum when he comes near a church, and knocking his mother off the stairs (which may or may not have been an accident) it's debatable on this in the first film.
    • Delia in the fourth film is a much straighter example.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Satan himself. He is never shown, but his influence grooms Damien to become the ultimate evil as well as dissuade anybody that knows too much.
    • Inverted with Damien. While he showed promise, ultimately he seemed content to spend his seven years as merely being the head of Thorn Industries and being appointed Ambassador to Britain with some vague political aspirations which he never actually gets around to in the film series itself. About the worst things he does is ordering a massacre of 33 innocent children, brainwashing a single kid, and routinely beating up a statue of Jesus Christ to relieve stress. Hell, Jim Jones had far more people killed.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Subverted. Despite Damien looking like a human child, neither of his parents are human: his father is a Fallen Angel, and his mother was a jackal.
  • Hellhound: Damien is guarded by a squadron of Rottweilers.
  • Hybrid Monster: Damien's real father is the Devil... and his mother was a jackal.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: Shows up here and there, particularly after Cathy's death.
  • Mark of the Beast: Damien has a small birthmark on his scalp resembling three sixes.
  • Meaningful Name: The name "Damien" sounds like "demon", befitting the Antichrist.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: This film series forever stained the name, Damien, which was originally associated with a saint.
  • Number of the Beast: Sixes surround this kid's existence, in fact. He was born on June 6th at 6 AM.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The build up to the deaths throughout the original trilogy were pretty intense, the deaths themselves were terrible ways to go for the most part but almost a relief when they come. The remake has elements of this too. It could be argued that this teaser for the remake is infinitely more terrifying than the movie itself.
  • Nuns Are Spooky: Like the one who tells Thorn that she can't give him any information about his child.
  • Offing the Offspring: The 'Bad Seed' variant, as Robert Thorn attempts to kill Damien after realizing he is the Antichrist. It doesn't work.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: "Ave Satani".
  • Religious Horror: It's a given since the Antichrist is the main antagonist.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: At times, the Satanic forces that try to protect Damien actually wind up helping to convince skeptics that he is, indeed, the Antichrist. Had all those mysterious deaths been a little less spectacular/creepy, Thorn and others might never have believed they were anything but accidents.
  • Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: And they go off with not so much as a hitch since they are planned by The Devil.
  • Saved for the Sequel: The first two films heavily hint that Damien will grow up to become some important world leader, perhaps even world dictator, and be the head of a "revived Holy Roman Empire" after he "rises from the eternal sea" of politics. At the very least, he's prophesied to "raise armies on either shore" and cause people to kill others until the human race is extinguished. And then Omen III: The Final Conflict came out and Damien's seven year "reign" consists of simply being the head of Thorn industries for seven years, which — while a major company — is not a "Holy Roman Empire" in any sense of the word. He doesn't even use his company's power to exert influence on starving nations as he could. He also never actually engages in much politicking other than calling in some favors from the President of the United States to be appointed to a position in his cabinet, and vaguely promises to run for the Senate in a few years (the Senate, not even the Presidency). Ultimately, Damien turned out to be somewhat a disappointment as far as Evil Overlords go, having been defeated by the Nazarene before he could do much of anything on a global scale.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: Nearly every other person around Damien seems to be a member of a Satan-worshiping cult who are loyal to the death and do the dirty work of murdering those could threaten Damien when the accidents don't.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Only the third film doesn't end like this. The first ends with Robert Thorn being shot by police while trying to kill Damien, the second ends with Damien's uncle Richard stabbed by his own Satanist wife (who's then killed in an explosion by Damien himself, who's accepted his role as the Antichrist) and the fourth ends with Karen York — who's served as a surrogate for the new Antichrist — killing herself at the infant Alexander's command after trying to kill him.
  • Sickbed Slaying: Katherine Thorn in the first film and its remake. The way it's done is different in the remake, though.
  • Trilogy Creep: The third movie ended with Damien finally killed by Christ, whose return implicitly means Judgement Day has begun and world forever changed. So what did the studio do? Make another one!
  • Villain Decay: In universe. When Jesus Christ makes his second coming, Damien states that he feels that his powers are weakening day by day.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: If Damien doesn't kill you for standing in his way, he'll kill you for this. Father Brennan warns Robert Thorn in the first film that this is his (Thorn's) fate once Damien is assured to inherit the Thorn family wealth.

    The Novels 
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The novels were written in the early 1980s, and set in the year 2000.
  • Body Horror: Damien Jr. was conceived through an act of sodomy, and initially mistaken for bowel cancer before being born through his mother's rectum.
  • Death by Childbirth: Damien Thorn Jr.'s mother Kate Reynolds, who dies after her son is born.
  • Fetus Terrible: Damian Thorn Jr. was evil even before birth. The pregnancy caused his mother terrible suffering and she died giving rectal birth.
  • Here We Go Again!: Omen V — The Abomination ends with an investigator preparing to tell the whole story. He starts by writing the opening line of the first book.
  • No Navel, Novel Birth: The end of book 5 confirms that Damien Jr. had no navel. It's because he was conceived through an act of sodomy and grew within his mother's intestine rather than a proper womb.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Unlike his father who intended to rule the Earth, Damian Jr. just wants to see it burn.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Damian Thorn Jr. looks just like a younger version of his father. Not surprising, as Junior is heavily implied to be Damian's reincarnation. He's kept in hiding for this reason.
  • Villain-Beating Artifact: As in the third film, the seven Daggers of Megiddo are emphasized as the only thing that can permanently kill Damien and his son in body and spirit, if all seven are stabbed into his body in the shape of a cross while on holy ground (a single dagger, as used in the third film, only killed his physical body). Damien's still-intact body is reduced to a skeleton after his corpse is dealt with in this manner at the end of book 4, and in the climax of book 5, Damien Jr. dies when a large crucifix, through which all seven daggers had been impaled, falls on top of him with the protruding daggers stabbing him in the right position.