Apr 17, 2024
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The First Omen Opens Strongly at the Box Office

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Prequel to The Omen from 1976, this movie follows a young woman as she travels to Rome to become a nun but instead encounters an unspeakably dark force that threatens to bring about evil itself. Director Arkasha Stevenson uses her budget wisely to create visuals that are both textured and shocking for this riveting thriller.

It’s a Prequel

    Director Arkasha Stevenson proves his mettle with The First Omen by keeping its story fresh. We follow young American novitiate Margaret (Nell Tiger Free) as she arrives at Vizzardeli Orphanage in Rome and encounters an illicit church conspiracy dedicated to creating an antichrist.

    There are numerous classic prequel cliches present here, like an “It’s all for you!” suicide scene and Ralph Ineson from The Witch returning as Father Brennan, yet the film manages to maintain its own momentum thanks to an engaging plot and incredible performances by Nell Tiger Free and Ralph Ineson, respectively. Additionally, reproductive rights issues are addressed in an ageless yet timely fashion throughout.

    It’s a Reboot

      Unsatisfied by horror movie violence, The First Omen delivers another religious thriller. A prequel to Richard Donner’s 1976 classic, this prequel follows Nell Tiger Free as she arrives at Vizzardeli orphanage in Rome to become part of a frightening plot to bring about Antichrist.

      Arkasha Stevenson takes an uncharacteristically restrained approach as director, opting instead for creating an atmospherically frightening scene rather than using jump scares for jumpscares. She wisely prioritizes character motivations – something many modern horror films neglect.

      The First Omen is one of those rare reboots that does its genre justice despite not being suitable for everyone, and could serve as a solid springboard for future installments if it manages to put this franchise back on the right path following two unsatisfying sequels and an unsuccessful 2006 remake.

      It’s a Cult Movie

        The First Omen offers an engaging new angle on the franchise with some chilling scenes and surprising plot twists, as well as its use of tropes such as predictable storytelling; nonetheless, director Arkasha Stevenson manages to keep viewers on edge throughout.

        As a relatively novice filmmaker, she has done an outstanding job with this film. Keeping its tone dark and unnerving while not succumbing to cheap thrills typically found in studio horror flicks is admirable.

        She doesn’t shy away from female body horror either, pushing the R rating with several images including a graphic birthing scene—something many studios might shy away from; not this movie! This could easily become an indelible classic that stands the test of time.

        It’s a Horror Movie

          The First Omen doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it successfully subverts many of the tired religious horror cliches. A wonderfully suspenseful thriller with plenty of unexpected twists and unexpected plot shifts, it also boasts an outstanding cast led by Nell Tiger Free.

          Prequel to the original Omen series, and taking place prior to Damien’s birth. A novitiate named Margaret travels to Rome for final preparation before she takes the veil; there she soon uncovers a sinister plan to give birth to an Antichrist figure.

          Arkasha Stevenson skillfully employs style over exposition to tap into our visceral fears – black veils wrapped around tortured faces, grimy claws pawing delicate female flesh, and creepy drawings whispering dark nothings all combine into visceral images that trigger our anxiety.

          It’s a Comedy

            As American Ambassador Robert Thorn (Peck) becomes suspicious that his five-year-old son Damien may be one of Satan’s creations born for malicious purposes, several people die under suspicious circumstances and he approaches Father Brennan with questions regarding Carlita Scianna – another planned offspring of Antichrist, with whom Father Brennan offers him a trade.

            Game of Thrones actress Nell Tiger Free delivers an incredible performance as an outsider to her environment in this film, but what truly distinguishes it are its other elements. From its dreamlike camerawork and long, static shots to an unforgettable soundtrack – even disturbing scenes such as nonconsensual sexual activity and birthing sequences are handled artfully.

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