Film Review

The First Omen

todayApril 11, 2024 23

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By – Nick Adrian

For fans of religious horror, nun-spolitation, and The Omen franchise

Over the last few decades, successful horror films are rarely left alone. They are typically subjected to sequels, spin-offs, remakes, and occasionally, prequels. While this has become a growing trend with most successful films, the horror genre tends to bring unlimited opportunities for its producers – despite mixed to dismal results. However, this entry is different. With a series that’s been dormant since a remake in 2006, The First Omen breathes fresh air into its IP.

Taking place before the events of the 1976 original The Omen, the film follows aspiring nun Margaret (Nell Tiger Free) as she arrives in Rome to work at an orphanage. Her attention is quickly drawn to the troubled Carlita Scianna (Nicole Sorace), an older orphan who exhibits strange behaviors and is often separated from the rest of the children. Father Brennan, a returning character from the original film this time played by Ralph Ineson, is suspicious of an evil conspiracy going on with the church and attempts to warn Margaret of it. Though she dismisses him at first, she soon discovers the sinister orphanage is attempting to bring about the birth of the Antichrist in an attempt to dispel the growing secularism growing in the last half of the 20th Century.

The First Omen contains a few tricks up its sleeve to get around the usual, predictable pitfalls prequels so often have. Though we know the outcome of the film – since we’re familiar with the plot of the original The Omen – director Arkasha Stevenson still manages to make the installment all her own. She’s got a keen filmmaker’s eye, crafting what might just be one of the better directed horror films of recent years. The First Omen is chocked with 70s horror influences, great performances, worthy scares, and even a Possession (1981) callback. Nunsploitation is alive and well in 2024 and film has never quite been so afraid of the Catholic church.

The First Omen is now playing in theaters.

Written by: Nick Adrian

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