The Omen (1976) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Omen1976

The Omen (1976)



Critic Consensus: The Omen eschews an excess of gore in favor of ramping up the suspense -- and creates an enduring, dread-soaked horror classic along the way.

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The young son of an American diplomat and his wife, living in London, turns out to be marked with the sign of Satan, the infamous "666". It soon becomes apparent that he could be the Anti-Christ incarnate and possesses the evil powers to stop anyone who stands in his way.

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Gregory Peck
as Robert Thorn
Lee Remick
as Kathy Thorn
David Warner
as Keith Jennings
Billie Whitelaw
as Mrs. Baylock
Patrick Troughton
as Father Brennan
Leo McKern
as Bugenhagen
Martin Benson
as Father Spiletto
Anthony Nicholls
as Dr. Becker
Holly Palance
as Young Nanny
John Stride
as Psychiatrist
Robert MacLeod
as Mr. Horton
Sheila Raynor
as Mrs. Horton
Roy Boyd
as Reporter
Bruce Boa
as Thorn's Aide
Don Fellows
as Thorn's Second Aide
Patrick McAlinney
as Photographer
Miki Iveria
as First Nun
Betty McDowall
as Secretary
Burnell Tucker
as Secret Service Man
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Critic Reviews for The Omen

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (11)

Gregory Peck takes everything pitch-perfect seriously. This is one of his best performances.

October 21, 2019 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

The Omen contains some of the most memorable untimely deaths in cinema history.

December 29, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Richard Donner directs more for speed than mood, but there are a few good shocks.

October 9, 2012 | Full Review…

It was the performance of Harvey Stephens as the young Damien that invested the film with the chill of genuine credibility.

October 9, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Richard Donner's direction is taut. Players all are strong.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

A bald-faced lamprey hitching its razor-tipped maw on the chassis of The Exorcist, The Omen's Sunday school parable of gothic Cathsploitation comes twice as thick and thrice as pious.

June 21, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Omen


Capitalizing on Gregory Peck's considerable reputation as stern but loving responsible liberal dad from To Kill A Mockingbird this film asks the question: "yeah, he's a good dad, but what if the kid wasn't his? What if the kid was the spawn of Satan himself, then what?" The work then follows the process of him affirming the identity of the child, switched at birth. What works is how gloomy foreboding is embraced as opposed to tacky jump scares, the go-to of the industry anymore. A second rate The Exorcist, perhaps, but still effective.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

A rare type of horror film that is more about its mystery and building an ominous feel of danger than trying to scare us, and it works quite well when it's not too silly - as for instance with the ridiculous priest who babbles Catholic prophecies and could never be taken seriously.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


One of the more iconic and popular horror films of recent history, "The Omen" takes all the unholiest of attitudes towards horror and amplifies them to compound scares. Not only is this film scary at times and freakish at others, but when you watch the premise, the reveals, and deaths, they hold significant weight. Several days later certain parts of this film roll around in your brain and you keep working out its genius. Much of what makes this film so engrossing seems to be the premise. An ambassador (Peck) and his wife (Remick) are told their child is stillborn, and the husband is prompted into adopting another child who has become orphaned. The child, Damien (Stephens), is actually the son of Satan and thanks to a prophecy, a priest knows to tell him that he must murder the child before he himself and everyone he loves, are killed. Of course the ambassador finds all of this ridiculous, but eventually goes on a mighty quest with a photographer (Warner) to find the truth before it's too late. There are also protectors to the child, including a satanic nanny (Whitelaw) and a Rottweiler who remains the boy's terrifying hellhound. Harvey Stephens as Damien is quite creepy, taking direction from Richard Donner quite well and giving a performance that eerily transcends any other demonic child in horror film history. His and Peck's performances greatly overshadow almost everyone else's, because they remain the hero and villain within the story. It's gruesome to think a child has to be killed, or that a child has that evil nested within themselves. Even at the very end you're not sure how everything will work itself out, and that is difficult since horror films are usually so cut and dry. This is a masterpiece of horror, and even today has some moments that will make you question whether you believe in the devil.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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