Damien: Omen II

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Facts and Figures

Run time: 107 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th June 1978

Budget: $4M

Production compaines: 20th Century Fox

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: William Holden as Richard Thorn, Lee Grant as Ann Thorn, Jonathan Scott-Taylor as Damien Thorn, Robert Foxworth as Paul Buher, Lance Henriksen as Sergeant Neff, Elizabeth Shepherd as Joan Hart, Nicholas Pryor as Charles Warren, Lew Ayres as Bill Atherton, Sylvia Sidney as Aunt Marion, Lucas Donat as Mark Thorn

Damien: Omen II Movie Review


Somewhat unfairly maligned as a hokey, schlocky series, The Omen has always been far more sinister series than its sequel-happy reputation would indicate. The movies are about the devil's son wreaking havoc on earth, for God's sake -- and not only is that about the most classically "evil" character you can get, he also tend to be unstoppable. Good never triumphs in these movies. But really, it can't... how would they keep making sequels?

No longer a toddler, Damien: Omen II finds our young antichrist shipped to Chicago to live with his aunt (Lee Grant) and uncle (William Holden -- yeah, that William Holden). He's a hugely successful titan of industry, which is perfect for Damien: Eventually he'll become the boss of Thorn Industries, a great vantage point for ruling the world as the dark lord.

The plot is pretty much a rehash of the original, though: People catch wind of Damien's dubious provenance, and then Damien uses his evil powers to have them "accidentally" killed. One of the series' most memorable slayings comes when a doctor -- who's found that Damien's blood isn't human but rather jackal -- is killed by a cable which falls through an elevator, cutting them both in half. Gore is certainly not lacking in this installment. And once again, dad figures it all out, and once again he's thwarted at the last second... though the little twist at the end is actually pretty novel and only vaguely expected.

As the teenage Damien, Jonathan Scott-Taylor works wonders with the role, a kid coming to grips with his identity (first denial and shame, then acceptance and pride), and the casting job is excellent. (The presence of Holden also helps to elevate the film considerably beyond its genre roots.)

How much you read Omen II as an allegory about the evils of big business and the military (Damien spend the entire time in military school, and his drill instructor (Lance Henriksen) is the one who first informs him that he's the son of the devil) is a question of personal bias, I suppose. But the fact that a horror movie could even have sociological interpretations like this, well, that's an omen indeed.

It's good to be the devil.


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