Damien: Omen II (1978)
April 4, 2024 12:48 PM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] Richard (William Holden) and Ann Thorn (Lee Grant) have taken their 13-year-old nephew, Damien (Jonathan Scott-Taylor), into their Chicago home following the death of Richard's brother seven years earlier. The Thorns love the child, whom they are sending to military school, but not everyone is so sanguine about his presence. Soon after Great Aunt Marion (Sylvia Sidney) expresses concerns about the boy, she dies suddenly and unexpectedly. And she is certainly not the last.

Also starring Robert Foxworth, Lew Ayres, Nicholas Pryor, Lance Henriksen, Elizabeth Shepherd, Lucas Donat, Allan Arbus, Meshach Taylor.

Directed by Don Taylor. Screenplay by Stanley Mann, Mike Hodges. Story by Harvey Bernhard. Based on characters by David Seltzer. Produced by Harvey Bernhard for 20th Century Fox. Cinematography by Bill Butler. Edited by Robert Brown. Music by Jerry Goldsmith.

48% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Hulu. JustWatch.
posted by DirtyOldTown (4 comments total)
The unloved Jan of the series. No movie with Lance Henriksen can be all bad, and this is kind of an interesting film, if notably inconsistent with the original. The conflict here is Damien wrestling with his demonic nature, which is...absolutely not a problem for him in the original. Much of the power of the original is based on our growing sense that Damien is perhaps a fully formed malevolent intelligence hiding and biding its time in a little kid body, waiting to age into its destined role. But this movie makes it plain that Damien really is a kid. What this is consistent with, of course, is Christ, who is at once God and man, so it stands to reason that Damien would be similar. But this plot development does seem to miss out on what made the original so scary.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:10 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]

Baby name trends by year: Damien - weirdly bi-modal with peaks in 1978 and 2007. From the Greek δαμάζω (damazō), "(I) conquer, master, overcome, tame". I'm note sure people where generally familiar with the biblical significance of 666 before The Omen.
posted by rongorongo at 4:33 AM on April 5

I just now realized that I had mentally confused this one with Amityville Horror 2 and this one does not feature incest.
posted by praemunire at 10:45 AM on April 5

Daaaaaaaaang, Meshach Taylor has a rough day.

This is less focused and intense than the original, but it has some wild ideas (Satanic agribusiness villains!) and it has the benefit of not having been ripped off 500x over the last five decades.

Don Taylor, who directed this, also helmed Escape from the Planet of the Apes.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:45 PM on April 10

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