The First Omen (2024)
April 14, 2024 10:00 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] When a young American woman is sent to Rome to begin a life of service to the church, she encounters a darkness that causes her to question her own faith and uncovers a terrifying conspiracy that hopes to bring about the birth of evil incarnate.

Starring Nell Tiger Free, Tawfeek Barhom, Sônia Braga, Ralph Ineson, Bill Nighy.

Directed by Arkasha Stevenson. Screenplay by Tim Smith, Arkasha Stevenson, Keith Thomas. Story by Ben Jacoby. Based on characters by David Seltzer. Produced by David S. Goyer, Keith Levine for Phantom Four/20th Century. Cinematography by Aaron Morton. Edited by Bob Murawski, Amy E. Duddleston. Music by Mark Korven.

81% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Now playing in theaters. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
this one is definitely on my watch list!!! it looks fun, hopefully it won't suck.
posted by supermedusa at 10:16 AM on April 14

Some good scares, and a neat little twist as to motive. One doesn’t need to have seen any of the prior OMEN films to be able to enjoy this.

Kinda weird how this is so thematically similar to another horror film currently at the box office: IMMACULATE. Hey Hollywood, we’re all stocked up on surreptitiously pregnant American nuns in Italy horror movies now.

Unfortunately for both of the aforementioned films, there’s an even better horror movie in theaters right now that ya’ll should go see: LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL. It’s excellent.
posted by edithkeeler at 12:51 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]

This is probably my favorite of the Omen films. Terrific period details, a plot that has enough wrinkles from the evil things inside the church! framework to feel fresh, and more than a few things echoing the original Suspiria. Little bit of David Lynch and Ken Russell in there, too.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:51 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]

Yes, and even a bit of M. Night Shyamalan’s SIGNS in there, too: the lovers’ final conversation during a gruesome car accident pinning death.
posted by edithkeeler at 4:18 PM on April 14

Me, during the first 30 minutes: Hey, this lives up to the hype! Very solid.

Me, during the next 30 minutes: This might even be pretty good. Nicely done!

Me, from minutes 60-90: Wow, this is actually the very best Omen film!

Me, during the last 30 minutes: search "Arkasha Stevenson fan club."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:54 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]

Huh, I guess I’m the outlier, but I found this one so aggressively predictable. I wanted it to work on me, but just never really felt creeped out at all. Sure there were some gross scenes, but very little in the way of tension sadly.
posted by Cogito at 11:47 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]

This and Immaculate both seem spun by the same writing prompts, but take them in unique directions and are an interesting pairing to watch together (assuming you can deal with the body horror, much of it pregnancy-related).

I saw both in the span of a week and would be hard pressed to say which I thought was better. Late Night With The Devil was also a delight though, so I'd second that recommendation too.
posted by Pryde at 8:11 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]

I really liked Nell Tiger Free's laid-back performance (in a good way) in the very goofy series called "Servant" so I'll probably check this out.
posted by SoberHighland at 5:24 AM on April 16

To me this felt very well executed, though I wanted an extra layer. More!

So the Mia-Goth-looking nun kills herself because Margaret doesn't like her, and then in the creepiest scene comes out to forgive her.. That's my reading. I like it in contrast to Rosemary's Baby. The horror is not being gaslit and used, it's complicity and inevitability. Margaret's sudden pregnancy frenzy is orgasmic horror. It's kind of amazing. After that scene, the final act felt too by the numbers, or something.
posted by fleacircus at 11:11 AM on June 2

I went into this with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised, especially by the imaginative cinematography. I'm still a little baffled by the Charles Dance prologue, though Charles Dance popping up in something is always welcome. I sort of remember some kind of scaffolding bit from the first movie (that is, the first Omen, not The First Omen), was it a reference to that?
posted by whir at 12:22 PM on June 2

Ditto to "low expectations, pleasantly surprised, baffled by the prologue." Was Charles Dance a Bad Church guy who felt bad, so Satan... killed him with a pipe? What?

From the very first framing of the approach to the church in that prologue, though, I was substantially impressed with how well they caught the '70s style of framing and organizing those shots without it feeling tired or re-tready. If I had time and energy I'd love to do a shot-for-shot comparison of some of the Omen / First Omen sequences including that scaffolding sequence and the "It's all for you!" scene with Ersatz Shelley Duvall.

I was also a bit confused by the Beast. At one point they say "it's a jackal," but it's clearly a half-human, half animal monster-thing. Which, I mean, okay, if Satan is going to birth the Antichrist, I guess you gotta get 'er done somehow, but bringing it down into the "here's the thing and here's the act" action prompts all sorts of other questions about the practicality of it: where does a Bad Church find such a creature? If they conjured it up, can't they just zip-zop a bunch of similar demons to run around and scare people into believing in the Church again? How does all this work from a cross-species perspective? Heaven may be kind of dull, but at least immaculate conception doesn't raise a lot of questions about Literal Devil Penis and Literal Lady Vagina being slammed together to bake an Antichrist.

My only real complaint -- and I'm not normally averse to gore -- was the amount of rummaging around in women's innards, like they were looking for a roll of peppermint Lifesavers at the bottom of a purse. It's not often I have to close my eyes in a horror movie, but boy howdy.
posted by Shepherd at 5:34 AM on June 4 [1 favorite]

I too was pleasantly surprised at how pretty decent it was, but I have soooooooo many questions about the Evil Catholic Church's plan to bring people back into the fold. I mean, historically, you can't really control a demon/anti-christ, so I feel like not a lot of long term planning was done.
posted by Kitteh at 9:38 AM on June 4 [2 favorites]

The high IQ elites in the church solved the alignment problem, and this movie is toxoplasmic FUD.

In any case, this is why it's important to donate in the field of AC risk.
posted by fleacircus at 2:46 PM on June 4

Better than most prequels I've seen. I think they could've matched the political drama with an equal amount of dogmatic exposition, though that might have made for a four hour film.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 5:37 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]

« Older Movie: Arcadian...   |  AEW Collision: April 13, 2024 ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments