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Friday, February 14, 2014

The Omen (1976)

When their child dies at birth in a Rome hospital, an American diplomat (Gregory Peck) agrees to substitute another baby without telling his wife (Lee Remick). But five years later, when he is given the position of U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, strange and disturbing things begin to happen: a nanny's (Holly Palance) public suicide at a children's party, the child's hysteria when they attempt to take him to church, zoo animals freak out at the child's presence and then there's the weird new nanny (Billie Whitelaw). Could it be ..... Satan? This well crafted piece of pulp horror was a monster hit in 1976 and spawned two inferior sequels but it remains as creepily effective as ever. What could have come off as ridiculous and laughable benefits from the gravitas of Peck and Remick in the leads, who both bring a dignified presence and solid talent that is able to make the incredible credible. Richard Donner directs with a secure touch while Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar winning score provides a chilling atmosphere. With David Warner, Leo McKern, Patrick Troughton and Martin Benson.

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