Monday, August 26, 2002

The Movie I Watched Last Night XXXIII
Saturday: The Omen
Gregory Peck stars in this atmospheric 1976 horror film that's heavy on the suspense and relatively light on the terror. A moody, slow-paced movie, the film errs on the side of dramatic effect rather than gore or actual horror. The story is relatively basic. An up-and-coming politician adopts a newborn child as his own -- and the boy is the child of Satan! Harvey Stephens' role as Damien is understated and subtle -- no surprise given the actor's age at the time -- so the movie depends on the acting abilities of the supporting cast, as well as on the pacing and intensity of the plot. While I found the film dragged at times, there are several effective scenes, including the suicide of Damien's nanny at his birthday party, Damien's terror as his family nears a church, the baboon attack on Damien's mother's car, the scene in which the mysterious and tenacious priest runs through the cemetery as the wind picks up, and the sequence in which the photographer realizes his photos capture characters' methods of death. Plenty of good scenes and sequences even if the movie as a whole falls a little flat.

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