REVIEW: The Omen (1976)

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The Omen: B+

The anti-Christ is up in here, up in here and he’s a weird, bug-eyed little boy. This movie has a style similar to Rosemary’s Baby in that it manages to invoke “terror” and interest without in-your-face gore but instead with subtle suspense and events that gradually increase in creepiness, building up to the big Satanic conspiratorial reveal at the end.

Gregory Peck’s sexy ass is an American diplomat to England. When he isn’t eating bangers and mash while sternly furrowing his brow, he’s hanging out with his wife and their little boy Damien. Only Damien isn’t their actual son! Their son died shortly after being born and ol’ Peck was convinced by the creepy hospital staff to swap the dead baby for a newborn whose mother died in childbirth. And, get this, he didn’t tell his wife about the switcheroo!

What a dope.

Once Damien is around three years old, all of a sudden, there’s some morphine-addicted priest and the professor from Ninja Turtles 2 trying to convince Peck that his son is the anti-Christ and that he should take him to a church and kill him. Who the FUCK would believe that? Certainly not Gregory Peck. These priests. They’ll say anything for a little attention.

And so begins the cycle of the movie that involves Peck slowly realizing the truth while the body count rises and Satanists (both humanoid and canine) embed themselves in strategic positions to protect Damien.

I feel bad for Damien. Could you imagine being the Prince of Darkness but you have to sit there pretending to be a little boy all the time? Eating baby food and riding a tricycle? Pretending you don’t know how to talk or read just so you could effectively cause global annihilation one day? Bor-ing. At least he gets to kill someone in the funniest scene of the movie (which involves a tricycle).

The music is good, the Satan stuff is really funny (but meant to be scary). The kills are abrupt and fun.

REVIEW: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

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Rosemary’s Baby: A+

This is one of the best horror films ever made. It’s psychologically creepy as fuck and the writing/acting/direction are fantastic. Structurally, each scene is like a scene from a play with a beginning, middle, and end that all contribute to the overall plot. There is no wasted screen time or pretentious/frivolous scenes thrown in for the hell of it.

Rosemary and her struggling actor husband Guy move into a New York apartment building and befriend local weirdos Roman and Minnie Castevet. The four of them drink fancy cocktails, and swap stories by the fire with Guy and Roman having plenty of private after-dinner chats while Minnie distracts Rose in another room. I wonder what they’re talking about in there…

The film starts by getting you hooked on Rosemary. She is so sweet and charming it’ll make your face hurt! Guy, on the other hand, has all the charm of a pedophiliac car salesman, which is probably why Rosemary begins to suspect him of selling their first born to the Castevets in exchange for material wealth and success. After a few weeks of Guy and Roman’s private time, good news! Rosemary is pregnant! She is a little distressed when she wakes up with scratches all over her body and what feels like a roofie-hangover, with no memories of sex with Guy, only remembering how the night before, Guy was fucking FORCING HER to eat this creepy ice cream sundae that tasted like chemicals. But, regardless, she knows right off the bat that she is with child and this makes her super-stoked.

This paranoia she has about Guy, by the way, is so entertaining to watch because the events that inspire it increase in intensity exponentially, starting with really subtle pangs of doubt to full-blown suspicions of murder and occult rituals, making for great pacing for a psychological thriller. While at first, she is only weary of what appear to be coincidences, she starts to freak the fuck out because she thinks she’s uncovering a global Satanic conspiracy that centers on her baby! 

Guy’s career mysteriously takes off and his rival in the biz contracts a terminal illness. The neighbors all take a special interest in Rosemary’s pregnancy, feeding her funky herbs and monitoring her every move. The Castevets act even weirder and become obsessed with her baby and it seems like everyone is in cahoots, ganging up on Rosemary. People die and stuff.

This is a movie like no other and you owe it to yourself to see it.