Look, you try coming up with a good pun focused on The Omen! Ahem…today we’re talking about Damien from the Omen series.
Damien is perhaps the darkest of all the monsters we’ve covered so far in the Month of the Macabre. Even though Damien is a child, he tends to inspire more terror than larger monsters due to the fact that he is the Antichrist. For those that have no idea what the term “Antichrist” means, an Antichrist is any man or woman that is anti-Christian. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with that definition. Many Christians aren’t familiar with that definition either.
The depiction of the Antichrist in pop culture is typically the most evil man, woman, or child to have ever lived. Some films, like the Omega Code movies, depict the Antichrist as pretty much an ordinary human that just happens to be wealthy enough to do whatever he or she wants. However, a rich person doesn’t make for a very good horror film, no matter how evil that rich person is.
The Omen is not the first movie to center around the concept of the Antichrist. The earliest film that I can think of with this premise would be Rosemary’s Baby from 1968. The Antichrist isn’t really a character in that film though, so we won’t talk about it too much here.
1976’s The Omen tells the story of a wealthy couple who’s baby dies at childbirth. The father, not wanting his wife to know that their newborn child is dead, agrees to secretly adopt a baby whose mother had died giving birth. The parents name this child Damien, which is probably why you haven’t met too many people named Damien in real life.
The movie picks up when Damien is five years old, and proceeds to show many dark and mysterious things happen in his presence. Many characters die or commit suicide, and animals all seem to be terrified of Damien. Possibly the darkest part of the film is when Damien learns that his adoptive mother is pregnant, and then pushes her over a railing to force her to miscarry.
The climax of the film has Damien’s adoptive father try to kill him with a mystical dagger, which is the only weapon that can kill the Antichrist. Unfortunately, a police officer arrives on the scene. The adoptive father finds it kind of hard to explain trying to murder a child and ends up being shot for his trouble. The film ends with Damien smiling at the audience, which pretty much gave anyone that saw the film nightmares for the next few years.
This movie was followed up with 1978’s Damien: Omen II. The film jumps ahead five years to follow the now twelve year old Damien, who is now living with his aunt and uncle. Each member of Damien’s adopted family is killed one by one, but never by Damien’s own hand. Instead, the deaths all seem to be freak accidents, which actually makes the film a touch creepier.
At first, Damien’s uncle refuses to believe that Damien is the Antichrist. He does eventually realize the truth, but is immediately stabbed by his wife. Apparently, Damien’s aunt knew the truth the whole time. This doesn’t save her, as Damien uses his powers to make the building’s boiler explode, causing his aunt to die in the resulting fire.
1981’s Omen III: The Final Conflict picks up twenty years later. Businessman Damien Thorn is chosen to be America’s ambassador to the United Kingdom after the current ambassador commits suicide. Damien then uses his new position to enact his goal of preventing the second coming of Christ.
This is the most overtly religious film of the series, with the plot revolving around Damien trying to prevent the rebirth of Christ. It also seems to be Damien’s lowest point, as he doesn’t seem to show the same level of power that he did in the previous films. He still manages to corrupt people, but then there are times when he resorts to physical violence against his enemies. The film ends with a priest character stabbing Damien in the back with one of the mystical daggers, finally killing Damien.
1991’s Omen IV: The Awakening follows a young girl named Delia. The movie implies that Delia is the new Antichrist, with her having a lot of the same abilities that young Damien had. However, it’s revealed that Delia is actually Damien’s daughter, and that the new Antichrist is Delia’s newborn twin brother Alexander.
Yes, I said her newborn twin brother. I don’t understand it either.
2006’s The Omen was a remake of the original film. I’m not going to talk about it too much here, as it’s pretty much the same as the original movie. It even has the same ending as the original film, so if you saw the first movie then you know how this one will end too.
There was also a short-lived television show called Damien in 2016. I personally think that television shows based on horror movies are a bad idea, and apparently audiences agreed. Review sites like Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes list this show with terrible reviews, showing just how much people hated this series.
That about wraps it up for Damien. Tomorrow we’ll talk about the Hellraiser franchise and it’s star, Pinhead.
Stop laughing! That’s the character’s actual name!