Richard Donner is a one of a kind director. On April 24 he turns a year older with many films that are inspiring. However, some of his films raise questions as to what you would do in a tough situation. In the 1976 horror film, The Omen, that question is asked multiple times towards the end.
Robert Thorn is a well liked American diplomat living in Rome with his wife Katherine. On the night that Katherine gives birth to their son Damien, Robert learns that his son has died. However, he learns that there is another baby in need of a home. Trying to save his wife from horrifying grief, Robert agrees to take in the orphaned baby. Eventually, Robert relocates his family to England where he has received the job as U.S. Ambassador. There strange things start to happen around Damien, such as a jackal staring at him. The Thorns put this off until, the day of Damien’s fifth birthday party when his nanny kills herself. Another nanny Mrs. Baylock is employed to look after Damien. Upon meeting Damien, she tells him that she is there “to protect him.” As the film goes on more strange things happen around Damien, such as the car being attacked by wild baboons at a drive thru zoo and him violently resisting going into a church. While Katherine puts off some of the fear about her son, Robert is informed by a couple different people about the origin of his son. At first a priest comes to tell Robert that his son is the son of the devil. But, Robert takes this as a threat because he believes he is trying to expose his sons true identity. Yet, the priest ends up being murdered leading Robert to question what is really going on. When Robert teams up with a reporter the truth becomes unveiled in a cemetery where he learns that his son was murdered. this was a plot in order to ensure that the son of the devil would be put in the Thorns care. However, the reporter is killed after he uncovers more evidence about Damien’s background. Around this time, Katherine has an “accident” when she is watering the plants in her house. Upon hearing of his wife’s hospitalization, Robert goes to her and returns home. Sadly, Mrs. Baylock shows up and murders Katherine by throwing her out the window. Once there he notices the sign of the beast upon his son’s skull. Knowing that his son is the anti-Christ and responsible for the pain of others, Robert decides to kill him. Mrs. Baylock shows up and stops Robert from killing him. Yet, Mrs. Baylock dies in the struggle with Robert carrying Damien out of the house. When he leaves he runs into the police who do not understand what is going on. When Robert raises his knife to kill Damien he is shot and killed by the police who are there. The movie closes with the Thorns funeral being attended by the President of the United States and their new son, Damien.
There is nothing quite as scary as the apocalypse that the anti-Christ is said to bring. In the 1976 classic, The Omen, we are introduced to a young child who’s destiny is to do just that. Richard Donner directs this horror classic, with the ultimate question, would you be able to do what Robert was trying to do knowing that it was the right thing. Remember, Damien may have been a child but his destiny is to bring upon the end of the world as we know it.