Home Action The legendary horror series was at an end – part 6, of all things, is already one of the best shockers of the year

The legendary horror series was at an end – part 6, of all things, is already one of the best shockers of the year

by Dennis

The First Omen is a real horror surprise at the movies. Even if you have few feelings for the Antichrist franchise, you shouldn’t miss this nun’s nightmare.
A late revival of a horror classic from the 1970s? That backfired badly last year with The Exorcist: Confession. The expectations of many horror fans for The First Omen are likely to be correspondingly low. The surprise is all the greater: the 6th Omen film is a devilishly good horror highlight.

The first Omen has been haunting German cinemas since April 11, 2024. And even if you haven’t seen a single Omen film in the last 48 years, you shouldn’t miss this disturbing mix of nun’s nightmare and body horror

The first Omen tells the prequel to a horror classic after almost 50 years

Starting with Richard Donner’s The Omen in 1976, the story of the little Antichrist Damian developed into a horror franchise that today comprises six films and a series. As a prequel, however, The First Omen takes place before all previous entries and therefore works as a stand-alone nun-chiller without any prior knowledge.

(The First Omen)

(The First Omen)

The plot takes us to Rome in 1971, when American novice Margaret (Nell Tiger Free) emigrates to Italy to take her vows in a Catholic orphanage. However, not everything goes according to plan here. And soon the budding nun is confronted with brutal deaths, nightmarish visions and a diabolical conspiracy behind the convent walls.

The first Omen is both a nod to the original and a work in its own right, adding new facets and (female) perspectives to the well-known Antichrist mythology in a meaningful way. Hardly anyone would have expected this horror prequel to get under your skin to such an extent

The first Omen is a disturbing horror nightmare

What stands out positively right at the beginning of the film is the fantastic retro look, which brings 70s cinema to life with soft images and camera pans and zooms. Not only does one of the most atmospheric shockers of the year await you here, but also one of the most stylish horror debuts of recent years. The First Omen is the first feature film for series director Arkasha Stevenson (Channel Zero and Netflix’s Brand New Cherry Flavor).

(We need more horror movies with Nell Tiger Free)

(We need more horror movies with Nell Tiger Free)

But what’s the horror like in The First Omen? Aside from some typical jump-scares (nothing is creepier than Italian nuns smiling), the movie goes all out with its horror set-pieces. Several gruesome deaths are based on iconic scenes from the original and impress with a dense build-up of tension that horror fans will recognize from the Final Destination films (and of course The Omen).

But hardly anything prepares you for the almost unbearable body horror scene, which almost cost the film its age rating in the USA (via The Wrap ) and, thanks to the persistence of director Arkasha Stevenson, is allowed to leave cinema audiences in a state of shock. About 40 minutes into the movie, Nurse Margaret witnesses a birth that results in an absolutely disturbing moment that will be etched into your nightmares.

The film’s greatest strength, however, is lead actress Nell Tiger Free, who previously embodied an expressive ambivalence between innocence and diabolism in M. Night Shyamalan’s horror series Servant. When her character experiences trauma, pain and horror, we can’t help but sympathize with her. Free literally plays her heart out and her incredibly penetrating performance in the film’s finale – an unexpected homage to Isabelle Adjani’s legendary subway scene from Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession – stays with us long after the credits have rolled.

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