‘The First Omen’ excels above other horror prequels

Richard Donner’s 1976 film “The Omen” is a completely underrated horror classic. Following the story of U.S. Ambassador Robert Thorn as he deals with his son Damien being the Antichrist, it’s eerie, interesting and an ideal fright flick. 

Last week, horror fans were gifted Arkasha Stevenson’s prequel, “The First Omen.” Starring Nell Tiger Free as Margaret and Ralph Ineson as a young Father Brennan, the film answers the biggest question “The Omen” left us with: How was Damien created?

As someone who is adamant that prequels and sequels are never as good as the originals, I can say with full confidence that “The First Omen” was the absolute best prequel in perhaps the entire history of cinema.

That is a crazy statement, I know, but every single second of this film was entertaining, hauntingly beautiful and incredibly done in aspects from writing to continuity from the first movie to score. 

Tiger Free was unbelievable. Her performance was raw, creepy and everything in between. This role was definitely hers to take, and saying she killed it would be an understatement. 

Ineson was great as well, and they did an excellent job making him look exactly like a young Brennan. My dad sat through the entire movie believing it was the original actor, Patrick Troughton, with an anti-aging artificial intelligence filter. Nicole Sorace in the part of Carlita Scianna, along with Sônia Braga as Sister Silva, further proved that the casting was superb. 

Even smaller character performances like Sister Anjelica, played by Ishtar Currie Wilson, were frighteningly memorable, which was surely contributed to by the script. No line felt out of place or unnecessary, and they even threw in a few quotes from the original script. It felt like finding macabre Easter eggs, in the best way possible. The way this film connected everything to the first story was fantastic. 

The score, credited to Mark Korven, who has also done original work on “The Black Phone,” “The Witch” and “In the Tall Grass,” was impeccable, and understandably so. Music plays such a large role in directing the tone of the film and the feelings of the audience, and Korven knocked it out of the park. 

Korven was not the only crew member with experience in the horror genre, as cinematographer Aaron Morton comes from the series “Black Mirror” and the film “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,” as well as the 2013 adaptation of “Evil Dead.” His shots were mesmerizing. I am still in awe of how he framed certain shots, and I seriously cannot pick a favorite. 

This movie is everything “Immaculate” wanted to be. There have been an array of nun and religion-based horrors that have come out these past few years, but “The First Omen” without a doubt takes first place. I find it difficult for films with a religious plot to articulate it particularly well, but Stevenson knew exactly what she was doing.

Endless applause for this movie and its cast and crew. I will not be surprised if this ends up in my yearly top 10. 


5/5 stars




Featured photo courtesy of @nelltigerfree, Instagram