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The Omen Franchise: The Definitive Ranking

The Omen franchise is an odd duck. Begun as a one-off that seemed to try and build off of the success of The Exorcist, the franchise always felt like it had an idea of where to go in creating the story of the Antichrist’s rise to power, but it was constantly hobbled by desires to return to convention. What makes it so odd to me is that the conventions it was pursuing weren’t well-worn ideas of decades of film about the Antichrist, but elements introduced in the first film that the second, third, and fourth played fast and loose with, deciding that some of it had to come along with every new entry but not all of it.

Whatever. It’s a minor horror franchise that has now died out three times. I look forward to the next remake that does everything the same but with another new coat of paint to make it slightly different.

5. Omen IV: The Awakening

“There are moments of this film that are unintentionally hilarious, but most of it is just kind of a slog.”

4. Omen III: The Final Conflict

“While I still love the fox hunt sequence, the movie simply collapses into dully restarting with a new story afterwards. It just gets to the point where my midway point enthusiasm descends into complete boredom.”

3. Damien: Omen II

“There is the beginning of a new idea. There is no follow through, and the film descends into mimicry rather than finding an interesting direction for this story itself. The mimicry is thinly entertaining. It’s never as stupidly gaudy as the first film, the practiced eye of Richard Donner replaced by Mike Hodges and Don Taylor’s more mundane framing, but it has some veneer of entertainment.”

2. The Omen (2006)

“Is this movie bad? Not at all. In fact, it’s the best Omen movie since the original, which is, honestly, not saying a whole lot. If this were an original horror film from the 00s, I think it would be better received because it wouldn’t have the first film, which is so different, to compare or contrast against. It expands, ever so slightly, where it should, and then falls into simple retelling with a style that doesn’t quite fit the material as well.”

  1. The Omen (1976)

“Is this film good? I think so. It’s got a modest goal of thrills, and I think it delivers on it. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s obvious and kind of dumb, but I’ll take entertaining dumb over unentertaining dumb any day.”

2 thoughts on “The Omen Franchise: The Definitive Ranking”

  1. I wish I could say something humorous and yet profound, but as noted previously, I haven’t seen any of these movies…and honestly, I’ve never been tempted to correct that.

    As also previously mentioned, when Satan always wins, why enter the game?

    Good analysis as always, though. Maybe “Phantasm” should be next, just because it’s Friday and I’ve started watching them.


    1. If I do another horror franchise next, I’m leaning towards A Nightmare on Elm Street. I’ve seen them all before, long ago, except the remake, and I remember not hating the experience.


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