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The First Omen Looks Back to the Birth of Evil

1/8/2024 • 4 min read

(Updated 01/08/2024)The First Omen | Cinemark

After the success of ROSEMARY'S BABY and THE EXORCIST, religious-themed horror was a legitimate subgenre of horror movies. One of the major studio movies to explore similar themes was THE OMEN, in which a couple (played by Gregory Peck and Lee Remick) begins to realize their son may be the Antichrist. The violent, bleak movie was a box-office smash, and led to three sequels and a remake.

Now THE FIRST OMEN, a prequel to the original 1976 movie, will further explore the origins of the Antichrist. The movie's arresting first trailer is out now,

When Does The First Omen Come Out?

20th Century Studios will release THE FIRST OMEN on April 5.

Watch the Unsettling Trailer for The First Omen

This trailer features action that almost entirely runs backwards. Is that a metaphor telling us that this movie is looking back to the beginnings of THE OMEN's story, or is there something demonic going on? Maybe both?

Whatever the intent may be, when it comes to creating a creepy vibe, it works!

The Song in The First Omen Trailer

The intense mood of the trailer for THE FIRST OMEN is due to a clever visual edit, but also to the song "If I Had a Heart" by Fever Ray, from 2009. It's a surprising and very cool choice, especially since the trailer (a) uses the original version of the song and (b) allows it to play almost entirely on its own for most of the trailer.

What Is The First Omen About?

Since the trailer is more of an experience than a story primer — we expect more story in the next trailer — here's a basic explainer. Let's start with the studio synopsis: When a young American woman is sent to Rome to begin a life of service to the church, she encounters a darkness that causes her to question her own faith and uncovers a terrifying conspiracy that hopes to bring about the birth of evil incarnate.

To put that in context, we'll note that minor spoilers are ahead for the original version of THE OMEN. In short, the Thorn family son who may be the Antichrist is not actually that couple's son. Robert Thorn is told that his son died almost immediately after childbirth, and is advised to adopt the newborn son of a different woman who died during childbirth herself.

In other words, the plot of THE OMEN is driven by an elaborate plan to conceive the son of Satan and place him in a family that has powerful connections. That way, as the boy — named Damien — grows, he will be poised to influence the world.

We expect THE FIRST OMEN to follow the story threads that set that plan in motion.

Who Is in the Cast of The First Omen?

The First Omen

THE FIRST OMEN stars Nell Tiger Free as Margaret, the American woman who uncovers the plot to birth a demonic child. The film also features Sônia Braga as Silvia, Ralph Ineson as Father Brennan, Bill Nighy as Lawrence, and Tawfeek Barhom and Nicole Sorace in as-yet undisclosed roles.

Who Directed The First Omen?

One of the more promising aspects of THE FIRST OMEN is the film's director, Arkasha Stevenson. She's a 2015 American Film Institute grad whose short-form series "Pineapple" played Sundance in 2017. That led to Stevenson directing the third season of the visually impressive series "Channel Zero" in 2018.

After a stint doing more episodic television, Stevenson is moving to the big screen with THE FIRST OMEN. And while 20th Century Studios is technically part of Disney, since that merger the studio has been leaning into interesting genre releases, with films like the streaming-only PREY, the upcoming ALIEN: ROMULUS, and even the horror-tinged mystery of A HAUNTING IN VENICE.

THE FIRST OMEN opens on April 5.


All images courtesy of 20th Century Studios.

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