Does ‘The First Omen’ Breathe New Life Into A Classic Tale?

The First Omen?


We all know that The Omen (1976), the first full-length feature in the battered horror franchise, is a cult classic. However, it is also true that the subsequent movies in the series failed to match the success and critical acclaim of the Gregory Peck-starrer.


Needless to say, the franchise couldn’t reach the same league as its counterparts like The Exorcist, Evil Dead or even Halloween. But, we believe that all that can change now, since The First Omen, the best of the lot since the original, has now hit the screens with positive reviews.


Unlike the other underwhelming titles in the franchise, the Omen series’ latest entry works big time courtesy of the subtle jump scares that actually work, a decent plot, and a brilliant performance by Nell Tiger Free. Suffice it to say that The First Omen breathes life into a legendary franchise that has failed to stand the test of time so far.


With The First Omen scaring its way into cinemas across the globe since the beginning of April 2024, let’s hope that the sun doesn’t set again on the franchise anytime soon.




What is the story of The First Omen?



The First Omen, directed by Arkasha Stevenson, is set in the 1970s and takes the audience to Rome at the beginning of the story. Soon after, we witness the socio-political unrest in the country while some sinister activities start to unfold in an orphanage where our protagonist, Margaret Daino, visits to take her vows.


Margaret accidentally encounters a young girl named Carlita, who seems to be disturbed. Along with Carlita, she meets Cardinal Lawrence, Sister Silvia, and Luz. Unfortunately, Margaret’s old episodes of blackouts and hallucinations reoccur, making it difficult for her to comprehend the situation.


Sooner than later, she begins to develop an attachment towards Carlita, who is usually locked up in a “bad room” due to her insincerity. As Margaret begins to sense that not everything is as it seems, she questions everything she has witnessed at the orphanage, which, of course, does not go down well with the authorities.


When she learns that a faction of the church is conspiring to birth a new Antichrist so that the people are once again pushed to head to the holy place for worship, she has no option but to take matters into her own hands.


Needless to mention, just when she is ready to commit the rest of her life to Christ, things start to fall apart drastically. Also, a major twist towards the finale is revealed, which helps elevate the storyline successfully.




Does The First Omen serve as a prequel to The Omen?


The Omen?


Movie enthusiasts, especially horror fans, are well aware of the cult following of the 1976 classic film, The Omen. The plot revolves around a young boy named Damien, who is adopted by a couple. As the story progresses, it is revealed that he is the offspring of Satan, which puts the couple in grave danger.


The striking and horrifying imagery, coupled with the excellent performances of the leading actors and some shocking twists, turned The Omen into the crown jewel of ’70s horror. Its story continued as a franchise in various sequels and reboots albeit unsuccessfully.


However, change is the only constant in life and things can always get a tad better even when it feels like they can’t, as proven by The Omen’s recently released prequel, The First Omen. Injected with a bit of modern horror flare, the Arkasha Stevenson directorial venture is pretty much reminiscent of the original Omen film.


It’s been co-written by Stevenson, Tim Smith, and Keith Thomas, who is also known to have helmed the Stephen King adaptation, Firestarter. Its surprising and equally gripping climax manages to connect the plot directly to the 1976 original starring Gregory Peck, Lee Remick and Harvey Spencer Stephens.




Who plays Margaret in The First Omen?


Margaret in The First Omen?


The First Omen is toplined by Nell Tiger Free, whose role in the story is as sturdy as her name. The actress also played one of the main leads in the streaming series Servant, which was created by Tony Basgallop and executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan.


The 24-year-old lass does her best to bring her spooky aura to the terrifying new prequel and delivers an endearing performance as Margaret. While you question her antics at times, you’re also smitten by the way she carries herself and strives to devote herself to Christ after having relocated to Rome from the United States of America.


Additionally, we see her being protective of the young artist Carlita, who is ill-treated by the nuns at the orphanage. Free, who was born in the United Kingdom and grew up in Kingston upon Thames in Surrey, England, has been acting professionally since 2012.


She came to recognition after having featured in M. Night Shyamalan’s spine-tingling psychological horror series, Servant. The aforementioned series premiered on AppleTV+ in 2019 and ran for four seasons. For those who do not know, Nell also portrayed Myrcella Baratheon in seasons 5 and 6 of the blockbuster HBO series Game of Thrones.



Who are the supporting actors in The First Omen?


Sônia Braga

Sônia Braga


Brazilian actress Sônia Braga is perhaps best known to the English-speaking audience for her Golden Globe Award-nominated performances in Kiss of the Spider Woman and Moon over Parador. Also a BAFTA and Emmy award nominee, she plays a critical role in the horror film The First Omen.


She has been placed at #24 by The New York Times in their coveted list of the 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century.


Maria Caballero

Maria Caballero


The attractive Maria Caballero plays a free-spirited novitiate in The First Omen. She plays Luz and appears to be great friends with the main protagonist at first. However, she starts to show her true colours towards the end of the well-crafted movie.


Nicole Sorace

Nicole Sorace


Nicole Sorace does not really have a ton of dialogue in the motion picture, but she still manages to make an impression as Carlita. We see her being kept away from the other kids in the so-called bad room. Over time, she and Margeret end up forming a good connection.


Ralph Ineson

Ralph Ineson


Ralph Ineson and his deep rough Yorkshire accented voice make their presence felt in The First Omen. The actor, who has participated in film and television shows such as The Witch and Game of Thrones over time, plays Father Brennan in the horror flick.


He is an outcast priest who warns Margaret of a conspiracy within the church.


Bill Nighy

Bill Nighy


Acclaimed actor Bill Nighy gets to play Cardinal Lawrence in The First Omen. He went on record to mention that he agreed to be a part of the project because he found it to be unusual, refreshing, and different.



When will The First Omen start streaming online?


The First Omen is a captivating horror drama that sheds light on Damien Thorn’s backstory. The movie does a commendable job of explaining how the infant Antichrist came into being, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. The prequel movie was released on April 5th, 2024, and despite receiving decent reviews, it failed to meet expectations at the box office.


As a result, its best chance to find an audience is through streaming. According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, both Monkey Man and The First Omen failed to match the might of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire during their respective opening weekends at the box office.


Since the box office debut of The First Omen was soft at best, there are strong chances of us being able to stream it on a digital platform sooner than expected. We are expecting the horror full-length feature to debut on Hulu a couple of months from its release date.


The First Omen is produced by 20th Century Studios, which is a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company. And, as we all know, the latter owns Hulu; therefore, almost ensuring the film will premiere on the said platform.


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