All Six 'The Omen' Movies, Ranked

All Six 'The Omen' Movies, Ranked

- By Nicolas Delgadillo

From the 1976 original to the brand new 'First Omen' now playing in theaters, we go through the franchise from worst to best.

“It’s all for you, Damien!” 

Those words, along with Jerry Goldsmith’s unholy musical score, have been cemented into the pantheon of horror cinema since the release of The Omen nearly half a century ago. The tale of a young boy named Damien Thorn and his supposed destiny to rise up as the Antichrist, Richard Donner’s 1976 film has earned its reputation as a scary movie classic for pretty good reason. 

The film ushered in a new era of Satanic panic and creepy children on the big screen, as well as instantly establishing The Omen as a media franchise all its own, one that is now back in theaters once again to terrify audiences old and new. The First Omen, a prequel to Donner’s original and the first new entry in the series in nearly two decades, has been receiving mountains of praise and rightfully brought the franchise back into the public consciousness.

But how does this latest horror flick stack up against the other five Omen movies that have come before? We’ve gone through the entire franchise to determine the worst, the best, and everything in between. For a horror series that’s been around for almost half a century now, it surprisingly only has six movies under its banner so far. But of course, with the success of The First Omen, that number may just be about to shoot on up.

Which of the six Omen movies is your favorite?

‘The Omen (2006)’

It’s never an easy task to try and remake a movie that people consider a classic, so in their defense, director John Moore and original Omen writer David Seltzer had their work cut out for them. But this misguided remake of Richard Donner’s 1976 original has nothing new to do or say despite being made 30 years later. It doesn’t try anything different with its story or setting or characters or even its scenes. It’s just the same movie but worse in every department, and a waste of its two talented leads, Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles, as Damien’s adoptive parents.

‘Omen IV: The Awakening’

Coming a decade after the supposed conclusion of the original Omen trilogy, The Awakening was an attempt to bring the franchise back to life with the first of a series of made-for-television movies. Unfortunately, those plans were dead on arrival thanks to a less than stellar reception to this sequel. Directed by Jorge Montesi and Dominique Othenin-Gerard and written by Brian Taggert, the film introduces Damien’s successor as the Anthichrist after his defeat - a young girl named Delia (Asia Vieira). But the gender swap is the only real difference here, and even then they don’t actually take any advantage of it. Just as Damien before, Delia is adopted by an affluent family, strange deaths and occurrences start happening, and Delia’s parents start to fear something may be terribly wrong with their daughter. It’s an unoriginal slog, and it’s no surprise that the TV movie never really took off.

‘The Final Conflict’

Directed by Graham Baker and written by Andrew Birkin, Omen III: The Final Conflict is halfway there to being a pretty great sequel. Starring none other than Sam Neill as a now-adult Damien Thorn, the film follows the Antichrist as he schemes to stop the Second Coming of Christ. Here’s what’s fun: Damien going around causing the deaths of a bunch of infants with his devil powers. What’s not so fun is the other half of this movie, which follows a gang of priests as they attempt to take Damien down with the help of some magic daggers. There’s so many interesting directions you could go with a story when you’ve got a full-grown, powerful, and cunning villain like Damien at the center of it, but The Final Conflict ends up feeling seriously lackluster by its end. Neill offers up an engaging performance, but it’s just not enough to elevate this third film.

‘The Omen’

Usually when these kinds of movie franchise lists get put together, you can assume that the original film everything else is based on is always going to be at the number one spot. And while plenty of fans may consider this placement of the 1976 Omen as a form of blasphemy, hear us out. Richard Donner’s film is a solid and interesting take on horror built from dread and suspense rather than violence and jump scares, earning itself Oscar nominations, cult horror status, and of course, launching an entire franchise still going strong today. Several scenes from The Omen have remained imprinted on the minds of viewers for nearly fifty years and for good reason. The problem is that it’s now all but impossible for this movie to surprise you - you probably know that Damien is the Antichrist right off the bat even if you’ve never watched it before, and it makes for far too much of the film’s runtime rather dull. There’s a lot of back and forth over whether characters believe that Damien is the cause of all their misfortune or not, but it’s far too obvious that yes, it definitely is the kid. It’s kind of boring in that sense, leaving this first Omen as a solid enough foundation with some great moments, but not quite the best of the best.

‘Damien - The Omen II’

There is a much better energy and pace to The Omen II compared to its far more famous predecessor, and it’s a shame this followup doesn’t seem to receive the same amount of love. Directed by Don Taylor and written by Stanley Mann and Mike Hodges, this sequel picks up with a preteen Damien (Jonathan Scott-Taylor) and his cousin Mark (Lucas Donat) as they enroll in an esteemed military academy. The relationship between the two young boys is the film’s most engaging aspect, especially as Damien begins to discover his true identity and destiny as a harbinger of doom. The kills are a good time for any horror fan, embracing the supernatural angle of Damien’s powers to gruesomely fun results, and the cast are given some genuinely juicy stuff to work with as far as their characters and performances go. For one reason or another, The Omen II hasn’t stuck with audiences as much as the first, but it’s a pretty exceptional horror film, one that’s probably due for a serious reassessment by this franchise’s fans.

‘The First Omen’

Almost twenty years after the lukewarm reception to the 2006 Omen remake, it was time to take a crack at this unholy horror franchise once again. When The First Omen was announced as an official prequel to the 1976 original, there was some obvious trepidation to be had. Other attempts at legacy follow ups and spin-offs to horror classics have been met with extremely mixed reactions, mostly due to their overwhelming need to tie back into the first movie in increasingly convoluted ways. The First Omen doesn’t exactly avoid that problem, in fact its last few minutes probably indulges itself way too much in that respect. But the vast majority of this legacy prequel very much stands on its own merit, and is far more interested in crafting its own unique sense of terror than relying on the scares of the past. The story follows a nun-in-training named Margaret (Nell Tiger Free), who moves to Rome from America and uncovers an insidious plot at the center of her new convent. No spoilers here, but be warned that this movie from director Arkasha Stevenson is undoubtedly the scariest of the entire franchise. Anchored by a downright incredible performance from its star, this latest vision for the series is as good as it gets, and a promising indicator for where it might be able to go next.
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