The First Omen (2024) Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

The First Omen's Nell Tiger Free is well cast as Margaret. She plays the role well and her acting during her “pregnancy” and birth scenes is excellent.

The First Omen (2024) Review
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Usually, when a horror movie franchise is on the fifth or sixth film in the series, it isn't a good sign. Plots are recycled, characters that were thought long since dead are suddenly back, and continuity in the series has long since gone out the window. Even some of the best horror films fall victim to the studios' quest for the all-mighty dollar. So when 20th Century Studios announced an origin story to 1971's The Omen, audiences were skeptical and rightfully so. There have already been four previous sequels to the original movie and some of them were honestly awful. However, fans can be rest assured The First Omen isn't terrible.

The year is 1971 and Margaret (Nell Tiger Free; Game of Thrones) lands in Rome, Italy to visit with her longtime mentor Cardinal Lawrence (Bill Nighy; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest) and to take her vows in the final step of becoming a nun. Having grown up in an orphanage, Margaret has an affinity for the children there, especially a girl by the name of Carlita (newcomer Nicole Horace) who is often acting out and gets punished by the nuns. After being warned to stay away from Carlita, Margaret is certain there is more going on than she first imagined.

Meanwhile, the orphanage has several unwed mothers ready to give birth, and yet, their presence there is shrouded in secrecy. When Margaret is approached by Father Brennan (Ralph Ineson; The Creator), he explains that there is a group of radicals within the church attempting to birth the Antichrist to make people fearful and to get them to return to the Church. Not believing him, but curious to find out the truth, Margaret sneaks into the main office of the orphanage where she discovers files explaining Carlita's and her own pasts.

Tiger Free is well-cast as Margaret. She plays the role well and her acting during her "pregnancy" and birth scenes is excellent. She also holds her own opposite several veteran actors including Nighy, Ineson, and Sonia Braga (Kiss of the Spider Woman) as the Abbess of the orphanage. Horace also does a great job and Maria Caballero (The Longest Night), who plays Margaret's roommate, is good as well. Ishtar Currie-Wilson (Lockwood & Co.) plays the crazy Sister Anjelica who comes across as bizarre and just a little terrifying. As an ensemble, the cast works well together and is more than the sum of their parts.

The story is a little odd and extremely weird, making for an unusual origin story. It seems trying to go back to the beginning almost five decades after the first film was released isn't very easy, and so the story suffers a bit as a result. Trying to create the Antichrist by mating a demon creature with its offspring is freaky and gross and honestly makes very little sense. Plus, the thought of a group of radical, religious individuals thinking that is the way to get people to return to the church is frankly stupid.

The movie has a few jump scares but otherwise isn't scary which is its worst downfall. It seems more like a thriller than a horror film, making it somewhat disjointed from the rest of the franchise. Perhaps it is simply that I am not the target audience, which makes the plot seem just a tad bit silly.

As a standalone film, it isn't bad, but as the beginning of the tale of Damian and the birth of the Antichrist, it doesn't have the same feel as the rest of the movies.

Grade: C+

The First Omen is available now digitally for purchase on all platforms.


Cast:
Directed By:
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 120 minutes
Distributed By: 20th Century Studios

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For more information about The First Omen visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

The First Omen images are courtesy of 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.


FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.




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