21 September 2012

keep abortion safe and legal.

4. The Omen (1976)

Anyone who ever considers having a child—and thereby further burdening our already overtaxed natural resources in order to gratify his genetic egotism—should bear in mind the possibility that his newborn child could be murdered in an Italian hospital and replaced with the Antichrist. This will then lead to a whole series of unfortunate events, likely culminating in the father's awkward attempts to impale his adopted demonic son on a church altar with ritualistic daggers he's procured from a bearded mystic in Jerusalem. 

Just think. If you and your (poor dead) wife had just left well enough alone, you could be sipping Mai Tais in Negril, Jamaica, and blowing your kid's college fund on a new hot tub instead of thwarting the forces of pure evil in your golden years. 

I guess I understand wanting to have children so that you have little servants around who can do the dishes and work in the coal mines to supplement the family income—and there's also a certain appeal in avenging the wrongs inflicted upon you by your parents on a new generation of victims—but on the whole, it seems like a lot of work (and a lot of money down the shitter). 

While an enjoyable film for the most part, The Omen is a little too ridiculous to be considered truly scary, so I prefer to think of it as just a PSA on the dangers of parenthood. I watched the interview with Richard Donner (the director) in the DVD supplements, and he seems to think that this film isn't about supernatural goings-on, but rather about the mental dissolution of the parents—who are undone by the father's initial deception. Donner, in other words, is full of shit. He obviously doesn't want to think of his 'great' work as a schlocky horror film with a TV-movie sensibility. In his egomaniacal delusion, The Omen is an elegant psychodrama. (Whatever gets you through the day, buddy.) But I do think the movie can function as an effective warning against breeding. In presenting the nth-degree worst scenario, The Omen nicely counteracts the myths regarding the joys of parenthood. If you are only imagining your daughter's first steps or your son's graduation, try thinking about the first time your kid tries to kill you on his tricycle instead. It isn't pretty.

I also want to add that—in addition to Gregory Peck and Lee Remick—The Omen's cast includes David Warner, an underrated actor of whom I've been a fan since childhood. Who's David Warner, you ask? You should be ashamed of yourself.


  1. I love David Warner! And I never even knew his name until now...

    I AM ashamed. :(

    1. FOR SHAME! Next thing you know you'll tell me you don't know who Sarah Douglas is either!