The Horror Honeys: The first time was only a warning.

The first time was only a warning.

Damien: Omen II (1978)

Everyone loves The Omen. It’s a staple in every horror fan’s diet. If you don’t like it, well, I have serious doubts about your love of the genre and I'm pretty sure we can't be friends. It’s a masterpiece that holds up 37 years later after its release and spawned a few sequels. Most only have love for the 3rd instalment, The Final Conflict, with that yummy Sam Neil. My loyalties, however, lie with Damien: Omen II

Damien (Jonathan Scott-Taylor) is now a teenager and chumming it up at the military academy with his cousin, Mark (Lucas Donat). He doesn’t really remember anything about what happened at age 5 so he’s been able to live a fairly normal existence with his aunt and uncle as guardians (Lee Grant and William Holden). Damien starts to figure out he’s a little better than average when, at school, he taps into some freaky mind power. His team leader, Sergeant Neff (Lance Henricksen), is in on it and tells Damien to read Revelations to figure out who he really is. That doesn’t go over well, at first. While our teenage-Antichrist is figuring things out, the good Christians and philosophers work to bring our young devil down. This is never a good idea. After several “accidental” deaths, Damien’s uncle Richard realizes he’s been living a lie and plans to kill the boy with the Jesus knives. 

The trouble really begins when pesky Aunt Marion (Sylvia Sidney) comes to visit. She doesn’t like Damien and doesn’t want him around Mark. But Marion’s mission is cut short when she suffers a surprise heart attack after a crow flies into her room. Crows are the new harbingers of death. I guess the Rottweiler wanted too much money to appear in the sequel.

The accidents, while maybe not as shocking as in the first film, are clever and effective. Most notable are a death under ice and being split in two in an elevator shaft. The gore is also minimal, but has no adverse effect. 

The cast is wonderful and although Holden and Grant are no Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, they fully commit to their roles as Damian’s surrogate parents. When it becomes clear what Aunt Ann’s agenda is, she turns on the crazy and does it with style.

The timeline is a little fucked up. The original film came out in 1976, this one two years later. Though this film picks up a week after the original ended, it then jumps ahead 7 years so you’re never really sure when all of this is happening. The good thing is, it doesn’t really look dated. 

When all is said and done, this is a coming of age film. Sure, he’s the Antichrist, but he’s still a tween. I imagine discovering you’re the son of the Devil is probably a little harder to deal with than puberty. Damien is a bit of a loner, his only real friend being his cousin. When Mark realizes Damien’s true identity, the breakdown of that relationship and the loss that follows is actually rather heartbreaking. It’s also my favorite scene in the movie.

Supernatural Honey says: I enjoy watching it and do so at least once a year. While The Omen may be the warm blanket I wrap myself in, Damien: Omen II is the fluffy pillow on which I rest my weary head. Don’t ask what that means, it’s better for both of us.

Supernatural Honey Rating: I give this 4 out of 5 Jesus daggers.