The First Omen Trailer Looks Like Rosemary’s Baby But Trashy

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When Richard Donner’s The Omen came out in 1976, it was at the tail end of a recent wave of demonic, faith-based horror. Less than three years earlier, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist became one of the highest grossing films ever, and both movies likely got their greenlight because Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby chilled audiences to the bone in 1968 by showing a mother slowly realize she is giving birth to the Antichrist.

So nearly 50 years later, it seems kind of appropriate that The Omen returns to that initial influence in this year’s The First Omen, a devilish prequel if we’ve ever heard of one. In the new movie, director and co-writer Arkasha Stevenson makes her feature debut after helming prestige genre shows like Legion. She offers an alternative vision from the Rosemary template about how the Antichrist comes into the world. The logline of the picture is as follows: “A young American woman is sent to Rome to begin a life of service to the church but encounters a darkness that causes her to question her faith, and uncovers a terrifying conspiracy that hopes to bring about the birth of evil incarnate.”

It’s a familiar tale, but one that in appropriate Omen fashion should be a lot more on the nose and trashy—although that is not necessarily a damnation—than Mia Farrow’s own dance with the devil. The new film stars Game of Thrones and Servant’s Nell Tiger Free, as well as the legendary Bill Nighy as a priest of suspicious piety. Indeed, the sizzle reel emphasizes creepy images of folks walking backward—we imagine this has something to do with reversing the natural, godly order of things, or some such. Perhaps it’s even spiritually kinder, then, to never rewind? More visceral is the promise of The Omen’s ever reliable and grisly freak accidents, with a car accident teased in reverse and sex scenes bathed in ominous lighting.

For those who recall the original The Omen’s plot, the shot of leering priests, nuns, and Nighy’s aforementioned bishop may be the most curious though. In the classic film, it is a priest who convinces Gregory Peck’s trusting politico to adopt a child from a mother who died in childbirth after his own baby was supposedly stillborn. Of course the grisly twist is that the deceased mother was a jackal!

Will The First Omen actually go so far as to pivot around that bestial detail? It’s difficult to say, but considering audiences turned The Pope’s Exorcist into an unlikely hit last spring, it’s safe to say there is an unholy appetite for ham served with a side of sacrilege. Heaven help us.

The First Omen opens on April 5.

The post The First Omen Trailer Looks Like Rosemary’s Baby But Trashy appeared first on Den of Geek.

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