Movie Reviews 76 – Damien: Omen II (1978)

As mentioned in my review of The Omen, the seventies ushered in a new era of big budget horror movies. And thanks to the success of such movies like The Omen, it also marked the rise of something much more horrific: the cash in horror sequel.

With the death of Damien’s parents we now find him adopted by his uncle who has a son of his own and both cousins are now in a military academy. His uncle (William Holden), head of the multinational Thorn corporation, knows the details of the death Damien’s father, namely that he was trying to kill his own son, but he convinces himself that that was a moment of insanity.

Damien knows nothing of his true lineage or prophesied future, but he soon begins to notice his supernatural powers upon reaching puberty. He also has the help of some conveniently placed guardians who are appear out of nowhere but occupy positions of influence. One of these guides is the newly arrived sergeant assigned to Damien’s platoon (a very young Lance Henriksen) and another is an ambitious subordinate in the Thorn corporation (Robert Foxworth) who is so radical that his latest proposal aims to generate company profits by exploiting global famine! The notion that a person whose main objective is ensuring that demonic forces will inherit the Earth and whose daily job amounts to maximizing corporate greed at the expense of human lives elevates the concept of horror to a new level. And I’m not sure which one is worse.

The good news is that we are treated to some pretty memorable ways in which Damien and the evil powers that be get rid of the people that stand in the way of Damien’s progress. The finale makes it clear that Damien once again prevails and that he is now positioned for the next big step. A step that we’ll have to wait for in the next sequel of course.

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