Elizabeth Shepherd in Damien: Omen II

Damien: Omen II

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The first “Omen” movie concludes with the haunting image of young Damien staring ominously into the camera, standing between the U.S. President and the First Lady at the funeral of his adoptive parents. It’s a powerful moment, hinting at the sinister future that lies ahead for the devil’s spawn and serving as a perfect setup for a sequel. When that sequel, “Damien: Omen II”, was released two years later, it fast-forwarded the story by seven years, propelling the narrative into 1983, with Damien now a teenager navigating his way through a military academy. The time jump allows the sequel to explore Damien’s transformation from an innocent-seeming child into a young man embracing his dark destiny, setting the stage for even more ominous events.

In “Damien: Omen II”, Damien Thorn, now a teenager, grapples with his dark destiny as the Antichrist while attending a military academy. As he begins to come into his powers, those around him start to meet gruesome fates, and a sinister conspiracy unfolds to aid Damien in fulfilling his apocalyptic role. With the forces of evil closing in around him, Damien must embrace his true nature and confront his destiny, unleashing a reign of terror that threatens to consume the world in darkness.

The first thing “Damien: Omen II” discards is the intriguing hint from the previous film about Damien’s connection to the U.S. President. Instead, the sequel shows Damien living with his aunt and uncle, along with their son Mark. Both boys are sent to a military academy, where they’re trained by Sergeant Neff, played by Lance Henriksen. As the story unfolds, Neff reveals himself as one of Satan’s disciples and mentors Damien, filling him in on his sinister heritage and destined future. This transition shifts Damien from a passive child to a more active character who begins to embrace his dark lineage and learn to protect himself from those who might oppose him. As he gains knowledge and confidence, Damien becomes an increasingly formidable force, setting the stage for the horror and chaos that ensue.

As I mentioned in my review of “The Omen“, the deaths in that film often stem from freak accidents, giving the movie a vibe reminiscent of the “Final Destination” franchise. “Damien: Omen II” maintains this trend, with most of its deaths resulting from bizarre, often gruesome, accidents. One scene involves a woman who is attacked by a crow and ends up stumbling into the path of an oncoming truck. The most “Final Destination”-like moment occurs during a hair-raising elevator sequence that leads to a shocking end. The creative and elaborate accidents in “Damien: Omen II” are arguably the film’s most memorable elements, adding a layer of unpredictability and suspense that keeps viewers on edge.

However, when the focus shifts away from someone getting killed or from Damien himself, the story tends to drag. Like the first movie, the core premise of “Damien: Omen II” revolves around various characters uncovering the truth about Damien, only to meet their untimely demise soon after. But with so many new characters introduced, it’s challenging to keep track of who’s who. The script expands on the Thorn family and their company, but this broader scope often feels cluttered, making it easy to lose sight of key plot points. This dilution of focus weakens the pacing, causing the narrative to feel sluggish at times, especially when it delves into corporate and familial subplots that lack the same intensity as the film’s chilling deaths.

The movie also introduces the mural of Yigael’s Wall, which is said to depict Damien as the Antichrist and is considered definitive proof of his identity. However, when you actually see the mural, it’s hard to discern Damien ain this imagery. This makes the notion that everyone immediately believes Damien is the Antichrist as soon as they look at the mural feel rather far-fetched.

If “Damien: Omen II” had been a character piece solely focusing on Damien’s journey to accept his evil origins and future, it might have become a classic. The concept of exploring the internal struggle of a young Antichrist grappling with his destiny holds great potential. However, the film’s recycling of the “father figure” discovering who Damien really is and its unnecessary bloating of the cast detract from this potential. With so many characters vying for attention, the story loses its focus, making it difficult to invest in any single character’s arc. This dilution of the central storyline prevents “Damien: Omen II” from achieving the depth and intensity required to be a truly great sequel.

Damien: Omen II poster
Damien: Omen II poster
Damien: Omen II
  • Year:
  • Directors:
    • Don Taylor
    • Mike Hodges
  • Cast:
    • William Holden
    • Lee Grant
    • Jonathan Scott-Taylor
    • Lance Henriksen
  • Genre:
  • Running time:


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