“The First Omen”: A Surprising Hulu Style Prequel Honoring the Original

The First Omen” is a 2024 movie written and directed by Arkasha Stevenson starring Nell Tiger Free. With Ralph Ineson, Sônia Braga and Bill Nighy.

Hulu has done it again: the streaming network has taken a classic horror film, “The Omen” (1976), and created an intriguing prequel that pays homage to and respects the original. The prequel vividly depicts the birth of Damien with stunning effects and a sense of spectacle. It also expresses a profound respect and reverence for one of the greatest horror films of all time.

Plot Summary

A novice arrives to take her vows as a nun but soon finds herself entangled in a demonic plot where priests are attempting to bring the Anti-Christ to life.

The First Omen
The First Omen

“The First Omen”: A Grand Tribute and a Novel Movie

Comparing a prequel with its iconic 70s horror movie original may seem inevitable. The original was a psychological and religious horror film with an atmosphere that left everyone spellbound at the time. The horror genre has evolved over the last 50 years towards a more visceral and visual terror, one that shows more than it suggests.

“The First Omen” seems to build on this fact to blend both worlds into something that may seem impossible: being visually explicit without undermining the setting and psychological horror. This film largely achieves this by paying tribute to the most famous sequences of the 1976 movie and then, when we least expect it, turning the story around and surprising us all with a plot twist and a good old-fashioned scare.

“The First Omen” maintains a tense atmosphere throughout, initially emulating the tension of the classic movie. The challenge lies in that the story is already familiar, demanding inventive ways to surprise viewers at the script level: and they manage to do that, though it takes its time.

Hulu had previously done this with “The Exorcist,” another classic from 1973. In that instance, they took even more liberties with the script. In this case, there is greater respect for the original aesthetic and, above all, for the setting, narrative formulas, and pacing.

Our Opinion

This is a great horror film that, even if it doesn’t break new ground in the genre, serves to reconcile fans of both classic and modern, visually oriented horror in a film that’s sure to please both camps.

Martin Cid
Martin Cid
Writer, pipe smoker and founder of MCM
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