Omen II: Damien (1978)

Omen II: Damien (1978), directed by Don Taylor.

Aka Damien: Omen II.

It opens just after the end of The Omen (1976). Uncredited Leo McKern (The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961), Help! (1965), Ladyhawke (1985)) and Ian Hendry (The Hill (1965), Theater of Blood (1973)) -- the archaeologists who know too much -- suffer death by sand in an unfortunate worksite accident.

Several years later Damien is living with his uncle and family, still in wealthy surroundings, now in Chicago and attending a military academy. He does not at first realize his true identity, but has powers to control other people. The secret society of satanic protectors grows around him.

As a story this is pretty low-grade filler. The whiff of the infernal is not very strong, the kid is not frightening and the plot belabors the notion that Thorn Industries seeks to control world food supply, someday making Damien a powerful person. I think we could have accepted that as given. There is no real payoff; tune in next time.

If as a literary conceit the Antichrist is to have a life parallel to Jesus, then I suppose this segment could be taken as representing the missing years, but not much is done with it.

The plot becomes formulaic: someone suspects the truth or is just in the way, that someone dies in a inventively horrible way. Waiting for the next one becomes a game for the viewer.

I think we actually envy Damien's power to humiliate school bullies and stuffy teachers.


Available on Blu-ray. My thumbnails are from the Shout Factory disc, which has two commentary tracks: