Damien Omen II
1978 Running time: 107 Certificate: 15 Rating: 3
KA Damien Omen II (1)

Synopsis

Following the unfortunate demise of his adoptive parents, Satan's boy Damien Thorn (Jonathan Scott-Taylor) is living happily with his uncle Richard (William Holden), aunt Anne (Lee Grant) and cousin Mark (Lucas Donat) while attending military school. However, as he grapples with the onset of manhood, things begin to get freaky and Damien is finally confronted with his true identity. Good, old-fashioned, slashy horror at its bloody best.

Director

  • Don Taylor

Cast

  • William Holden

  • Lee Grant

  • Jonathan Scott-Taylor

  • Robert Foxworth

Review

Enjoying a privileged life with his rich auntie, uncle, and good pal and cousin Mark, thirteen-year-old Damien's at military college and doesn't have a worry in the world.

Enter puberty and a few more of Satan's apostles, and everything gets shot to hell. Literally.

Much like its predecessor, Damien: Omen II continues the story of young Thorn's rise to power and his inevitable role in the destruction of mankind. Effectively and unashamedly, it mirrors the first film exactly.

However, it doesn't have quite the same tense severity and menace that gave the original the deserved "classic" tag it still carries today.

None the less, what it lacks in intensity it more than makes up for in copious, imaginative death scenes and an interesting twist on the idea of teenage identity crisis, with Damien's realisation of who he is tying in neatly with the common notion of teen angst.

In fact, it is from this clever plot device that the film gets its main impetus and Scott-Taylor successfully finds some thespian worth in his role as Damien.

Poor kid, not only is he dealing with rapidly emerging pubic hair and a strange desire to touch himself but he's also coming to terms with the fact that he's actually the spawn of Satan. Not exactly poster boy stuff.

Even so, with the help of one the aforementioned satanic acolytes in the form of Lance Henriksen's Sergeant Neff, good old Damo manages to come into his own, embracing his Vader like powers (Mark in the park, you'll see) and providing us with an excellently death-riddled end to the film.

Director Don Taylor takes a distinctly more tongue-in-cheek approach to the material than did Richard Donner in the original, peppering the film with a fine array of bizarre and wonderful deaths.

For starters, one woman has her eyes pecked out by a crow, only to stumble into the path of an oncoming truck. Lovely jubbly.

So, although lacking the same significance and poignancy they had in the first film, the sheer frequency and variety of ways in which Damien's aggressors are disposed of makes for a considerably more enjoyable thrill ride.

Though not matching the sheer horror provided by The Omen, but with Jerry Goldsmith's services once again enlisted to provide the permeating score, Taylor's effort has to go down as a resounding fun-filled, slashfest success.

Be a devil, treat yourself.