The 1976 horror classic The Omen forms one part of the Unholy Trinity of Satanic horror movies. It stands shoulder to shoulder with Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Exorcist (1973) as one of the films that brought the fear of the devil into late-60s to mid-70s America, a time that saw the country struggling to reckon with the 1969 Manson Murders and the hell that was the Vietnam War. The band Creedence Clearwater Revival was singing about the devil being on the loose and Marvel was introducing the world to the Ghost Rider, a character that fights the forces of his own Devil: Mephisto.

In other words, the Devil was certainly on the prowl during that time frame, and The Omen basked in his presence. News of a new Omen movie, a prequel titled The First Omen, brings up questions on which proverbial demons are currently haunting our collective psyche. How will a new Omen fit in with this social climate? Who or what is our Devil? One look at the The First Omen trailer and a few hints start to emerge.

The First Omen, slated for an April 5 release and directed by Arkasha Stevenson (Channel Zero, Brand New Cherry Flavor), follows a woman sent to Rome to work in service of the church only to find herself embroiled in a conspiracy that hopes to bring the antichrist into our world. Seems simple enough, classically set up even. The Omen movies all feature a satanic conspiracy hellbent on pushing the son of the Devil all the way up to the White House to bring about the coming of his father and his paradise of pain (as Damien himself puts it in the The Omen 3). It’s a defining characteristic of the franchise, which points to a metaphor on power and the corrupting forces that surround it.

In this sense, The First Omen would do well to find the Devil in our current conspiracy theory culture, keeping in line with what the original trilogy touched upon throughout the 70s and the early 80s. Ever since the Kennedy Assassination in 1963 and the Watergate scandal in 1972-1974, specific groups within American culture have been obsessed with the idea of shadow governments and power elite cults such as the Illuminati pulling the strings on world events behind the scenes. Substitute those anxieties with those of the Trump era’s war on truth and the rise of more radical conspiracy groups and you’ll find the ground is quite fertile for another Omen.

The 2006 The Omen remake tried to tap into the post-9/11 ‘inside job’ line, but it tangled itself up by surface-level remake expectations. It couldn’t stray too far from the source to truly become something of its own that reflected its time. It ultimately became just another remake that played it safe rather than taking the original idea into new places.

The First Omen’s trailer does achieve a sense of impending dread and overall creepiness in the short time we get with it. It plays in reverse, hinting at how ugly things will get and how much violence the coming of the antichrist will bring, kind of like rewinding a car crash. You’re hit with the violence first, coloring its backwards trajectory in cruel ways. By taking once more on the institution of the church, the very concepts of conspiracy and secrecy find a welcoming space in which to manifest that honor the original movies while opening the doors for future entries Satan could be well proud of. That is, if it sticks the landing.

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As a horror franchise, The Omen stands as one of the most satisfyingly complex. The new prequel, appropriately enough, seems interested in conjuring up a renewed interest in the second coming of the Lord of Hell through his offspring. If you haven’t seen the original trilogy, now’s a good time to catch up in anticipation of The First Omen (the first one’s a classic, and while the sequel is a bit of a bore, the third entry has Sam Neill as an adult Damien and is quite the treat). Start preparing for the arrival of the antichrist. Should all go according to plan, we’ll be getting acquainted with the Devil real soon.