Parents' Guide to

The Omen (1976)

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Gory original Satanism saga; popular but plodding.

Movie R 1976 111 minutes
The Omen (1976) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 13+

Sexual Content is Present

It's very mild sexual content, but early in the movie the husband and wife are starting to make out and they remark about how there's no beds moved into their new house yet... It is obviously implied that their aim is to have sex, but nothing more is shown than mild making out. There's not much cursing in the movie, and nothing overly abrasive like an F-bomb or anything. My 12 year old watched it with me, and she's not seen many scary movies, but she wasn't too scared by this movie... She found some of it disturbing, but it was nothing that made her fearful. It might make a difference that we're Christians, and so she's been taught about the anti-Christ, and also about demonic possession, and she could recognize that this movie just puts kind of cartoonish spin on those things.
age 13+

They don't make 'em like they used to

When I was about 13 (born in 88, so I'm an older millenial) I got into a bit of a horror movie phase. Instead of striking that idea down, my parents decided to show me the best horror flicks of their time. This one is hands down the best older horror film. Nowadays, horror movies are all about suspenseful music leading up to some "jump" with basically no real plotline. Not The Omen. This movie builds real suspense and in a way promotes critical thinking. You don't see that very often in modern horror films. Sure, there are some memorable gory scenes, but that's not what it's really about. This one's a thinker

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (27 ):

This 1976 shocker is sturdily built but predictable, with its extravagant death scenes tending to stand out more so than the lugubrious narrative. The plot sounds pretty compelling indeed, but in cinematic terms it mostly translates as a string of spectacular deaths (usually in horrendous accidents that are not exactly Acts of God) for anyone who poses a threat to Damien -- with lots of "dead" space in between, as Thorn struggles to confirm/deny the omen-ous truth. Characterizations don't go very deep, but horror fans will appreciate the new ground this film broke.

As far as themes, there's the sense of a modern, secular world in which the bulwarks of traditional Christianity are absent or weak. This means even decent people like the Thorns are powerless when an unseen but very hands-on devil and his minions take the offense.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate