Horror Movie Review: Damien: Omen II (1978)


Coming only two years after the classic original horror but set seven years later, Damien: Omen II continues the story of the young Antichrist.

You can read our review of the first movie here.

The movie begins with archaeologist Carl Bugenhagen (Leo McKern reprising his role) trying to convince his friend that the child, Damien is the Antichrist. He wants him to give Damien’s new guardian a box filled with ancient daggers that can kill the boy. Before that can happen though, the pair visit the mural of Yigael’s Wall that shows Damien’s face on the Antichrist. Before they can leave they are buried alive as the tunnel collapses in on them.

Seven years later…

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Damien (Jonathan Scott-Taylor) is now 12 years old living with his uncle, Richard Thorn (William Holden) and his wife, Ann (Lee Grant). He is very good friends with his cousin Mark (Lucas Donat) who he goes to military school with.

Damien is living a happy life completely unaware that he is the Antichrist but not everyone is a fan of his. Unfortunately those that dig a little deeper about Damien’s past & his parents quickly end up dead, normally after being visited by a crow.

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It’s not until Damien is told of his existence by one of his supporters, Sgt. Neff (Lance Henriksen) that he discovers the mark of the beast on his scalp. Initially panicked by the discovery, Damien begins to embrace his dark role. Thanks to the many supporters that have secretly surrounded him throughout his life.

However, the daggers have been found and some of those who didn’t believe in the Antichrist originally are forced to no longer deny the obvious.

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Damien: Omen II is a disappointing follow-up to a horror classic. It’s not that it’s a bad film, it’s just that it walks the same line without really progressing the story in an interesting way. There are far too many wasted opportunities such as Damien having more of a crisis when he discovers his true self. Instead that comes…and it goes.

Most of the deaths here are convoluted & dragged out with only the ‘lift’ one & final scene really having impact. Certain scenes should have more oomph about them but the characters are underdeveloped so you’ll hardly care.

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Large parts of the movie end up dragging as we get a lot of corporate speak regarding the company Richard Thorn operates. By time its revealed that Damien is being groomed to take over you won’t care. This kind of plot point could have been explained in far quicker time then it is here. Instead, the revelation of just who is a supporter of Damien ends up falling flat, especially when most are blatantly obvious.

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It’s not the cast’s fault as most do well within their roles. Jonathan Scott-Taylor struggles to pull off the same sinister innocence found in the original. Even though his dead-eyed, uncaring response to many situations does make him fairly memorable. The other kids around him fail to leave any kind of mark though.

As sequels go it’s not as terrible as you might expect. It’s just a bit boring & doesn’t advance the plot enough to make it a worthwhile watch.

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Damien: Omen II
  • 6/10
    The Final Score - 6/10
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