The First Omen Review – Evil Reborn

Mark Pacis

The First Omen

The First Omen emerges as a striking entry in the Omen series, marking an impressive debut for director Arkasha Stevenson. With a narrative set against the mysterious backdrop of 70s Rome, the film skillfully intertwines Dario Argento’s stylistic influence with 70s film visuals and spine-chilling music and sound design to craft a uniquely terrifying experience.

For a first-time director, Arkasha Stevenson has become a formidable talent in the horror genre with The First Omen. Her direction is confident and innovative, showcasing a mature understanding of the genre and narrative pacing. Her ability to meld suspense with artistic visuals sets her apart as a force to be reckoned with. Plus, her vision brings a fresh perspective to horror, making The First Omen a standout film that signals the arrival of a new, influential voice in the genre.

One of the most arresting aspects of The First Omen is its visual style, heavily influenced by the legendary Dario Argento. The film’s setting in Rome is not just a narrative choice. Director Arkasha Stevenson also uses the setting as a deliberate nod to Argento’s iconic Italian horror aesthetics. Additionally, the 70s film language visuals, characterized by camera pans and zooms, blend seamlessly with the film’s terrifying sound design and Mark Korven’s haunting score, creating a visceral horror experience. This combination evokes a nostalgic yet fresh atmosphere, resulting in a beautiful and horrifyingly immersive film.

The First Omen combines classic and modern horror elements, delivering a gripping and unforgettable cinematic experience.

At the same time, The First Omen is unapologetic in its depiction of horror. At times, the film fully embraces unsettling and disturbing imagery. It doesn’t shy away from the macabre, presenting vivid scenes that are as captivating as appalling. This bold visual storytelling is not for the faint-hearted, as it plunges the audience into a nightmarish realm. 

Yet, none of the visuals would work if the performances didn’t engage audiences. Nell Tiger Free delivers an outstanding performance. Her portrayal is nuanced, capturing the complexity of her character with a haunting subtlety that leaves a lasting impression. Her ability to move between vulnerability and lurking darkness adds depth to the narrative, captivating her character’s journey. Needless to say, her performance is a cornerstone of the film, contributing significantly to the eerie and unsettling atmosphere that defines The First Omen.

Overall, The First Omen combines classic and modern horror elements, delivering a gripping and unforgettable cinematic experience. With its strong visual language, fearless narrative approach, exceptional performances, and imaginative direction, the film is a testament to the genre’s enduring appeal and capacity for innovation and depth.

Rating: 4.5/5 atoms