The Omen is silly when it should be scary, despite the stately sets and sombre acting surrounding it. David Warner (not the cricketer) does an admirable job of delivering a huge chunk of ominous exposition without it sounding too absurd (until he loses his head) and Gregory Peck is always reliable. The soundtrack and special effects alike are laughable rather than creepy.
The child actor portraying Damien, the (dun-dun-dun) anti-Christ, is clearly not suited to the task. When he’s supposed to be frightened he’s obviously laughing, and these scenes require his parents to explain how he’s supposed to be acting rather than having him actually act that way: yelling “He’s trembling – he must be scared!” while shaking him about. Damien’s nanny is a laughably unsubtle villain; the parents thankfully find her odd and refuse her requests, but inexplicably don’t consider firing her.
The best moment of the film should be the final act, where Peck must murder who he, until recently, believed to be his own son. The film refuses to commit though, cutting the scene short before it can begin, wasting the abundant potential of a father finding the strength to kill his child for “the greater good.”