The Omen Movies Ranked: From the Worst to the Best

We ranked The Omen movies from the worst to the best. Of all of Damien Thorn’s unholy adventures, which hold up the best?

Last Updated on April 9, 2024

the omen movies ranked

Damien Thorn is the antichrist, and the trilogy that tells his unholy tale remains popular almost fifty years later. Indeed, while putting together this Omen movie ranked list and revisiting the original franchise, I was surprised at how well the old movies held up. Omen fans will be happy that the series has been restarted in a pretty interesting way this weekend, with The First Omen a surprisingly excellent prequel to the original trilogy (check out our interviews with the director and cast here), even if it takes one large liberty involving Damien’s birth that some fans may have an issue with. So, how do the Omen films rank against each other? Let’s take a look, but remember that the Fox TV movie, Omen IV: The Awakening, is not included, as I’m sticking with feature films.

the omen films ranked, 2006

The Omen (2006):

There’s honestly no reason for this movie to exist. It’s a scene-for-scene remake of Richard Donner’s original classic, with it being so faithful that the original screenwriter, David Seltzer, has sole screenplay credit. Despite a decent cast, you can tell the difference between an old pro like Donner and a guy like John Moore, who gets outclassed in his attempt to bring the original film up to date. This remake is without any real merit, with it losing the Jerry Goldsmith score and the slew of great performances delivered in the original. Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles do their best but are too young to play their parts and lack any sense of gravitas. Overall, this movie is a giant waste of time, which is why it’s at the bottom of my Omen movies ranked list.

omen iii the final conflict

Omen III: The Final Conflict:

I should make an important distinction here. I only consider one of the Omen movies bad: the 2006 remake. All of the others are at various levels of good. Omen III is probably the silliest Omen movie, but it also boasts an intense performance by Sam Neill as the now-grown Damien. Neill was a rising star at the time, making Zulawski’s classic Possession the same year. Young, charismatic and good-looking, you buy him as the son of the devil. But, it has two problems. One is that adult Damien will never be as scary as child Damien. The other is that they decided this would be the end of the franchise, and they opted to end it on a happy note rather than the foreboding conclusions of its predecessors. It also comes up short in the gore department, with no signature kills like in the other movies.

the omen ranked

The First Omen: 

I was wary of a prequel to The Omen, having been burned by the remake. Yet, despite everything, I enjoyed Arkasha Stevenson’s prequel to Richard Donner’s original film, which is primarily faithful. The only issue is that they changed an essential detail about Damien’s conception at the end in order to this into a new series. But the change they made is pretty disturbing in its own right so that I can forgive it. I was also taken with Nell Tiger Free’s performance in the lead, with her a star on the rise. The early box office numbers are a bit soft, which is too bad, as I’d like to see this franchise continue.

the omen movies ranked

Damien: The Omen II

No one will ever say that The Omen II lives up to the original, but you must hand it to director Don Taylor. Despite being little more than a journeyman, he made a pretty bold sequel, with a couple of gory kills that almost outdo the original. The guy getting chopped in half in the elevator (Meshach Taylor – who would play Jazz in Mannequin) is pretty gnarly, and the drowning of Lew Ayres under the ice of a frozen lake is disturbing. The legend is that the movie’s star, William Holden, was the original choice for the first film, but he turned it down and regretted it when the movie became a hit (Gregory Peck also had a percentage of the box office and made a killing). He was a contemporary of Peck’s, but by this point, alcoholism had begun to take its toll, and his decent performance doesn’t compare to Peck’s. Still, it has a young Lance Henriksen in an early role, and Jonathan Scott-Taylor delivers a good performance as a believably conflicted Damien.

the omen films ranked

The Omen:

If you’re making a list ranking The Omen films, only one could ever top the list. granddaddy of them all. At the time, the film was critically maligned, with many calling it little more than a rip-off of The Exorcist, but time has proven the naysayers wrong. Richard Donner made a smash hit but adopted a classy, realistic style and cast it perfectly. People nowadays may not realize how provocatively cast Gregory Peck was, as he was perhaps the most beloved actor in Hollywood at the time. After all, he was Atticus Finch! Men of his stature didn’t make horror films, and the film benefits from his fantastic performance. I have always liked that he and Lee Remick portray an older couple who are getting their last shot at being parents, making their disbelief at the fact that their presumed son is evil and being all the more potent. Plus, there’s David Warner, Leo McKern, the amazing Billie Whitelaw, and some unique kills. Damien! It’s all for you!

Do you agree with my Omen movies ranked list? Let me know in the comments!

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.