The Exorcist and The Omen are regarded as two of the greatest horror films of all time, supposedly setting the benchmark for any that followed. I do not agree with this, and neither should you. Here’s what happened: one person said they were amazing, and another person heard them and agreed so they’d seem cool, and then someone heard them and agreed so they would seem cool, and so on and so forth. Then two classics were born that really suck.
The Exorcist isn't even that scary
For a #Film that’s widely considered to be the scariest film ever made, The Exorcist really isn’t that scary. The whole opening in Iraq isn’t even trying to be scary, and it’s so long. An opening scene should be two or three minutes tops, especially if they bear no relation to the plot other than some bull about an amulet and a demon out for revenge. The iconic scenes like the girl wetting herself all over the floor and vomiting pea soup all over the priest and the priest falling down the stairs don’t have the desired effect. In fact, in those scenes and more I found it difficult to keep a straight face. Scary Movie 2 dedicated its opening scene to poking fun at The Exorcist and they didn’t have to change anything for the sake of comedy because it was funny enough to exist in a comedy as it was.
I’ll admit, the spider-walk scene is frightening. Very frightening. The first time I saw The Exorcist when I was very young, it haunted my dreams for a while, much like the opening crimes of A Clockwork Orange haunted me as a child. But that’s it. That’s the be all and end all of it. It’s scary for that two seconds, and the rest is tired and boring. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is terrifying and unsettling from the get-go to the climax, and deserving of its #Horror classic “scariest film ever” status, but The Exorcist is the complete opposite of that.
Both films squander their premise
And The Omen is just as boring and not scary as The Exorcist, which is another controversial opinion but again, because people say it’s good in order to agree with everyone else. How can anyone love The Omen as much as they claim to? I just don’t get how it can be considered so prodigious and ground-breaking. It’s a lot like The Exorcist in that it squanders a terrific premise, it’s acclaimed as a horror classic, and yet it really isn’t that great.
One of horror’s greatest assets is claustrophobia, but all the globe-hopping to and from Italy in The Omen and the Iraq-based Exorcist opener throws the claustrophobic aspect out the window. It gets off to a slow start, but then so does Alien. If it’s doing that to build up to something huge, that can be excused. And it does build up to something huge. That moment at the party when the nanny comes smashing through the window hanging from a noose is shocking and scary and surprising, I’ll admit. But I thought it was setting up for something bigger.
The Omen has a long boring spell just as it gets going
There was a steady rate of scares in The Omen, and I was thinking for about an hour that I’d have a new favorite horror film, but I was wrong. There was that scene at the church with the spire that shot right through the poor priest. But then it took a turn. They went to Italy, around churches and cathedrals and such, in search of answers. It was a boring sequence, never once tried to be scary, and lasted way too long. I mean, like, thirty minutes were spent on this thing. It hardly progressed the story. We knew Damien was the Antichrist, we didn’t have to be told so by a series of increasingly dull priests. And then the climax comes and goes. It falls flat. Nothing particularly chilling or shocking happens. The movie ended, and I was disappointed.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can’t see how anyone can be happy with The Omen, or The Exorcist for that matter, as a classic of the genre. #Cinema