Franchise collections are a must-have for completists, especially for physical media collectors. As a result of rights issues and branding, this can sometimes come as a limited offer leading to costly third-party purchases due to being out print (God bless the Jason and Michael fans.) Even as they become more available, fans hunger for more material as previously released features might not port over. This leads to message board complaints about how one now has to hold onto their DVD or VHS because the recent release didn’t include a mono track. That still puzzles me as I see the mono track complaint quite often when it comes to 4K remasters and I wonder why they even want the 4K release to begin with.
One of these not so complete collections is THE OMEN franchise. While not as popular as Friday the 13th or Halloween, the first film still proves to be iconic and has been the blueprint for many movies involving evil children and biblical horror. “It’s all for you, Damien!” is still one of the creepiest lines in film history with a kid’s birthday that no one would ever forget. Watching this at an inappropriately young age, I learned quite a lot about the bible and how to spot “the mark of the beast.” I was raised Catholic but attended a church that spoke a language I didn’t know. As a result, most of my understanding of God and Satan comes from horror movies, so I’m pretty sure I have all the facts down. (That’s sarcasm.)
For those who have yet to be baptized by Satan, THE OMEN revolves around a child who is raised in the family of a U.S. ambassador. What the mother doesn’t know is that her own baby died in childbirth and the father helped hide that fact by raising a baby whose mother died at birth. As their son Damien grows into a child, the signs are there that seem to be the work of the devil and at the hands of Damien himself. The sequels delve more into Damien’s involvement in politics as his upbringing was no coincidence and the antichrist is planted in a position of power to fulfill a plan from hell.
There have been previous releases of these films that appear slick, but when opened, the discs were not secured causing them to easily slide out and cause scratches. Also, the packaging felt more like cheap flaps that would tear when handling. One of the biggest mistakes was not including the made for TV sequel, The Awakening, which Scream Factory has now included along with a new interview with screenwriter, Brian Taggert, and The Omen Legacy documentary covering all the films.
Fans are going to be pleased with this release just by the packaging alone. Each film comes with its own Blu-ray cases inside of a sturdy slipcover box (very similar to their REC release). While the typical features are available here like trailers and galleries, Scream Factory has surpassed expectations by providing new interviews with crew not just from the original, but from the sequels as well. The sequels are a mixed bag for fans, but here they are treated with behind the scenes stories from the people who made them. The old school documentaries we all saw as kids are here too which creates a nostalgic delight as these on set stories were (and still are) the stuff I live for.
The are many iconic horror films with their own scary stories behind the scenes and THE OMEN is no different. What’s perfect here is we all know or have those friends that refuse to watch old movies for whatever reason so you can always show them the 2006 not-so-bad remake which Scream Factory included which stars Liev Schreiber and the talented, but miscast, Julia Stiles. This is a must own for all horror fans and one of the better franchise releases out there. THE OMEN Collection is now available to own on Blu-ray from Shout Factory.