Which is more frightening? The Omen or The Exorcist?

Hubert

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Ok, I've been on a Halloween kick lately, for obvious reasons. I was watching The Omen tonight and it made me ponder a question. Which is more frightening, The Omen or The Exorcist? Also, which movie is better?
My opinion is that both are very scary and very good. But I vote for The Exorcist being more frightening and a slightly better movie overall. What do you think? That said, I must give Richard Donner his due. He did a phenomenal job directing The Omen. One of his best, if not the best.
[Edited last by Hubert on October 31, 2001 at 03:07 PM]
 

Artur Meinild

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I've always had a soft spot for "The Omen", it's one of my favorite movies! But of course "The Exorcist" is a classic, and an excellent film...
I think "The Omen" is more scary on a psychological level, while "The Exorcist" is by far the most graphic of the two...
I prefer "The Omen" (and I like the Damien sequels as well).
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Brian Perry

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I love both. If you include sequels, the one that spooks me the most is The Omen 2: Damien. To me, The Exorcist, The Omen, and Rosemary's Baby are the best of the "religious horror" films.
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Michael Dueppen

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To me "The Omen" was a bit more scary because it was even subtler than Exorcist (which isn't too graphic compared to other films itself).
Overall I think both are great films and I can't really decide which one I like better.
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Roland Wandinger

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I prefer "The Exorcist" over "The Omen" although I love both movies.
On the other hand I prefer "Damien: The Omen II" over "Exorcist II: The Heretic" by a long shot!

I also like "The Final Conflict" better than "Exorcist III" (still both are great movies).
But than again I prefer every Exorcist movie over "The Omen IV: The Awakening"!
So that's a 2:2 tie for both trilogies...sort of.
 

Patrick Wilmes

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This is a no brainer for me-The Exorcist
It is still difficult for me to watch this film(even during the day) and I'm 30.Hands down the scariest(most disturbing) movie ever made in my opinion.
 

Hubert

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Wasn't The Exorcist recently re-released with added scenes that made the movie even more horrifying? I never saw the re-release and couldn't remember exactly what they added. In particular, I remember people talking of one scene of her walking down the stairs on her hands and feet, but she was doing so upside down. Can't remember. It's been 12 years since I've seen The Exorcist. But I do remember a lot about it and remember being scared out of my wits.
 

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I'd have to say The Exorcist is the scarier of the two for me.
I was so disturbed by the trailers in the early 70's, that I couldn't imagine seeing the film. Then I saw bits of it on TV years later, and I was still terrified.
However, I actually saw The Omen twice and it had little effect on me. I liked it, found it mysterious and interesting, but not nearly as horrific as The Exorcist.
I absolutely HATE all the sequels to both films.
 

Inspector Hammer!

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Hubert, yes, 'The Exorcist' was recently released as 'The version you've never seen'. If you hav'nt seen this version, RUN, don't walk, and check this thing out!
It's particularly effective if you have a nice 5.1 system, the new mix makes great use of the rears, and the result is often very frightning! The new visuals aren't bad either, a few more shots of the demon face, a deleted scene in the doctors office was cut back in, but the showstopper, one that will haunt you long after the film is over, is the inclusion of the famous 'spiderwalk' scene!
BTW, I love both films, but I would have to say 'The Exorcist' just edges out 'The Omen'.
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[Edited last by John Williamson on October 31, 2001 at 12:40 PM]
 

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Just about all the the scenes that were added to The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen are available on the 25th anniversary DVD as deleted scenes. This includes the so-called "spiderwalk" scene which evoked laughter from me more than fear or horror. The 25th anniversary DVD also includes the ass-kicking original ending to the movie. The Version You've Never seen has the godawful alternate one. If I were you, I'd run FROM the version you've never seen and pick up the 25th anniversary DVD of the film.
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Howard Williams

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The Exorcist was the only movie that ever gave me nightmares. I first saw it when I was about 15 after about 6 months of constantly hearing how scary it was. It was the split second shots of the demon (Pazzuzu?) in the addict that really messed with me. In the newest release I beleive they added some more of those while the mother was walking through the kitchen I think. It brought back those same chills, this time, without the nightmares I'm glad to say.
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Hubert

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I really Like the Exorcist III, but I hated The Heretic. As for The Omen, I liked the first movie, hated the second, liked The Final Conflict okay, and absolutely despised The Awakening. How any Fox studio executive could read the script to The Awakening and still allow it to be made is beyond me. It is a complete ripoff and rehash of the first movie, and almost verbatim. Only the death scenes were different and it was a girl instead of a boy.
So which do you suggest. The Version You've Never Seen, or the 25th Anniversary Edition? I'm a big fan, but not sure if I want to buy both. We have one vote for the 25th Anniversary Edition.
[Edited last by Hubert on October 31, 2001 at 03:06 PM]
[Edited last by Hubert on October 31, 2001 at 03:07 PM]
 

Ken_McAlinden

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I'll vote for the Exorcist 25th Anniversary Edition DVD. I think that Friedkin's sweater in the video introduction is scarier than the Exorcist and Omen combined.
I like this version slightly better than the re-working, and the extras are far superior -- especially the BBC documentary.
As far as the thread topic. I prefer the Exorcist, but I think that which film is "more frightening" will depend largely on which one you haven't seen for the longest while. Over-familarity sort of takes the edge off of a good scary movie.
Regards,
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Jason_Els

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The Omen has about it a subtle aura of dread only enhanced by the stark cinematrography that I don't find in The Exorcist. But there are things unique to The Omen including an excellent cast:
1) Gregory Peck. Masterful performance. I believe Peck is the old-money American ambassador and we so firmly believe so that we share his interpretation of the events surrounding him. We feel the sorrow of a strong man losing everything around him. Most importantly though we follow and believe his slow acceptance of the impossible events taking over his life.
2) Lee Remick's eyes. Can those ice blue eyes convey horror or what? The scenes where the nanny livens-up Damien's birthday party and particularly the hospital scene where her eyes are keylighted under that veil are shocking. Piercing and so frightened I want to look away.
3) Harvey Stephens. This kid is the spawn of the devil. He is neither cute (though he looks like he should be) nor is he endearing. When Katherine rejects her son our moral sensibility is shocked by a mother rejecting her own child yet in us we sense that she is right and find ourselves reluctantly feeling the same way. Something very uncomfortable about wishing death upon a child but Stephens' playing (and Donner no doubt) makes the viewer grow to fear the child who, importantly, does not outwardly appear evil; sinister perhaps, but not evil.
While the death scenes were spectacular in their day the single scariest thing in this film is when the photographer shows Ambassador Thorn the pictures he's taken of the recently departed and then himself. Singularly frightening this scene surprises us. It tells us that no one is safe from the grip of pure evil even when we think we are safe or lost in the crowd. It is at this point that we become sure there is something going on and no one can run. No church, no relic, no holy orders can protect anyone for, as is pointed out in Revelation, God Himself has allowed Satan his time and there can be no refuge. We feel the Pope himself could not withstand. We are forsaken.
People say Omen II wasn't as good and in the details it's not but in Omen II Damien is introduced as a boy hardly aware of his power using it instinctively. This power frightens him but he also seems to sense it is part of him. Easily the best scene is when Damien offers to share his destiny with his cousin Mark. In his only human scene Damien tells Mark he loves him like a brother and nearly begs Mark to accept. What happens next is cold and terrible, for Damien in his anger at being rejected commits the only direct act of murder in the trilogy. In the one terrible scream following we hear Damien's mourning not only for the death of the one person he loved and his own horror at his own actions but also for the death of his humanity. His destiny raw and terrible before him, he knows he must accept his future, withdrawing from human attachments. In this one scene he dies more than Mark does. It is a cruel scene and it elicits the only sympathy (if brief) we have for Damien.
Other great images in the films:
-The reporter stumbling toward the semi.
-The archaeologists being buried alive in the sand
-The bells ringing as the monk scrawls the name of the cemetary where Damien's real mother is buried.
-The first revealing of the wall
-The scientist scrambling up the ladder surrounded by poisonous fumes.
-Lee Remick falling to the floor
-The ambulance door opening after another fall
-The man under the ice at the hockey game
Omen III was for the birds. Sam Neil did his best I think but frankly we expect the anti-Christ to be something more spectacular than a ruthless business magnate in a J. Press suit. We need whores of Babylon, Armageddon, breaking seals, and more of a feeling of unseen hands raining evil upon mankind. Omen III lost the biblical scope and traded it in for a mundane story line. This iteration of the anti-Christ looks like his biggest problem could be Michael Moore or 60 Minutes.
 

Hubert

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I thought the scene in The Final Conflict where Christ strikes down Damien was very well done though. I like it okay, but not nearly as good as the first.
[Edited last by Hubert on October 31, 2001 at 09:17 PM]
 

Seth Paxton

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I find Omen more frightening. Omen is way up my list around 2 or 3 in terms of scaring me.
The single moment has already been mentioned. When they go to the monk/priest's apartment and it's been pasted with pages from the Bible and he reveals his photos, I always feel like they should just hole up in that room forever hiding.
Exorcist is great also, but a bit further down my fear list.
As a film I also think Omen has slightly better camera work, a great soundtrack and some amazing acting (I mean, Peck, come on). Again, Exorcist is no slouch either.
And I guess for me the Omen holds more fear simply because it implies something that would affect all of us if it were to be true, while Exorcist is limited in effect without extracting to secondary meanings (like "if it could happen to her" or "the devil does exist"). I always felt at the time like "what if this is happening right now and we didn't know it". Doesn't worry me in my older age, but there was a time that creeped me out a bit.
Good topic. No wrong answers here.

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Hubert

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Well, you are correct that in the grand scheme of things Omen is more biblical in a sense, and has implications on all of us. Two great movies. Two movies that will scare the wits out of you. Something about Th Exorcist just gave me the heebie jeebies. But then again, so did The Omen.
Now that I think about it, even though this movie is slightly different, The Amityville Horror was also an extremely creepy movie. I would have to put this movie up there also. James Brolin's look in the film gave me the creeps.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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The Exorcist by a country mile.
I always thought that The Omen was a sickening "knife-kill" exploitation hack-job. Peck and Remick are slumming big-time while Richard Donner's ham-fisted direction proves that he should have continued directing "Banana Splits" and "Gilligan's Island" episodes. But I did think that The Final Conflict was pretty o.k. - at least it *knows* it's just an awful exploitation movie.

[Edited last by Peter Apruzzese on October 31, 2001 at 11:48 PM]
 

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