The Best Horror Franchise Sequel Of The Year Isn’t On Netflix

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

the first omen

In the world of horror movies, franchise prequels are often disappointing–movies like Hannibal Rising and Exorcist: The Beginning, for example, are so bad that they threaten our enjoyment of the original classics. Fortunately for horror fiends, however, there is one killer prequel that you can stream right now, though you won’t find it on Netflix. The film in question is The First Omen, a critically acclaimed horror prequel that you can stream on Hulu today.

Plenty Of Surprises

While The First Omen is actually the sixth film in this long-running franchise, it serves as a direct prequel to the original 1976 film The Omen. As such, it sets up some of the familiar events of that first movie, including the birth of the Antichrist.

While this theoretically limits the narrative, we were pleasantly surprised by how many twists and turns the prequel took, and the film is very successful as both a standalone story and as a setup for the more familiar tale of Damien Thorn and his many misadventures.

Game Of Thrones Alum

the first omen

Part of why we were so taken by The First Omen is that it has such a great cast. Game of Thrones veteran Nell Tiger Free does a great job as Margaret, a woman frantically trying to prevent the birth of the Antichrist.

Speaking of Game of Thrones vets, Charles Dance is in here, giving a captivating performance as Father Harris.

The Full English

the first omen

Ralph Ineson similarly does an excellent job as Father Brennan, and if you squint, he bears a solid resemblance to 70’s era Brennan and Doctor Who star Patrick Troughton.

Meanwhile, Bill Nighy lends his usual muted warmth to the role of Cardinal Lawrence. Honestly, with this many great Brits in the film, the working title for The First Omen could have been “The Full English.”

Production Design

On top of the great acting, this horror prequel is worth watching because of its beautiful production design.

Areas like the basement look so ghoulishly good that you’ll forget they were shot on a soundstage, and the parts of the film shot on location in Rome give the film breathtakingly beautiful scenes that contrast nicely with the horror of the story.

You don’t have to take our word for it, of course–over on Rotten Tomatoes, The First Omen has an impressive critical score of 81 percent. We say “impressive” because, as you know, horror is a genre that most critics have historically hated.

Fortunately, this ambitious prequel is a movie that managed to make critics and audiences alike happy, and an accomplishment this rare merits watching ASAP.

Stream It Now

If you are interested in watching The First Omen, you won’t have to strike any deals with the devil or schlep on down to your local theater. The movie is currently available for streaming on Hulu, meaning that the only thing standing between you and this sinful little pleasure is the “play” button.