How to watch horror prequel The First Omen

The iconic 1976 horror gets the prequel treatment...

Nell Tiger Free as Margaret in The First Omen
Nell Tiger Free as Margaret in The First Omen. (20th Century Studios)

Something evil this way comes... Horror prequel The First Omen, the sixth entry in The Omen franchise, has conjured itself into cinemas.

This classic terror tale fills in the blanks leading up to director Richard Donner’s 1976 original and invites viewers into the uncomfortable shoes of a young woman who discovers an evil secret regarding the impending rebirth of the antichrist.

Here’s everything you need to know about the film, including its cast, plot and reviews.

How can I watch The First Omen?

Nell Tiger Free as Margaret in The First Omen
The horror prequel is out now in UK cinemas. (20th Century Studios)

The First Omen is in UK cinemas now following its release on Friday, 5 April.

Considering the movie is produced by 20th Century Studios, it’s likely that we can eventually expect this one to hit Disney+ at some point in the future although a concrete streaming release date is yet to be confirmed.

What are the reviews like?

Ralph Ineson as Father Brennan in The First Omen
The Office star Ralph Ineson plays Father Brennan. (20th Century Fox)

Between Immaculate and The First Omen, demonic nuns seem to be having a bit of a moment of late. That said, is this prequel to a stone-cold staple of the horror genre holier than thou or do we need to call an exorcist to banish it to hell?

Well, as per these early reviews, the movie lands somewhere curiously in the middle – a purgatory space, if you will. According to places like The Telegraph and The Wrap, Damien might have been better off waiting a while longer before making his grand return.

“The film makes heavy weather of a conspiracy in a Catholic orphanage as if we haven’t sussed it all out at the halfway mark,” said the former's write-up, while the latter simply labelled it “boring” with little to offer beyond “extreme mayhem.”

The Independent managed to find light in the darkness though, calling The First Omen “oddly beautiful” and a horror movie that was “rooted in a distinctly Catholic expression of sexual turmoil.”

However, it was Variety that made the inevitable comparison to Sydney Sweeney’s Immaculate, saying: “It’s hard to say which film’s premise is more far-fetched, but if you were to subtract the Omen element from The First Omen, it’s doubtful that Stevenson’s movie could stand alone.”

Read more reviews below:

The Telegraph: Sorry, but the Antichrist deserves better than this (2-min read)

The Independent: A theoretically unnecessary prequel that is vicious, elegant and oddly beautiful (3-min read)

IndieWire: Damien’s New Origin Story Conceives of a Majestically Messy Franchise Future (3-min read)

Deadline: The Devil Is In The Details In Gory Nun’s Story Prequel To 1976 Original (4-min read)

The Wrap: This Horror Prequel Suffers From an Extreme and Tedious Story (4-min read)

Variety: A Decently Executed Prequel Pales Next to Superior ‘Immaculate’ (5-min read)

Is there a trailer for The First Omen?

A new trailer for The First Omen arrived in March and introduced us to a woman destined for dark things. Life in the orphanage takes a dark turn as its inhabitants make the creeping discovery that a young nun could be carrying the antichrist.

Meanwhile, the chilling debut trailer for The First Omen dropped in January 2024 and wasted no time in summoning up some creepy sequences.

From nuns running in reverse to the sign of the beast popping up in an unexpected place, the first teaser for this horror prequel promises to deliver something a little more artfully crafted than your typical franchise revisit.

Watch it below.

What is The First Omen about?

Nell Tiger Free as Margaret in The First Omen
The First Omen is a prequel to Richard Donner’s 1976 original film. (20th Century Studios)

The First Omen is a prequel to Donner’s 1976 original and takes viewers on a terrifying new journey involving a test of faith and the potential arrival of the devil reborn.

According to the official synopsis, the film transports us to Rome where a young American nun accidentally stumbles upon a Satanic conspiracy “that hopes to bring about the birth of evil incarnate.”

The First Omen (20th Century Studios)
Bill Nighy as Lawrence in The First Omen. (20th Century Studios)

Donner’s original film starred Gregory Peck and Lee Remick and followed the life of young Damian Thorn, a seemingly normal child who people come to believe is the second coming of Satan when a series of bloody, mysterious and evil events start happening everywhere he goes.

Arkasha Stevenson directed 2024’s The First Omen in her feature film debut. She is best known for working on series like Legion starring Dan Stevens and Aubrey Plaza. David S. Goyer, screenwriter of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, acts as producer.

Who is starring in The First Omen?

The First Omen (20th Century Studios)
Sônia Braga as Silvia in The First Omen. (20th Century Studios)

Nell Tiger Free takes the lead in The First Omen as Margaret, the young nun who discovers a dark secret after she is sent to Rome.

She is joined by Love Actually star Bill Nighy as a religious figure named Lawrence, while The Northman’s Ralph Ineson appears as Father Brennan.

Kiss of the Spider Woman's Sônia Braga plays character named Silvia, while Tawfeek Barhom and Nicole Sorace also appear.

The First Omen is out in UK cinemas now