- For the novelization, see Damien - Omen II (novelization).
Damien - Omen II (also known as Damien: Omen II and sometimes Omen II: Damien) is a 1978 American horror film directed by Don Taylor, starring William Holden, Lee Grant, and Jonathan Scott-Taylor. The film is the 2nd one in The Omen film series, set seven years after the original Omen.
A week after Robert Thorn's death in the first film, archeologist Carl Bugenhagen (Leo McKern) asks his friend Michael Morgan (Ian Hendry) to deliver a box to the new guardian of Thorn's young son, Damien. He reveals that Damien is the Antichrist and that the box contains a letter explaining who Damien really is and how to kill him. When Morgan expresses skepticism, Bugenhagen takes him down into a ruin, to Yigael's Wall, which has an ancient depiction of the Antichrist with Damien's face. As Morgan notices that the Wall's ancient depiction of the Antichrist is indeed identical to Damien, the two are buried alive as the chamber ceiling begins to give in.
Seven years later, 12-year old Damien (Jonathan Scott-Taylor) is living with his uncle, industrialist Richard Thorn (William Holden) and his wife, Ann (Lee Grant). He gets along well with his cousin Mark (Lucas Donat), Richard's son, with whom he is enrolled in a military academy. However, he is despised by Aunt Marion (Sylvia Sidney), who favours Mark and thinks Damien is a bad influence; even threatening to cut Richard out of her will if he does not separate the two boys. The same night, the appearance of a raven wakes Marion and causes her to suffer a fatal heart attack.
Through a friend, Dr. Charles Warren (Nicholas Pryor), who is the curator of the Thorn Museum, Richard is introduced to journalist Joan Hart (Elizabeth Shepherd). She was a colleague of Keith Jennings from the previous film. Having seen Yigael's Wall, she draws a link to all the deaths that surrounded Damien, including Jennings'. She tries to warn Richard, but he throws her out of his limousine. After a confrontation with Warren and Ann Thorn at the Thorn Museum, she becomes unsure as to whether Damien's face matches the painting on Yigael's Wall. Hart goes to meet Damien at his school, but, when she sees his face, she drives off in a panic. On the road, her car's engine mysteriously dies. She is attacked by a raven, which pecks her eyes out. It flies away and, blinded, she wanders into the road where she is run over by a passing truck.
At Thorn Industries, manager Paul Buher (Robert Foxworth) suggests expanding the company's operations into agriculture; however, the project is shelved by senior manager Bill Atherton (Lew Ayres), who considers Buher's intention of buying up land in the process immoral and unethical. At Mark's birthday, Buher introduces himself to Damien, invites him to see the plant, and also speaks of his approaching initiation. Buher seemingly makes up with Atherton, who drowns after falling through the ice at a hockey game the following day. A shocked Richard leaves on vacation. As Richard agreed to the agriculture project in principle and left him in charge of the company, Buher then initiates the plans on his own.
Meanwhile, at the academy, Damien's new commander, Sgt. Neff (Lance Henriksen), takes the boy under his wing and warns him not to draw any attention to himself until the right moment. He also points him to Revelation, chapter 13, in which Damien reads about the Beast. Finding its number, 666, scarred onto his scalp, he flees the academy grounds in a terrified panic, distraught at being chosen as the vehicle for Satan's will.
Another Thorn employee, Dr. David Pasarian (Allan Arbus), alerts Buher that some people were murdered after having refused to sell their land. Before Pasarian can inform Richard the next day, his is the victim of a fatal accident at work. He and his assistant are killed by toxic fumes released from machinery that mysteriously exploded. The accident injures Damien's class, who were visiting the plant. Damien alone is unharmed, but is taken to the hospital as a precaution. A doctor (Meshach Taylor) discovers that Damien's cell structure resembles that of a jackal, but, before he can report this, he is cut in half by a falling elevator cable.
Meanwhile, Bugenhagen's box has been found in the ruins and delivered to the Thorn Museum. Dr. Warren opens it and finds the Seven Daggers of Megiddo, the only weapons able to kill the Antichrist, along with a letter explaining that Damien is the Antichrist. Warren rushes to inform Richard, who angrily refuses to believe it and throws him out of the house. The next day, Richard confronts Ann with the letter, but she convinces him that it is preposterous.
Mark, who overheard Richard's altercation with Warren, confronts Damien, who first reluctantly and then proudly admits to being the Devil's son. Damien tries to convince Mark that he truly cares for him as his brother and asks Mark to join him, but Mark refuses. Damien kills Mark by introducing an aneurysm into his brain.
Shaken by his son's death, Richard follows Warren's invitation to New York City. A half-crazed Warren takes him to Yigael's Wall, stored in a cargo carrier, on which a horrified Richard sees Damien's image. Seconds later, a switching locomotive impales Charles and crushes him against the carriage, destroying the wall and convincing Richard beyond doubt that Damien is the Antichrist.
Upon his return, Richard has Damien picked up from a ceremony at the academy and argues with Ann about him. When they find the daggers in Warren's office in the Thorn Museum, Ann uses them to kill Richard, proclaiming that she "always belonged to him". Ann is then engulfed by a fire, caused by Damien who overheard the altercation from outside. Damien, now heir to Thorn Industries, exits the museum and is picked up by the family driver, Murray, as the fire department arrives.
- William Holden as Richard Thorn
- Lee Grant as Ann Thorn
- Robert Foxworth as Paul Buher
- Jonathan Scott-Taylor as Damien Thorn
- Lew Ayres as Bill Atherton
- Nicholas Pryor as Dr.Charles Warren
- Sylvia Sidney as Aunt Marion
- Lance Henriksen as Sergeant Daniel Neff
- Elizabeth Shephard as Joan Hart
- Lucas Donat as Mark Thorn
- Allan Arbus as David Pasarian
- Fritz Ford as Murray the chauffeur
- Meshach Taylor as Dr. Kayne
- John J. Newcombe as Teddy
- Leo McKern (uncredited) as Carl Bugenhagen
- Ian Hendry (uncredited) as Michael Morgan
- There are several rumors among fans that some of the characters in Damien - Omen II represent biblical figures:
- It has been suggested by some that due to Ann's role in saving Damien so that the latter could fulfill his destiny, and the manner in which Ann died, that Ann may have been the Whore of Babylon.
- A few viewers believe that four of the servants of Satan in the film may represent the biblical Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; with Damien representing Conquest due to his destiny as the Antichrist to conquer and rule over humanity in darkness, Sergeant Neff representing War due to his military status, Buher representing Famine due to his agriculture project to buy up land for reducing global famine, and the Raven representing Death as it serves as an omen of death.
- When Morgan and Bugenhagen are buried alive, Bugenhagen states that the Biblical quotation he shouts out is from the Book of Revelation; when in actuality, it is from the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians.
- Between scenes, the period of the film's setting switches between autumn (red and yellowing leaves on the trees and the grass still green) and winter (snow on the ground and ice on the lake).
- Damien, Mark, Sergeant Neff and the majority of the cadets at Davidson Military Academy have hair longer than a military academy would allow.
- The close-up shot of the Raven's eye when it is in Marion's bedroom is the same shot as in the scene in which it attacks Joan Hart; as can be seen from the background and the reflections in the Raven's eye.
- When Damien is being grilled by his history teacher regarding important dates in history, he reports the date of the Battle of the Nile as being 1789, when in fact it was 1798.
- The verses Damien reads in the Bible when discovering his identity as the Antichrist are supposed to be chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation. But they are actually a mixture of different verses from throughout the Bible. In order, they are Revelation 13:4 and 19:19, Daniel 8:25 and concluding with Revelation 13:16 - 18.
- When Damien kills Mark in the forest, Mark's body changes position between shots.
- When Damien is about to scream after killing Mark, his scream can be heard echoing before he actually does.
- When Damien screams after killing Mark, fillings in his teeth are clearly visible. However, it was indicated in the first Omen film that Damien is invulnerable against normal ailments.
- When Charles and Richard are at the cargo carrier containing Yigael's Wall, they are supposed to be in New York, but the skyline shot and the railroad (Rock Island) indicates that they are in Chicago.