The Most-Watched Movie on Hulu is an Acclaimed Religious Shocker: “Unsettling, beautiful, terrifying”


The current horror movie landscape is flush with attempts to revive well-loved franchises and existing IP. Many of these attempts have fallen flat, to say the least, which is why horror fans were hesitant when The First Omen, a prequel to the 1976 religious horror classic The Omen, was announced by 20th Century Studios. But director Arkasha Stevenson blew expectations out of the water with a disturbing depiction of abuse in the Catholic Church. Now, the film is on Hulu and terrifying audiences all over again.

In The First Omen, “A young American woman is sent to Rome to begin a life of service to the church. Soon, she encounters a darkness that causes her to question her faith, and reveals a terrifying conspiracy to bring about the birth of evil incarnate.” 

Nell Tiger Free is particularly stunning as Margaret, a young novitiate who, as an orphan, has only known the Catholic Church. Free captures Margaret’s emotional turmoil with ease, making her supernatural plight feel real. Special shout out to a particular moment where Free thrashes and screams just like Isabelle Adjani in Possession (1981).

While Free does steal the show, the film still boasts a stunning supporting cast, including Tawfeek Barhom (Mary Magdalene), Sonia Braga (Kiss of the Spider Woman), Ralph Ineson (The Northman), and Bill Nighy (Living).

The First Omen first hit theaters in April, where momentum slowly grew as critics (such as myself) saw the film and began singing (and screaming) its praises. While in theaters, the film earned $53.7 million at the box office, meaning it recouped its $30 million budget but didn’t make as much of a splash as other major horror releases. Thankfully, now that the film has hit streaming, more viewers are experiencing its unique brand of religious terror.

Don’t believe me? Check out some of the recent reactions to The First Omen below:

The First Omen is streaming now on Hulu and Disney+.

Have you seen The First Omen? What did you think? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram @DreadCentral.


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