Here's How The First Omen Directly Connects To The 1976 Horror Classic

This article contains spoilers for "The Omen" and "The First Omen."

In Richard Donner's terrifying 1976 horror film "The Omen," American diplomat and presidential hopeful Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) rushes to a hospital in Rome, Italy as his wife Kathy (Lee Remick) has just given birth to their first child. Tragically, Robert is told that the child has died, but Kathy is unaware of the baby's passing. Once he arrives, he is greeted by hospital chaplain Father Spiletto (Martin Benson) who offers him a chance to spare his wife the unfathomable pain. He tells Robert that at the same time Kathy lost their child, a woman in a neighboring hospital room died during childbirth, leaving her baby without a mother. He persuades Robert to accept this baby boy and pass it on as their own biological baby, believing that what Kathy doesn't know won't hurt her.

A nun passes the newborn baby boy to the Thorns — a gift from God, so claims Father Spiletto — and Kathy is too elated with her baby for Robert to have second thoughts. The family moves on with their lives, an idyllic existence in London after Robert is chosen to be the American Ambassador to the United Kingdom. That is, until their son, named Damien, approaches his fifth birthday. A threatening Rottweiler begins to appear near the Thorn's home, Damien refuses to step foot in a church, the animals go berserk when Damien crosses them during a visit to the zoo, and Damien's nanny hangs herself in the middle of his birthday party in front of a crowd of children.

The events of "The Omen" focus on the early years of the Antichrist as a child, but "The First Omen" elects to take things one step further back. Here's how the hottest new horror prequel directly connects to the beloved classic, while maintaining its own story.

A familiar face

Legendary English actor Patrick Troughton plays Father Brennan in "The Omen," a priest suffering from cancer who appears to The Thorn family in an attempt to warn them of the truth about Damien. Robert confuses his warnings for blackmail and shoos him away, but Father Brennan is persistent. He begins following Robert and eventually gets through to him by warning him that Damien will kill Kathy's unborn baby, then Kathy, and eventually Robert. Once again, he goes unbelieved, and as a storm brews above them, Father Brennan is impaled by a lightning rod. Damien: 1, the Catholic Church: 0.

Father Brennan also appears in "The First Omen," played by Ralph Ineson. The film opens with Father Brennan meeting Father Harris (Charles Dance) in a strange-looking church that is under construction. Inside the church's confessional, Harris hands Brennan a photograph of a group of priests and a nun holding a baby girl and informs him that the child's mother was a devout woman who willingly let a jackal breed with her, thus starting the process of bringing the Antichrist to Earth. He gives Brennan the location of the orphanage where the baby is being raised, before scurrying out as fast as possible. Suddenly, the construction workers drop their tools and a metal pole flies down toward the priests. Brennan is safe but Harris is killed — a bit of ominous foreshadowing.

Brennan then spends the rest of the film trying to connect with a new nun named Margaret at the convent, hoping that the two of them can stop the church from fulfilling their plans of bringing forth the Antichrist. A plan we know is doomed to fail, because "The Omen" exists.

Bringing the baby to the hospital

While we will hold off on any additional spoilers regarding how Father Brennan and Margaret the nun fail to prevent the birth of Damien, we will say that in addition to the birth of the Antichrist, "The First Omen" shows how baby Damien got to the hospital and in the hands of the Thorn family. Damien ending up in the Thorn family wasn't an accident. The church sought out Robert and Kathy Thorn in the hopes that his political power would give Damien more access and influence to be more effective as the Antichrist. This also solidifies the theory presented in "The Omen" that Kathy's baby was intentionally killed at the hospital so that the family would have a reason to take in the Antichrist baby they would later name Damien.

Robert Thorn won't learn the truth of his child's death until years later in "The Omen," when he goes to investigate the hospital where Kathy gave birth and Damien was born, only to learn that the hospital was burned down, along with the maternity records. They eventually find Father Spiletto in a monastery with severe burn scars and partially paralyzed, indicating he survived the fire. He directs Robert toward a cemetery where the body of Damien's biological mother is located but also finds a jackal carcass and a baby's skeleton with a shattered skull in a plot. "The First Omen" does introduce us to Damien's mother, but based on the way the film ends ... there's certainly another story to tell between this film and "The Omen." If 20th Century Studios are smart, they'll let Arkasha Stevenson fill in the remaining blanks with another film.

"The First Omen" is now playing in theaters everywhere.