Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Gregory Peck, Lee Remicj, David Warner, Billie Whitelaw, Harvey Spencer Stephens, Patrick Troughton, Martin Benson

The "creepy kid" set-up: it seems that at least once a year horror-movie producers try to use scary youngsters to their advantage. Anyone who knows even the barest amount about horror, however, realizes that each of these films is really just attempting to knock The Omen off its rightful throne. Which, of course, never happens.

That's because director Richard Donner, in addition to staging a series of effectively unnerving sequences (i.e., a woman hanging herself off the side of a building), scored a casting coup with little Harvey Stephens, the kid who plays Damien Thorn. Tasked with portraying the son of Satan, the then-6-year-old child actor gives a chilling, fully committed performance that hits the right balance of disarming cuteness and ominous presence. —MB