First of all, let me say something about another film: The Exorcist. It’s not on this list, in case you were wondering, because after repeated viewings I still think it’s awful. The narrative is a shambles, the possession quickly becomes dull and I find Fr Damian’s macho struggle tedious in the extreme. The Omen, which is usually overlooked in The Exorcist’s favour, is a very different matter. The central premise is solid, the gradual development of the horror is handled with subtlety and pace, escalating through one set-piece to another, and the sense of evil destroying a family is very satisfying. The parents (Lee Remick and Gregory Peck) are superb, Patrick Troughton and Billie Whitelaw steal every scene they’re in, and the child himself is really scary. I love the fact that some of it’s set in Guildford Cathedral, because I passed it every day on my way to school. I’m particularly fond of the children’s party scene, ruined when the nanny flings herself out of a window (‘It’s all for you, Damian!’). Heads roll, torsos are skewered, and Billie Whitelaw does a lot of biting. I find The Omen much more disturbing now that I’m a father; the climactic scene of Gregory Peck dragging his screaming son on to the altar is now one of the most horrific things I can imagine.