Damien the Antichrist, now thirteen years old, finally learns of his destiny under the guidance of an unholy disciple of Satan. Meanwhile dark forces begin to eliminate all those who suspect the child's true identity.
When the Vatican observatory priest sees the appearance of a comet, the Church is sure that it confirms the eve of the Armageddon. Meanwhile, the USA President's godson Robert Thorn is informed in the maternity in Rome by Father Spiletto that his wife Katherine has just lost her baby and she had troubles with her uterus and would not have another pregnancy. Spiletto suggests Robert that another just born child that lost his mother could be the substituted for his son, and Robert accepts the child and gives the name of Damien. Robert is promoted to ambassador in London after a tragic accident. When Damien's nanny commits suicide in his birthday party, a substitute, Mrs. Baylock, comes to work and live with the family. Along the years, Katherine realizes that Damien is evil, while Robert is contacted by Father Brennan, who tells him that Damien is the son of devil. When the priest dies in a bizarre accident, the photographer Keith Jennings shows evidences to Robert that the boy is the ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
First I'd like to say that Richard Donner's 1976 "The Omen" is not so much a horror film as it is a supernatural thriller. My Summary merely refers this film coming latest in a parade of bad horror re-makes ("Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Dawn of the Dead", "The Fog", etc.).
As most know, "The Omen" was a 70s movie about an ambassador who's baby dies shortly after its born and agrees to take another baby in its place without telling his wife. Five years later deaths start to occur and he begins to fear he's raising the anti-Christ. It was a well-made, subtle, smart suspense film. What made it a classic also made it a prime target for re-making.
It's not the 70s anymore, it's the 2000s, so naturally some things have changed. I expected them to. The poem from the first film is here interpreted to refer to recent events, like 9/11 and that Tsinumi. Since this version takes place in present day it only makes sense. However, opening the film with a slide-show of these things at The Vatican is not only extraneous, but insulting to the viewers intelligence. We all know quite well what time we are living in.
Ignoring that, we have the pleasure of watching the truly talented Liev Schreiber tackle the role of Robert Thorn, originally played by the late and great Gregory Peck. Naturally he's good, and easy to watch. However when paired with Julia Stiles, trying to claw her way into Lee Remick's role as Katherine Thorn, things don't work out so well. Working from almost the same script, the sympathetic mother, through pure delivery, is transformed into a shrill and spoiled nag. The actors sort of cancel each other out, talent-wise.
Ignoring that, we come to the action. As in the original, the plot is moved along by mysterious and terrible deaths. Save for the first one (added for spice, I guess) they are nearly identical to those in the original. However, director John Moore is of the hyper-fast Xtreme school (he also made "Behind Enemy Lines"), so Richard Donner fans beware. I won't spoil things, but I will say that adding screams, flashes, glass shards, fire, and then subtracting the showiest death of all did NOT help this story or this film.
Ignoring that (if one can ignore so much), is the music. Jerry Goldsmith won an Oscar for his score to the 1976 version. It was a very hard won Oscar too because it was pitted against not one, but two scores by the great Bernard Herman ("Obsession" and "Taxi Driver"), and right after his death, meaning Goldsmith competed against great talent and Acedemy sentiment. In short: it was a great score. Marco Beltrami's score to this remake was hardly a match for it. I can hardly remember it. Goldsmith's "Avi Satani" will be with me until I die or lose a piece of my brain.
Ignoring all that... assuming I'd never seen the original, I'm sure I still would not be impressed with 2006's "The Omen". The uneven pacing, the poor delivery, the un-scary dream-sequences, and the generally bad direction make this movie a stinker. It was obviously made to try and cash in on the gimmick of 6-6-06, which is cute at best. They might as well have realized the cheese factor and thrown Iron Maiden's "The Number of the Beast" on the soundtrack (no offense to Iron Maiden).
The original was a classic for a reason. It's sequels and this remake all remind us why it should have stood alone under its own still potent strength.
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