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Overall Rating
2.1

Awesome: 9.48%
Worth A Look: 11.21%
Average: 8.62%
Pretty Bad: 21.55%
Total Crap49.14%

11 reviews, 50 user ratings


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Omen, The (2006)
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by Scott Weinberg

"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel bored."
1 stars

Remakes are a double-edged sword: Deviate too far from the source material, and the old fans get mad ... but if you stick too slavishly to the original flick, then, really, what's the point? If Gus Van Sant's "Psycho" remake taught us one thing, it's that a new coat of paint slathered over top of a well-admired screenplay is not exactly a thing of artistic beauty. And to say that John Moore's "The Omen" sticks too closely to Richard Donner's original is an understatement on par with "Michael Jackson sticks too closely to other people's children."

I know it's not exactly a brilliant horror film, but I hold a lot of affection for Donner's original "Omen" flick. It's a straight-laced and surprisingly clever occult thriller that gets in, gets out, and delivers a few stylish jolts along the way. It's worse than The Exorcist but better than The Amityville Horror, and it's a horror title I'm glad to have in my collection.

So I figured, as an experiment, I'd re-re-watch The Omen before heading out to see the remake. And it was this approach that allowed me to realize that ... they're pretty much the exact same movie. Anyone out there who, in 1976, paid money to go see The Omen should be allowed to see this new one for free. That's how stupidly the remake copycats its predecessor.

The plot remains the same: An American ambassador in London allows a mystery baby to join his family, and wouldn't you know it: The tot's actually the spawn of Satan himself. Flash forward a few years and we get a bunch of overwrought goofballs who discover the truth about Damien, only to die in elaborately gruesome fashion when the devil decides to keep his secret progeny hidden from prying eyes.

Hard as it is for me to believe, there actually was a new screenplay commissioned for this remake. The writer's name was Dan McDermott, and the Writers Guild denied him credit on the remake -- because it was too damn close to the original one. Truth be told, this new Omen feels like someone just dragged David Seltzer's old screenplay out of mothballs, hired a new cast, and tossed a few modern references into the mix (which might explain why the only new material found here deals with 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and a dead pope.)

In the Gregory Peck role we get Liev Schreiber and in the Lee Remick role we get Julia Stiles. Both fine actors elsewhere, but here they're sadly overwhelmed by the leaden pacing, the inescapable air of familiarity, and the simple fact that they're way too young to be playing these roles. (Stiles still looks like she should be getting ready for prom.)

In a half-hearted effort to bring some "new scares" to the mix, director John Moore inserts a few moronic dream sequences and some of those always-welcome "fake scare" violin shrieks. Oh, and there's one extra kill scene that's not in the original movie, one that exists only to explain why someone as young as Liev Schreiber could be Head British Amabassador Dude.

Look, here's what happened: About a year ago, someone at Fox was leafing through their calendar and realized "Whoa! Next June 6th is ... 6/6/06! Holy crap what a poster that would make! Someone get the old Omen screenplay out of the vault, hire a director, and get the thing finished in six months! We have a gimmicky release date to exploit!"

This theory explains why there's virtually nothing new to be found in the remake. They didn't have time to have an adaptation written, so they just used the old script! And that's just a huge slap in the face to the horror fans, if you ask me.

Plus, in the original Omen, the devil-child was sweet-looking, quiet, and kind of weird. (One gets the impression that the original Damien might not know who his father is.) In the remake, he's a mean-looking little scowler, which only serves to make the kid seem more ridiculous.

At least Van Sant's "Psycho" was originally ANNOUNCED as a "shot-by-shot remake," so while that was a failed experiment, the moviegoers knew what they were getting into. This "Omen" remake is an absolute testament to cheesy marketing, lazy filmmaking, and back catalog cannibalism. Plus, somehow, the story is a whole lot duller this time around.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14687&reviewer=128
originally posted: 06/06/06 21:22:47
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Horror Remakes: For more in the Horror Remakes series, click here.

User Comments

10/29/10 millersxing risible trash 1 stars
1/06/10 art A SHOT FOR SHOT remake of the 76 horror film,it's a real HOMAGE! 4 stars
11/23/09 Jeff Wilder Hollywood needs to lay off on the damn classic horror remakes. What's next, The Exorcist? 2 stars
11/09/09 David A. a feeble rehash of the original 2 stars
6/23/09 Ashutosh great film 4 stars
2/11/09 martz Cool film. Bit of a crappy ending though. 4 stars
2/09/09 mark dedasco Got a serious kick out of this stylish remake 5 stars
1/25/09 John leaper was the bomb 5 stars
1/11/09 filibuster fred Rockin remake- really loved it!!! 5 stars
10/31/08 Shaun Wallner This movie stinks!! 1 stars
4/14/08 art A SCENE FOR SCENE REMAKE OF THE 76 ORIGINAL STICK TO THE 76 ORIGINAL 1 stars
4/02/08 superfriek this movie ROCKS 5 stars
2/06/08 Mick Damian looks like a future Special Olympics entry, instead of the devil. 1 stars
10/24/07 Ivana Mann The most uninspired, lazy remake I've ever seen.One word sums up the making of this: WHY? 1 stars
6/18/07 fools♫gold Yeah, awasteoftime ifyou'renotin aloudtheater forthose2scares that aren't worth mentioning. 1 stars
2/09/07 Stanley Thai It wasn't good but it wasn't bad either. 3 stars
2/04/07 steve owen the devil made me watch it!! 1 stars
2/03/07 Vip Ebriega Scary, but when you watch it, you'll keep looking for the original. 4 stars
1/07/07 Quicksilver It takes special effects and makes the movie scarier.This is not an insult but a tribute 5 stars
12/19/06 Indrid Cold It's slick enough, but highly predictable and unscary. 2 stars
12/18/06 JeromeBosch I anticipated so much worse…This was quite entertaining. 3 stars
12/13/06 mig Oh man, what a bad thing! 1 stars
12/09/06 tiffany Seemed pretty good to me... 4 stars
12/05/06 Anonymous It was bland, the original was basically better, but i hate the filming of the 1976 film. 2 stars
10/21/06 Chri s Mazur Hauntingly bad. I can't believe John Moore got paid to make another really shitty movie. 1 stars
8/06/06 Erik Van Sant Laughably bad. Do yourself a favor and BUY the original. 1 stars
7/30/06 Doug It has the artistic subtlety of an airhorn. 1 stars
7/25/06 DK The best of the recent crop of remakes better than original 5 stars
7/15/06 michael worth checking out 3 stars
7/15/06 Alfred Guy Why was this made? 2 stars
6/26/06 Laura Really quite good although somewhat too much like the original. 4 stars
6/20/06 Jason Hyde Pete Postlethwaite, you are no Patrick Troughton 1 stars
6/20/06 joan isenberg the unremarkable tendency of people to confuse evil with evil. 5 stars
6/19/06 Emily A waste of time, nothing could beat the original, no suspense,extremely bland 3 stars
6/16/06 Satanic Majesty Painful to watch, dull, lifeless and a waste of time 1 stars
6/13/06 David Fowler Pointless, flat remake of one of the greatest horror films ever made. Bland and silly. 1 stars
6/13/06 Tasia I just saw this movie today..I thought it was great..just like the original, very well done 5 stars
6/13/06 TyrantisTerror Anthony G is correct, this film is a laugh riot. Bugenhagen. 1 stars
6/11/06 Anthony G Funniest movie of the year!!!!!! oh, wait a second.... 1 stars
6/10/06 gman Did anyone notice the mircophone in about 4 scenes 2 stars
6/10/06 Ole Man Bourbon Pretty half-assed in all facets 2 stars
6/09/06 Mason FUH KEENG WEAK!!! GO RENT THE ORIGINAL MALL PEOPLE!! 1 stars
6/09/06 Sumixam fans will dig, didn't realise full potential though 4 stars
6/09/06 Shoshannah I would deffinitely pay to see it again! 5 stars
6/09/06 DK AWESOMO 5 stars
6/08/06 San Lamar just do yourself a favor and only watch the original 1 stars
6/08/06 Stephen P. Robertson This is a mockery of the original 1 stars
6/08/06 A Bomb The movie was mad as, but doesnt surpas the original, 5 stars
6/07/06 John T Better than the original, a must see NOT! 1 stars
6/07/06 Haether mctathey your movie was crapy and shitty!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  06-Jun-2006 (R)
  DVD: 17-Oct-2006

UK
  06-Jun-2006

Australia
  06-Jun-2006




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