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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.81%
Worth A Look33.33%
Average: 11.11%
Pretty Bad33.33%
Total Crap: 7.41%

1 review, 21 user ratings

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Damien: Omen 2
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by Rob Gonsalves

"I was a teenage anti-Christ."
2 stars

Seemingly full of board meetings and brooding talk of destiny, "Damien: Omen 2" would appear to be the quintessential Carter-era supernatural-horror film. It plumbs the same idiotic religious dread as its 1976 predecessor, with a higher and even more gratuitous body count, though its subtext and thematic elements make it of more than passing interest.

Seven years later, young Damien (Jonathan Scott-Taylor) is living with adoptive uncle William Holden and aunt Lee Grant, as well as his cousin (Lucas Donat) from Holden's previous marriage. Holden, the brother of Gregory Peck's Robert Thorn, is some sort of corporate honcho (though the first film ended with the promise that the son of Satan would soon be pedaling his tricycle around the White House). There's a great deal of talk probably more than necessary about the corporation's goals and its highly specious plan to feed developing nations. (I got a fine laugh out of the line about "using toxic chemicals to feed the hungry.")

Damien attends military school ("and lots of funerals," quipped Michael J. Weldon in his Psychotronic Encyclopedia review), where he meets Lance Henriksen as a shadowy sergeant who encourages Damien to embrace who he is. So does Robert Foxworth as a higher-up in Holden's company. Where the original gave Damien a female protector in the form of Billie Whitelaw, Omen 2 furnishes soft-spoken father figures who act for all the world like earnest pederasts. For a while, the movie gainfully plays Damien's coming-of-age as a metaphor for the hell of puberty strange new feelings, etc.

As shot by ace cinematographer Bill Butler, and directed by Don Taylor (who took over from Mike Hodges), Omen 2 has more going on cinematically than its parent film; the compositions make more varied and imaginative use of the wide screen. And the plot is a sly inversion of the old Joseph Campbell template of the boy hero realizing the extent of his powers (the film sometimes plays like a dark mirror image of Harry Potter). Like his opposite number, Damien is conflicted between his human side and his immortal parentage.

However, the film vacillates between being a political/personal drama the making of the prince of darkness and being a litany of catastrophes. Too often, characters are introduced and then loudly killed off within a span of minutes. In the first film, Damien's beast minion was a black dog; here it's a crow, which proactively pecks out the eyes of a nosy reporter but otherwise just shows up whenever another "accident" needs to happen. The crow shows up a lot. In the most flamboyantly grisly number, a pre-Designing Women Meshach Taylor shows us what his intestines look like possibly as much of a watermark for major-studio gore as The Omen's decapitation was.

It could've been more interesting, more intellectually engaging; the whole series could've. Franchise producer Harvey Bernhard might've framed the saga as a dark commentary on religion and power. Instead it's just squalid pulp. Fun as such, I suppose, but horror fans deserve better.

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originally posted: 06/11/06 14:47:49
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User Comments

1/23/10 art WHEN I SAID THE OMEn was better than rosemary's baby,I LIEd, R.B. is superior! 1 stars
11/17/08 action movie fan a good sequel-suspenseful with a great elevator death! 4 stars
10/20/08 Monster A Go-Go The AntiChrist hits puberty! Laughably bad (in a good way) sequel. 3 stars
9/18/08 Frank Miller GREAT sequel! Damien: Omen II delivers! 5 stars
2/03/07 Vip Ebriega As scary as The Omen. 4 stars
1/07/07 Quicksilver great, sinister movie. It fails with its mediocre death scenes that made the 1st famous 4 stars
12/13/06 mig Great film. Not quite as great as the first film, but worth a look. 4 stars
6/08/06 chris Boring, i slept like an ngel tht night 1 stars
5/03/06 Dave I dunno, the only thing that bothers me is the direrction and acting, but below average 2 stars
1/03/06 cody a very good followup to classic first one, gory deaths and slighty better story 4 stars
12/07/03 john miles from he original - but pretty solid - some good location work! 4 stars
10/14/03 Erik Van Sant The gay guy from designing women gets chopped in half. Has my vote. 4 stars
4/13/03 Jack Sommersby Chilling but also uneven and grindingly unpleasant. Holden is superb. 3 stars
12/05/02 Kyle One of the few horror sequels as good as the original! 5 stars
10/24/02 Charles Tatum Equal with the original 5 stars
10/15/01 Andrew Carden An OK Movie, but Don't Expect Too Many Scares. 3 stars
7/27/01 Elvisfan Piss poor plot is just an excuse for a series of creative murders 2 stars
2/24/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) As far as horror sequels go, you could do much worse. 4 stars
3/13/99 KK Dusenbury The movie is perfect. I loved the deaths. Omen 3 sucks 5 stars
11/24/98 DrEvil Not as funny as 'Exorcist 2'; not as scary as 'Showgirls'. 2 stars
11/24/98 {{{OZ}}} Almost as eery as the original, but a little stretched. 4 stars
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  09-Jun-1978 (R)
  DVD: 05-Sep-2000

  N/A (18)
  DVD: 17-May-2001

  21-Sep-1978 (M)

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