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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.4%
Worth A Look: 11.11%
Average: 8.55%
Pretty Bad: 21.37%
Total Crap49.57%

11 reviews, 51 user ratings

Omen, The (2006)
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by brianorndorf

"Another month, another horror remake pissing on the original film"
1 stars

Pretty much keeping in line with the other dreadful horror offerings of this year, the 1976 Richard Donner classic “The Omen” gets a swift kick in the nuts by this witless and oversaturated remake. Frighteningly unimaginative director John Moore is clueless on how to recharge this story, so he simply regurgitates Donner’s work, this time with a suffocating polish that drains the picture of any menace.

Forced to adopt an enigmatic infant orphan in a time of need, Robert (Liev Schreiber) and Katherine Thorne (Julia Stiles) bring son Damien into their lives, hoping for the family they’ve always wanted. When Robert’s job as an ambassador sends the couple to London, the now five-year-old Damien (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick) begins to show signs of trouble. Accosted by lunatic priests, controlling nannies (Mia Farrow), and a tabloid photographer (David Thewlis) who notices things aren’t what they seem to be, Robert gradually discovers the wicked truth about Damien: he’s the son of Satan and must be stopped.

This month’s installment of remake horror cinema is “The Omen.” Generally well regarded among genre enthusiasts, Richard Donner’s 1976 film was a crackerjack horror blockbuster, tapping into the demon fever of the 70s, fueled by Jerry Goldsmith’s unforgettable, Oscar-winning score. It was a distinctive slice of pop culture fun. The only way I can think of to approach a remake would be to reassess what would make the idea of the antichrist so frightening in today’s world.

20th Century Fox’s plan? Just to make the same movie all over again.

While it doesn’t quite reach Gus Van Sant’s “Psycho” levels of duplication, John Moore’s “Omen” is simply a glossy, overheated retread of Donner’s film, updated only in film technology and spurting decapitations. Hurting matters directly is Moore, who has distinguished himself quickly as one of the most shallow filmmakers working today, aggressively preferring polish to dramatic substance (“Behind Enemy Lines,” and another bonehead remake, “Flight of the Phoenix”).

Moore’s directorial incompetence comes into play here right away. Working closely with the cinematographer, there is so much attention to the precise lighting and gothic sets in “Omen” that it starts to resemble a bad Nine Inch Nails music video. Moore never once concentrates on cautiously building the dread of Damien’s influence, the menace of his foaming canine protectors, or the parental paranoia that made Donner’s version hum so fantastically. Instead, Moore elects to go for infuriating boo scares to cheaply jolt the audience when the story goes limp, or simply steals Donner’s iconic shots for his own.

Moore is even worse with his actors. Granted, he doesn’t have the luxury Donner had in working with Gregory Peck, but Moore is satisfied to let his acting talent die awkwardly onscreen, adrift in a sea of stilted dialog and a lack of even fundamental characterization. It’s bizarre enough to cast chemistry-free Stiles and Schreiber as a married couple (he looks and acts like her high school career counselor, not the love of her life), but setting them loose without much encouragement or guidance in this parade of demonic havoc elicits far more yawns than scares.

The botched direction of young Davey-Fitzpatrick is what stings the most about this needless remake. Here’s Damien, the future Satan, just starting his reign of gloom, and Moore encourages the little actor to uproariously scowl as if a teamster was presenting a plate of steamed vegetables to him from behind the camera. Hardly a frightening reaction. The sterilization of Damien is indicative of all the problems that plague the remake and his importance is always placed second to Moore’s aggressively ridiculous visual palette.

If I haven’t hog piled on the director enough, one of the more sickeningly controversial moments of the film occurs right at the beginning. As the Catholic Church starts to put together the clues that satanic trouble is brewing all over, Moore uses footage of 9/11, Katrina, and the Tsunami as “examples” that something crazy is indeed going on. And here I thought I was going to sit down with a simple horror fantasy film. Moore’s quest for apocalyptic authenticity is revolting, especially when placed in the same film where he expects the audience to swallow Mia Farrow as Damien’s apple-cheeked, yet menacing nanny. Seriously, Mia Farrow? I guess Doris Day was busy.

I’m not sure who this bonehead remake is for. Fans of the original know better than to pay money to see a lesser filmmaker screw up slam dunk material. For those who might’ve missed the dated charms of Donner’s earlier picture while riding along the cinematic trail, why subject yourself to this reinvented nonsense when the real deal is a mere rental away?

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originally posted: 06/06/06 13:58:39
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User Comments

2/14/17 morris campbell trash watch the original enough said 1 stars
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
4/02/08 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 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
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  06-Jun-2006 (R)
  DVD: 17-Oct-2006



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