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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

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Omen, The (2006)
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by William Goss

"Sin There, Done That"
2 stars

The devil went down to Hollywood, he was looking for a script to sell / He was in a bind ‘cause grosses were behind and needed a flick to do real well / When he came across this horror classic with good ideas but starting to rot / He looked over his calendar and then decided “Oh, hell, why not?” / It was greenlit in a heartbeat and stuck with a star or two, he dug up the original writer and grabbed a director new / He had made pretty good piddle, boy, and would give the studio their due / The devil may fiddle and take console out of luring in a teen or two / Sure enough, they finished and threw it on a reel / What a pity that the remake was shitty and lacking in appeal.

The original Omen was nothing groundbreaking but certainly left enough of a cultural impact to prompt a remake for a generation too young to remember it and too lazy to rent it, especially with a ripe release date of 06/06/06 just too rare for Hollywood to pass up. Yet even when distanced from its predecessor and left to stand on its own terms, this version, helmed by Fox yes-man John Moore (Behind Enemy Lines, the Flight of the Phoenix remake) simply doesn’t make for a worthwhile horror film or a worthy moneymaker. (If anything, wouldn’t the second sequel starring Sam Neill have been apt for modern consideration, where Damien wielded corporate control and was primed for political power? Just a thought.)

When his wife (Julia Stiles) has a stillborn, American ambassador Robert Thorn (Liev Schreiber) takes up an offer to swap their baby out for a simultaneously delivered orphan without his wife being any the wiser. They raise young Damien (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick) as their own, and Thorn conveniently becomes ambassador to Great Britain just as the Vatican begins to recognize signs of the pending Apocalypse and strange incidents begin to around Damien, who may quite possibly be the son of Satan.

Several sequences from the 1976 original show slight adjustment: when the kid runs into his mother with his scooter (instead of a tricycle), she plummets from an extra story up; a character is not only impaled, but simultaneously stabbed by shards of stained glass; after a nanny hangs herself at the brat’s birthday bash, her shoe lands right on the punch bowl. The original is only outdone, but not quite improved, by a nifty decapitation, complete with technological touches. An added prophecy-fulfilling prologue (which imprudently references real-life tragedies including hurricanes, tsunamis, and even 9/11) renders the later deduction of matters redundant. In fact, the general influx of religious symbolism and lore comes across as a feeble attempt to add gravitas to the self-serious substance, and the connection of photographic premonitions to grisly dispatches made by a paparazzo (David Thewlis) will likely set off reminders of the Final Destination franchise with younger viewers, although credit is due to the original for such a juicy concept. While those films only focus on an expanded portion of this plot, they make more of that model over the course of three rounds than The Omen can claim after reheating the same apocalyptic hokum that served the ‘70s much better.

Moore and David Seltzer (who also wrote the original screenplay) both subscribe to that Date Movie sensibility where, if something was frightening three decades prior, it should simply be reenacted with minimal modification, without adding something actually creepy, terrifying, or otherwise remotely exciting. The film never scores its own scares, but seems satisfied with thinking that the creepy atmosphere of its predecessor will translate – and compensate – by proxy. However, the result is barely bloodier and much more tedious. Often employed are the lazy horror devices of black dogs, red motifs (with more crimson splashed onto some scenes than a parade of fur coats), and loud noises. Marco Beltrami’s score is less often bombastic than non-existent, a flagrant cue for the next spitfire montage of purportedly nightmarish imagery punctuated with shrill sound effects.

As everyone’s favorite problem child, Davey-Fitzpatrick is simply too aware of his disposition, instructed to pout creepily and overreaching as a result, all the while dismissing the notion that Damien was scarier when he seems to be perfectly content amongst the havoc he wreaked (and perhaps clueless about his heritage as the Antichrist). Whereas Gregory Peck was just a bit old for his role, Schreiber may be a bit green in comparison, but he holds a stoic expression like nobody’s business. Stiles, however, is young enough to prompt slight skepticism, and although the pair seem to be making an honest effort, they are unavoidably bogged down by the unexciting material and lead pacing. Veteran actors Pete Postlethwaite and Michael Gambon play panicky priests charged with the crusade of exposition. Gambon’s brief appearance is to dispense a set of crucial instructions and sacred daggers to Thorn, and regrettably, he didn’t bring nearly enough to spare the whole audience, which just isn't very considerate, is it?

The sole inspired touch is the casting of Mia Farrow as a nanny with a peculiar knack for defending Damien, but after a sly remark about how much she cares for children, the joke soon wears thin. The climactic attack by Rosemary herself dissolves into a giggle-inducing sequence funnier than the entirety of every other comedy release so far this year. Such a reaction can be chalked up to both the severe overacting of Farrow and the ridiculousness of the situation, even if it’s the liveliest incident after over an hour of lackluster plot execution. Soon enough, the finale arrives and stumbles at the church steps, resulting in a rather anti-climactic moment that surprisingly strays away from an critical shot that should have fallen well within the R rating’s parameters. If the event was intended to come across as some sort of understated, it was the first and possibly worst scene this time around to do so, seeing as such methods might have better served earlier sequences instead of this particular peak, principally in a film driven mostly by psychological atmosphere over outright jolts.

(On a side note, it doesn’t hurt that Twentieth Century Fox’s parent company also owns the ever-popular MySpace website, where all ad space is surrendered to Fox releases in an effort to attract additional indiscriminate teenagers. Then again, it should come as no big surprise that the devil’s also in the retails.)

Ideally, remakes should either retell a flawed story that has potential beyond improved effects or take the fundamental narrative in a wholly distinctive direction. High-profile films like 'Dawn of the Dead,' 'War of the Worlds,' and 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' stand solid as worthy entertainments in their own right. 'The Omen' fails on both of those fronts, never rationalizing the need for this rehash. It is never any degree of frightful or fun, but if that is what it takes to make a quick buck, it would appear that quality must have been cast out of the budget, and if that is no matter, then I might as well declare that this six-six-six simply sux-sux-sux.

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originally posted: 06/07/06 00:20:41
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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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