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11 reviews, 51 user ratings

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Omen, The (2006)
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by Rob Gonsalves

"It was stupid back in 1976, too."
1 stars

For a while back in the '70s, horror movies had weighty things on their minds.

Americans were concerned about the real presence of evil in the world -- terrorism, an unpopular war, a widely hated president -- so Lucifer himself, the fallen angel representing a fallen country, brought his brimstone stench into theaters. Americans were afraid of their own children, so in many cases Satan took the form of a cherub. Americans were uneasy about the Middle East, so in films like The Exorcist (1973) and The Omen (1976), all the trouble started there -- or, at least, all the spooky evidence was found there.

Gee, how things have changed. 9/11, Columbine, an unpopular war in the Middle East -- the stars, Mr. Thorn, I say unto you the stars have aligned for the ghastly return of the Adversary. Well, either that or June 6, 2006 was a really cool release date for a remake of The Omen.

As before, ambassador Robert Thorn (Liev Schreiber, in for Gregory Peck) and his wife Katherine (Julia Stiles replacing Lee Remick) find themselves the adoptive parents of the scowling young Anti-Christ -- Damien (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick), who by all appearances is a perfectly normal five-year-old boy, but who is attended by a snarling black dog and a nanny named Mrs. Baylock (Mia Farrow) who speaks of having been sent by "the agency." That would be, I presume, the famous Nannies from Hell Agency, established 1976 by Billie Whitelaw. (Thirty years experience protecting your hellchild from the sharp knives of Meggido. Call today!)

The Omen was ridiculous in 1976 and it's ridiculous now. Richard Donner's original film, an unstable mix of old-Hollywood pomp and post-Vietnam bloodletting, moves like a snail across an acre of flypaper; any residual affection attached to it by horror fans derives more or less solely from its freakish death scenes. For that, these days, we turn to the Final Destination series, which do the Omen series one better by making the villain Death himself. I will say that thirty years of special-effects evolution have given us more realistic renditions of the church-impales-priest bit and the whoops!-there-goes-your-head bit. I can also testify that the final scene between the hapless Katherine and the ruthless Mrs. Baylock plays out much more credibly here than in the original (wherein -- not to spoil it -- we did have to wonder, "Wait, what? And she got away with it?").

Julia Stiles is a terrific actress in the right role, which isn't what she's got here. Stiles is twenty-five but could still pass for fifteen, and she will probably have to wait another ten years before seeming remotely believable -- or comfortable -- playing a mom. She may be too spiky a presence to exude maternal instincts, anyway. (While she may, if she chooses, make a fine real-life mother someday, it's all about how she comes across on film.) As for Liev Schreiber, he responds to the challenge of following Gregory Peck by going small and minimalist; Peck was certainly a stoic slice of ham, but he could get it together and get his voice up when necessary. Schreiber just lets the plot bulldoze him, a passive hero unconsciously aping Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code, trailing behind people who are always telling him what things mean.

Omen '06 did bang-up business on June 6, perhaps owing to all the giggly teens and twentysomethings who responded as expected to the brilliant calendar marketing. Whether it has enough staying power to warrant remakes of 1978's Damien - Omen II (the Anti-Christ as conflicted teenager) and 1981's The Final Conflict (the Anti-Christ as Donald Trump) remains to be seen; it ranked fourth over the weekend, presumably abandoned by those who didn't want to be so unhip as to see it on June 10 or something.

Even if sequels are planned, though, the precedent of the 666 release date presents a practical problem: There won't be another opportunity for this kind of Gregorian synergy until June 6, 2106. That means any subsequent 'Omen' movie will just have to come out on, like, a Friday. Bummer.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14687&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/24/07 21:04:25
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Horror Remakes: For more in the Horror Remakes series, click here.

User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell trash watch the original enough said 1 stars
10/28/10 millersxing risible trash 1 stars
1/05/10 art A SHOT FOR SHOT remake of the 76 horror film,it's a real HOMAGE! 4 stars
11/22/09 Jeff Wilder Hollywood needs to lay off on the damn classic horror remakes. What's next, The Exorcist? 2 stars
11/08/09 David A. a feeble rehash of the original 2 stars
6/22/09 Ashutosh great film 4 stars
2/10/09 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
1/24/09 John leaper was the bomb 5 stars
1/10/09 filibuster fred Rockin remake- really loved it!!! 5 stars
10/30/08 Shaun Wallner This movie stinks!! 1 stars
4/01/08 superfriek this movie ROCKS 5 stars
2/05/08 Mick Damian looks like a future Special Olympics entry, instead of the devil. 1 stars
10/23/07 Ivana Mann The most uninspired, lazy remake I've ever seen.One word sums up the making of this: WHY? 1 stars
6/17/07 fools♫gold Yeah, awasteoftime ifyou'renotin aloudtheater forthose2scares that aren't worth mentioning. 1 stars
2/08/07 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
1/06/07 Quicksilver It takes special effects and makes the movie scarier.This is not an insult but a tribute 5 stars
12/18/06 Indrid Cold It's slick enough, but highly predictable and unscary. 2 stars
12/17/06 JeromeBosch I anticipated so much worse…This was quite entertaining. 3 stars
12/12/06 mig Oh man, what a bad thing! 1 stars
12/08/06 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
10/20/06 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
7/29/06 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
7/14/06 michael worth checking out 3 stars
7/14/06 Alfred Guy Why was this made? 2 stars
6/25/06 Laura Really quite good although somewhat too much like the original. 4 stars
6/19/06 Jason Hyde Pete Postlethwaite, you are no Patrick Troughton 1 stars
6/19/06 joan isenberg the unremarkable tendency of people to confuse evil with evil. 5 stars
6/18/06 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
6/12/06 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
6/09/06 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
6/08/06 Shoshannah I would deffinitely pay to see it again! 5 stars
6/08/06 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
6/07/06 A Bomb The movie was mad as, but doesnt surpas the original, 5 stars
6/06/06 John T Better than the original, a must see NOT! 1 stars
6/06/06 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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