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The Omen (2006)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
Movie Connections:
The Omen
> The Omen (1976)
> The Omen (2006)
Genres:
Horror, Religious Horror, Supernatural Horror
Director:
John Moore John Moore
Starring:
Predrag Bjelac Predrag Bjelac
Carlo Sabatini Carlo Sabatini
Bohumil Svarc Bohumil Svarc
Liev Schreiber Liev Schreiber
Giovanni Lombardo Radice Giovanni Lombardo Radice

5.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: June 12, 2006
Just how evil is Damien Thorn? Well, when he's not causing his nanny to jump off a house with a rope wrapped around her neck, he's knocking his pregnant mother off a balcony or lowering his voice to an almost inaudible whisper to say, "They're afraid." In all actuality, Damien is about as terrifying as finding a French fry in your order of onion rings. "The Omen 666", a remake of the classic horror film starring Gregory Peck, is one of the worst remakes to come around in a long, long while. I can hear the conversation now as Twentieth Century Fox executives were sitting around and discussing this possible remake - "Who can we get to direct? Spielberg? No. Verbinski? No. Wait a damned second - what about that guy that did that "Flight of the Phoenix" remake?" It is then when director John Moore was brought on board as captain of this ship that starts sinking during the opening credits and finally touches the bottom of the Pacific sometime around when Damien turns directly to the camera at the end and smiles one of those, "I just pooped my pants" smiles that only small children know how to deliver. All things considered, I guess "The Omen 666" could have been worse. John Moore could have decided to give young Damien that Al Pacino monologue from "The Devil's Advocate".

Plotlines for Dummies: Ambassador and wife have child. Child dies. Priest gives ambassador another child. Child grows up. Child is strange. Priest visits ambassador and tells him that his son is the Antichrist. Ambassador does not believe. Child gets creepy new nanny. Child starts trying to kill off mommy. Reporter uncovers the truth and confronts ambassador. Child puts mommy in hospital. Ambassador and reporter do a lot of driving. Ambassador decides he has to kill his son. Liev Schrieber is that ambassador, Julia Stiles his wife, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick the son, David Thewlis the reporter, Pete Postlethwaite the priest, and Mia Farrow the nanny. Sound familiar? Well, it should - the remake sticks pretty close to the plotline of the original, with the introduction of a few new visuals that could have worked if the script weren't so generic and the shock value equaled to that of an episode of "Facts of Life". Image this film if Blair was the evil child and Mrs. Garrett the nanny - now, that would have made for some interesting cinema. Alas, that could only happen in the land of make believe. Instead, we get the rigid Julia Stiles in the worst female performance of the year and a great actor like Michael Gambon absolutely wasted on a terrible supporting role.

As far as the rest of the performances are concerned, Mia Farrow steals the show in one of the smaller roles in the film, Mrs. Blaylock, Damien's nanny and Satanic sponsor. If anyone knows how to be creepily effective in a role like this, it's Mia. After all, she was married to the creepiest man alive before he decided to marry their daughter. Liev Schrieber is also quite intriguing as Ambassador Thorn. I firmly believe that he is one of the best actors out there, and though this is not the best vehicle for his talents, he makes the most of what he is given and actually finds a genuine performance here. Director John Moore was also smart in casting the smaller roles well. Veteran actors David Thewlis and Pete Postlethwaite shine as the Keith Jennings and Father Brennan, respectively. There is something about putting great British actors in a horror film that adds this whole new element to the mix. Had Moore cast Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Sir Ben Kingsley in this film, it might have brought it out of the gutter somewhat. I would have loved to have seen Sir Ian McKellen in drag as the nanny, leaping off the rooftop - though, he would have caught a breeze and sailed through the clouds because we all know that fairies can fly. And, fly they shall.

Now, on to the negative side of things. Could they have chosen a worse little boy to play Damien? Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick looks like he was forced to watch films like "The Ring" and "The Sixth Sense" and asked to give his best Haley Joel Osment. The best aspect of his performance is that he only gets about six words in the entire film. And, that cheesy turn to the camera at the end - it might have worked with Haley Joel Osment or Cameron Bright or even Verne Troyer - it does not work with the miniature Beatle. I also had a problem with the shameless use of the color red throughout the film. At first I thought - what a subtle little touch. Then, every other object was red. The rose was red, the coat was red, the car was red, the cat was red, the dog was red, the tombstones in the cemetery were red - Kool Aid is not that great of a color for a film. And, what was with those damned dream sequences - Julia Stiles in the bathtub, and Richard O'Brien from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" dropped the bloody baby. These would have worked in another film, but they felt oddly out of place in "The Omen 666". Maybe that was John Moore's attempt at making the film 'scarier'. I kept hoping for Robert Englund to come out of the tub and slice and dice his way through these clichés and stereotypes.

As if you couldn't tell, I did not enjoy "The Omen 666". It's one thing to remake a film and try to take it down your own path; it's quite another to try and duplicate a film and end up bending it over your knee and spanking it. That's all Damien really needed in this film was a good spanking - let someone beat that evil out of him. Then he wouldn't be as concerned with Armageddon as the welts on his evil little ass. This would have been a completely different scenario if "Mrs. Doubtfire" had been Damien's nanny. For one, Damien would be dead. He would have killed himself after listening to Robin Williams rant for half an hour. "The Omen 666" is just another run-of-the-mill horror film that wants desperately to be more than it could ever be. Director John Moore has zero talent for directing horror and should still to really bad action remakes - I think "Hudson Hawk" is due a remake any day now. If you want to see a better horror film, check out the original film - it really does deliver. For me, this film will always be "The Omen 11:48" - because that's the approximate time when I asked for my money back.

2/10 (for Mia Farrow and occasional Kool Aid).
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Ross #1: Ross - added 06/13/2006, 11:50 AM
Haha, that was a hilarious read.
I agree with you, for the most part.
My biggest gripe with it was the dream sequences. To me, it seemed like the aim was to 'spice up' an already terrifying plot with some cheap jump scenes. Boooo.
I just found myself bored with this remake, though the original is among my favorite movies ever.
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