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This sequel to THE OMEN is a "fun" film. It continues the story of the
anti-Christ Damien into his teenage years and his years in military
Now adopted into the family of his father's brother, an unsuspecting
is unwittingly at the centre of a plot to bring Satan's son to the
of power. Everyone around him is at risk as the secret of Damien's birth
under threat of exposure by forces emerging from around the world - and at
the root of this threat are the mad depictions painted on an ancient wall
that reveal the very face of evil.
Jonathon Scott-Taylor gives a commanding and creepy performance as the ultimate misfit son. Looking particularly significant in his military outfit, Scott-Taylor captures - as much as the script allows him - the torment of self-discovery as the truth of his existence is revealed to him. The script could have demanded more from such a fascinating scenario, and tried to make Damien more of a Miltonic Satanic Hero, but the film chooses to go for as much shock value whenever it can. Mysterious and violent accidents - linked by the ever-present shadow of a raven of death - dominate this movie from beginning to end. The scene involving an ill-fated lady on a deserted country road is one of its most grotesque. As death and destruction mount, Damien goes from self-possessed orphan to self-recognized supreme power in the span of two hours.
William Holden and Lee Grant play Damien's surrogate parents, Richard and Ann Thorn. They are not really allowed to display their incredible talents in this film, but Holden does fine trying to duplicate Peck's memorable performance in the original. Grant does what she can with this supporting role, but has a great moment in the film that proves worthy to wait for. The always wonderful Sylvia Sidney makes a memorable appearance as one of Damien's greatest "thorns" - the troublemaking menace Aunt Marion. And the ending is a bit of a shock if you watch the film closely, particularly if you listen to the exposition early on in the film about "The Whore of Babylon."
Another highlight is Jerry Goldsmith's title score - empowering, commanding and downright evil, the opening score is one of my favorites.
Although not as creepy as the first film, DAMIEN: OMEN II has its moments, and is worth seeing for anyone who likes to have a fun time with all this biblical stuff.
If you liked the first installment, you probably will like Damien-Omen II.
It still has the creepiness involved in the first movie and the theme of
good vs. evil. But like the first Omen movie, it is quite predictable.
Some of the kill scenes are good though, especially the elevator
Take a shot and rent this one. Just don't expect to see a classic.
"She pollutes the air with her craziness", gotta love that line near the film's beginning. Damien:Omen II is an ambitious and entertaining sequel to the classic Omen. This film is an almost perfect stepping stone in the Omen trilogy, focusing on Damien Thorn becoming a teenager. The film obviously lacks the fresh originality of the first film but it still deserves credit for maintaining a sense of dread and menace when somebody crosses the young Damien Thorn. The death scenes are both chilling and creative and the film's trademark score is brilliant. As far as sequels go, Omen II is a solid effort, leading the pathway clearly open for the third chapter. In terms of comparison Omen II doesn't surpass the original but if you enjoyed the Omen then Damien:Omen II shouldn't disappoint.
Beginning again with the mad dash of Bugenhagen(Leo McKern) through the Haifa port under the very fitting theme of Jerry Goldsmith, this film contains all of the chills of the original as Damien learns about who he really is. It has one thing that I particularly liked that moment of indecision,when Damien, in a mirror of Jesus asks himself, why is it me. The moment when whatever innocence is in him is finally lost. William Holden and Lee Grant are excellent as his aunt and uncle, and there are several actors who cement their acting careers in the parts they play in this film. I am referring to Robert Foxworth for one, and Lance Henrickson for another. Silvia Sydney is one of of her last roles as Aunt Marion (smelling of Lilac or lavender) and the one really weak role was Nicholas Pryor as the director of the Thorn Museum. I am truly sorry for those people who did not care for this film, as it is head and shoulders above most of the Anti-Christ movies made. If you liked the first one this is a must see.
Well, it wasn't great, but I have to admit that the second Omen was
pretty good and in some ways just necessary. Necessary, I mean because
this story is of course not finished. Before seeing "The Hills have
Eyes" on Friday night, they had trailers, and one was *shudder* a
remake to the Omen. Another one, another remake! Oh, well, this just
isn't going to stop. So, anyways, I saw The Omen last year and figured
I should finish the trilogy. I am curious and frankly, a bit creeped
out that the new Omen is being released on 06-06-2006, "666", get it?
The story itself is pretty good actually, now that Damien has been under the care of his aunt and uncle, strange things are happening again. It seems like anyone who is getting to close to finding out the truth about Damien is getting killed in some freak accident. This is a very good sequel that should be given a second chance.
I'm an avid fan of the original "Omen". I think it was everything that
"The Exorcist" is made out to be by fans and critics all over the
world: thrilling, intriguing and incredibly creepy. With it's
apocalyptic open ending a second part could only take away from the
The truth is, "Damien: Omen II" is by no means as bad as it could have been. Sure, the excitement and the perfect structure of the original aren't there. Basically, this plays out like an early ancestor of the "Final Destination"-franchise. Characters become aware of who Damien is and from this point on we know they're doomed and anticipate their gruesome death. Most of all the movie is muddled with bad character development. Lance Henriksen's character, for instance, is never elaborated on. It doesn't make him any more mysterious, it just feels incomplete.
A good portion of the movie is spent with nothing much going on except for a few people dying around Damien while he just keeps on living a completely normal life unaware of who he his. Then, all of a sudden everything happens way too quickly. Damien finds out about his destiny and immediately accepts it. The same goes for his father, who is infuriated at first when someone suggests that his son might be Satan's spawn, only to accept that fact shortly afterwards. The final climax and ending arrive just as quickly leaving you wondering why the whole thing was so unbalanced.
Still, as long as it's running "Damien: Omen II" doesn't fail to entertain. Like every "Omen"-movie up to and including "The Final Conflict" this one has this nice 70's UK-flair that you can get lost in for a few hours on homey evenings in front of the television. It may not be enough to make the series go down in history as one of the best, but these movies are all very watchable in one sitting, making this one of the most coherent franchises of the horror genre.
Damien returns after his parents are killed in the original to live with his uncle, while he continues his reign of terror over man. Holden and Grant are good, the score remains very effective, it features great effects, and it has plenty of chills and memorable scenes. Not as good as the first one, but one heck of a sequel. Rating: 8 out of 10. Followed by many more sequels, but they are all inferior. Stick with the first two.
DAMIEN: OMEN II (1978)
--There is some good suspense sequences in this film. I loved the death under the ice (goddamn that would be a horrible way to die), the birds attacking the reporter and the intense murder of Mark by Damien.
--Jonathan Scott-Taylor's performance in this film is great. At the start I had my doubts about his performance but as the movie went on he became more and more entertaining to watch. I really bought his performance as Damien - it felt very real and it seemed to me like I was watching the real Antichrist unfold in front of my eyes.
--The score, just like it was in the first film, is terrific, memorable and thrilling.
--Aside from the strong first half, this movie is basically a stale rehash of the original after a while. We get the daggers, the warning person (the reporter this time) and that same wall thing we got last time. It makes the film seem like they had no ideas for a second movie, which makes me how the hell they're gonna come up with a good idea for the third film.
--This movie is WAY too repetitive. It feels like a slasher after a short while - its death, funeral/grieving, death, funeral/grieving.repeat until ANNOYED. What happened to the infrequent yet shocking and brilliant deaths of the first film, and the interesting storyline we got in the first film?
--The characters aren't very well established (I forgot who was who numerous times) and I wasn't really interested in them as people and didn't really give a crap if they died or not.
--What the hell was up with that stupid subplot with the Uncle's business? That had no place in the movie. We get so many scenes and conversations discussing that business and how it's gonna change the world and stuff and it doesn't amount to anything or have even any place in this movie at all.
--Damien's character is really uneven and it was so frustrating. One minute he's this stand-up young gentlemen, then a blood thirsty little Antichrist brat, and then he's back to being that wonderful cadet in the military, and then he's back on the bratness. Did this piss anyone else off? In the first movie he was pure evil, but it seemed like in this one the writer tried to develop the character's grief and understanding of his life whilst at the same time continuing the run of evil Damien. Though I did enjoy the performance by Scott-Taylor as previously mentioned.
5/10 - "Damien: Omen II" lacks the originality and intelligence that made the first film such a hit.
IF YOU LIKED THIS MOVIE I RECOMMEND:
The Exorcist (9/10) Final Destination (8/10) Final Destination 2 (7/10) The Omen (8/10) Stigmata (6/10)
Damien Thorn (Jonathan Scott-Taylor) is now a teenager, but does not
know he is evil. What will he do when he finds out who he is? Can he
accept it, can he reject it? William Holden brings the star power that
Gregory Peck brought to the first one, just as the crow has now
replaced the rottweiler. The film is full of analogues. Oh, and even
Lance Henriksen shows up! And we cannot overlook the glorious music of
This was supposed to be developed with producer Harvey Bernhard's best friend Richard Donner, but he ended up getting "Superman" around this time Some of the beauty of the film is that the beginning was shot in an actual castle from the Crusades with an actual escape tunnel. Other scenes were filmed in Wisconsin (Eagle River, Lake Geneva, Delafield) and Illinois (Lake Forest, Chicago). When filming in Eagle River, they stayed at the home of a teamster who was murdered about three months later for his involvement with Jimmy Hoffa.
The scene under the ice was completely real: the man was really under the ice and had to swim for thirty or forty feet. Incredible, but true.
producer and story writer Harvey Bernhard's commentary tells about the film's creation, and chronicles his dislike of the film's original director, Mike Hodges, and his preference for Don Taylor, the man who took over. Bernhard also believes it is not possible to believe in God but not the devil... his reasoning is questionable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is what the Bible has to say on the subject of ravens: "an
abomination" (Leviticus 12-21). While according to Isiah (34, 8-11), on
the day of the Lord's scorched-earth policy, our feathered pals will
fill their blackened bellies with the crispy flesh of the damned. So
it's appropriate this much maligned bird, intelligent and music-loving,
should feature so heavily in Damien: Omen II as a demonic fixer for
teenage Antichrist Damien Thorn (Scott-Taylor).
With hell boy still largely unaware of his destiny, it's the raven who's responsible for much of the murdering, usually by just perching up and belching along to an undulating Jerry Goldsmith choir. That's something those Old Testament prophets neglected to mention; the 'Father of Omens' has a habit of introducing itself with a loud, beak-smacking gut-honk. Not only will it pop your eyes like fried eggs, it'll burp in your face for an aperitif.
Set some 7 years after the events of The Omen, the troubled sequel finds the little devil living the high life with uncle Richard (Holden), Richard's second wife Ann (Grant), and gormless cousin Mark (Donat). Damien's turned out marvellously considering his first adopted father was gunned down while trying to turn him into a colander. Charming, cheeky, insouciant and savvy, he's Holden Caulfield with a helmet haircut. And like most boys on the verge of their thirteenth birthday ("considered by many cultures to have initiation rites"), Damien's going through some startling changes. If only pubic hair and frenzied masturbation were the extent of it.
Shorn of Satanic nannies and hell-hounds, but with the burping raven on constant call, facilitating his rise to badness are a bunch of well-appointed acolytes and corporate thugs, smoothing his entry into the obscenely rich and powerful Thorn Industries, which plans to control - or withhold - food distribution in famine-afflicted territories (good business say some, 'unethical' think others - and horribly familiar we say, from the vantage point of the 21st century). Meanwhile, anybody who gets in Damien's way is slaughtered, and which teen hasn't fantasised about that? Following the trajectory of many future captains of industry, Damien is packed off to military school, where brooding academy sergeant Daniel Neff (Henriksen) informs him of his true nature. "Why?" he howls despairingly. "Why me?" A playful riff on the traumas of puberty, it's the one truly affecting scene because it's so honest. The remainder can be fed to the flames.
If The Omen had a certain vaudevillian grandeur, the sequel feels like a cheap, made-for-TV slasher. More reliable than buses, you can set your watch by the slayings, including a damn good pecking, a deadly plunge under the ice (the most effective set-piece) and death by lift cable, featuring a technician chopped in half width-ways; if the film was aiming to trounce the original's straightforward decapitation, it's just not half as effective in its execution.
It makes one wonder what original director Mike Hodges could have done with it, before fleeing production three weeks into the shoot. As Hodges told the 'Guardian' in 2003, during a row about the design budget the apoplectic producer placed a handgun on the table. "I said, 'Is that loaded?' And he said, 'Yes.' And then we just looked at each other for a bit." Hodges retains a credit (unlike Leo McKern and Ian Hendry, drowned by sand in the first 10 minutes), but the script might have been so different: 'You're a big man, but in you're in bad shape. Now sit down and behave yourself before I summon Baal and Lilith to play conkers with your b****cks."
With the exception of Henriksen, and the beguiling Scott-Taylor, the acting is uniformly stilted, and a quick buck for Holden who was originally pencilled in to play Robert Thorn, but passed as he didn't want to star in a film about the devil. Having seen The Omen clean up, he wasted no time hopping on board for the sequel. More pertinently, the original film was shot with an alternative ending in which Damien died but Alan Ladd Jnr, sniffing bucks, nixed the idea. All of which proves once and for all that the love of sequels is actually the root of all evil.
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