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The Omen More at IMDbPro »

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176 out of 249 people found the following review useful:

Slick but inevitably inferior remake

Author: Skint111 from United Kingdom
26 May 2006

This remake is like listening to a cover version of a Beatles song. You like it but really want to hear the original again. The original Omen is such a terrific film, convincing, beautifully cast and with a great, raw Brit Gothic feel to it. The remake is a slightly glossier affair which is enjoyable enough but doesn't really take the story in any new directions, although it hints that it will. Opening images of 9/11 and the Asian tsunami promise a new take on the tale, but with the exception of the very final scene, this doesn't really happen. The set pieces of the original were beautifully done - here they're well done but don't seem to last long enough; they don't feel 'special' enough. The cast is good but, again, it lacks the gravitas of the original. This ambassador is no Gregory Peck. Overall, this isn't a bad way to spend two hours in the cinema - it's a hundred times better and more cinematic than The Da Vinci Code for instance - but could have been a lot more than it is.

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185 out of 272 people found the following review useful:

An Unnecessary Re-make

Author: David Duncan from Australia
6 June 2006

A re-make of the original horror classic of 1976, this film offers nothing more than the original film has already given us, besides some admittedly impressive death scenes. This re-make is far below the standard set by the original film. The acting is stiff and stilted, with Liev Schreiber (as Robert Thorne) giving a thoroughly one-noted performance which proved to be quite frustrating to watch for over two hours. Even when he finds out about the incredibly terrible events that consistently occur throughout the film, Schreiber keeps an indifferent expression on his face. This undoubtedly makes many problems arise; how can the audience get involved in a movie if the actors are unconvincing in their roles? Julia Stiles does well, but she doesn't work in her role as Robert Thorne's wife, but Mia Farrow as Mrs. Baylock gives the film a bit of a spark in an otherwise dull film. The main thing is, is it scary? Damien is creepy enough, and there are some OK dream sequences that offer a couple of good jump scares. But this is all it offers in scares. The film is basically just a re-shooting of the original scenes, except they lack the energy and tension. There is no sense of foreboding, and it's almost as if the film makers and actors were just bored and wanting to get it over and done with; it's as if they hardly cared about making a good film. What was meant to be a gripping, horrific and intense viewing experience right up to the stunning climax becomes a boring and plodding time, and you just about lose interest in the whole story, and the characters. Overall, a very disappointing re-make, which begs the question: Why did they re-make it in the first place?

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137 out of 182 people found the following review useful:

Just saw a press screening Fri June 2

Author: sigiam2 from Canada
2 June 2006

In a nutshell, if you've never heard of the original or are unaware of the storyline, the average horror film lover will enjoy this flick. If however you saw/liked the original, you'll likely still enjoy it..but you'll know exactly what's coming next because it is very faithful to the original. In fact, in most scenes, it's a line-by-line remake, and many camera shots are virtually identical to the 1976 version. What has changed is that Damien's parents are younger, and it's been updated to reflect a contemporary world of today. Also, the screenwriter decided to throw in 9/11 and recent disasters as indicators that the Armageddon is on it's way via Damien Thorne. (SPOILERS FOLLOW) There are elements of "Final Destination", but the original Omen was in fact the first to play with this type of death scene(s), where things mysteriously happen to people through strange accidents,etc. Having said that, these scenes are a little different from the original (most of them anyway) and again, as a horror fan, you'll enjoy the fact that they don't pull any punches graphically.

Acting wise, the film was somewhat weak - particularly Mia Farrow's performance. In an fitting homage to Rosemary's Baby, Farrow is cast as Mrs.Baylock, the satanic disciple, summoned to protect the Devil's son (in a sense, like her character in Rosemary's Baby)Damien Thorne, in the form of a nanny. I found that she was not nearly as creepy and menacing as the original actress. Julia Stiles was not strong either, and Schrieber was OK. The kid who plays Damien isn't bad, but it's just another brooding kid role with few lines so it's tough to screw that up.

Visually i loved this film, and a few sequences in particular were very very well done. As for the scares, there aren't many at all, and a few could be seen coming a mile away (dream sequence/mirror open then shuts to see apparition in rear,etc..) I did jump physically in one sequence where i wasn't expecting it (which i won't mention specifically so it may surprise you too).

So, it was an entertaining 2 hours. Nothing terribly new, and not as creepy or Gothic as the first one. In a way, i was hoping it might go in a different direction, but perhaps, it's the producers' ultimate compliment to the original - keep it very similar,just updating it for a new generation of horror fans. Recommended.

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98 out of 127 people found the following review useful:

Not as good or evil as the original.

Author: movieLoader from Australia
7 June 2006

I really liked the original Omen. It didn't need to be re-made. There is nothing that modern film-making has brought to this film to make it stand out against the original. It's not as scary, not as honest or raw. The original film is genuinely disturbing -- from the dogs, to the nanny, to Damien... this modern remake just isn't as convincing. It has it's moments, and isn't that terrible, but there's an annoying distance, or separation between the subject matter and the film. It's too clean, too polished... it just isn't evil enough.

The music is not as good, the deaths are not as disturbing. But should we judge this film on its own merits? No, because it's a carbon copy remake. There is very little new material worth mentioning.

The only positive thing to say is that for anyone who hasn't seen the original, it's worth a look -- on DVD. But even then I'd recommend the original.

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96 out of 130 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly good remake. Against all odds, I liked it a lot.

Author: basil78 from United States
29 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was able to get into a press screening leading up to Fox's big "Omen" press junket in NYC.

Judging by the IMDb boards, people seem to be going into this remake with some very strong preconceptions. People who hate the mere idea of an Omen remake so much they'll never allow themselves to enjoy this will obviously come away disappointed. But I'm a fan of the original, and I can honestly say I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. It may be the first effective horror remake Hollywood has pumped out.

First, let me clarify: this is not, by any stretch, a shot for shot remake in the style of Gus Van Sant's Psycho. It is fairly faithful to the original plot (this is, in my opinion, a good thing) but various things have been added, and those scenes remain the same have all been reworked either in minor or significant ways. I just rewatched the original a month ago, so it may be that I was more attuned to the differences, but I found they hit a good balance in keeping close to the original while adding flair and revamping certain things.

The remake starts out in the vatican with a scene comparing modern day disasters to eerily similar imagery foretold in the Book of Revelations. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of clueing in the audience to the fact that the antichrist was coming so early in the film, but the scene is well done and was effectively creepy. The use of 9/11 footage (as well as starving africans and hurricane katrina) apparently caused someone to storm out of a Q+A with the director later in the week (alas, I wasn't present at that event). I didn't find it tasteless, but I'm guessing this might divide audiences. At any rate, it's a genuinely unsettling opener.

We're then introduced to the new Robert and Kate (as she's called a few times in this one) Thorn. There's a brand new death right at the outset of the film which I won't spoil, but which fits in well and offers an explanation for the young couple's sudden rise to power. From there, the plot unfolds pretty much as expected, but with a few twists. Kathy's paranoia is emphasized a little more heavily, with some nightmare sequences relating to her newfound pregnancy. And a couple of the deaths are redone. Kathy's new death is particularly hair-raising. Immobilized in a full body cast with her jaw wired shut, she can only cry and try to scream quietly as she's held down and a murder of a particularly medical nature is exacted. Mrs. Baylock also gets a brand new sendoff involving a sledgehammer, a car, and a rainstorm. The audience I saw it with (mostly critics, even!) cheered at her death.

The original's deaths weren't exactly low-key, and for the remake they clearly wanted to up the ante. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - the results are fun to watch and sometimes disturbing. But I did find myself snickering occasionally at how over the top the offings were. It's not enough that the priest get impaled, he has to get a face (and chest) full of glass too. Not enough that the mother fall and break a rib, she has to plummet down the tallest foyer in the history of movie sets and shatter every bone in her body (who decides to casually water flowers on a teetery chair overlooking a three story drop, anyway!?). And so on.

The biggest surprise of the remake is that it's scarier than the original, which I always considered to be more of a creepy drama than a horror film anyway. This is shot like an out-and-out horror movie, and it works well. There are only a few jump out scares, but it has a much tenser, more nail-biting pacing than the original.

The cast is, for the most part, very good. The supporting cast is actually more memorable than in the original, with David Thewlis and Mia Farrow being the standouts. Farrow's Baylock is particularly interesting, masking her true intentions with a sickly sweet exterior. Her approach to the character is a departure from the original (some may miss Billie Whitelaw's icy turn) but I thought it was one of the best things about this remake. Pete Postlethwait and Michael Gambon are their usual reliable selves. The leads are the weak spot. Liev Schreiber's a damn fine actor, and he actually holds up well as long as you don't try to draw any direct comparisons to the legendary Gregory Peck. But Julia Stiles is merely adequate. It's not a great role in the first place and, unlike Lee Remick, she doesn't do anything to make it memorable. She's not bad, but she doesn't bring any weight to the part.

The one tangible failure of the remake is the score. Marco Beltrami's music is effective and, in other circumstances, I might even laud it as a solid effort. But it just isn't as distinctive or memorable as Jerry Goldsmith's legendary "Ave Satani." The fact that Beltrami didn't even see fit to work some of the original themes into his score is a just a painful missed opportunity. And by the time some Goldsmith finally does show up over the end credits, it's just salt in the wound.

Minor reservations aside, this is an effective movie in its own right, and it won't poop all over your fond memories of the original. Whether a remake was needed at all is another debate, but considered on its own merits, I found the new Omen to be good, scary fun. I'd advise people to go in with an open mind - you might just like it.

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88 out of 115 people found the following review useful:

Just made me love the original more

Author: Superunknovvn from Austria, Vienna
6 June 2006

"The Omen" is one of those movies that still hold up so well, there's really no need to remake them. The date of June 6th 2006 was probably the most tempting thing for producers to release a new version of this film now.

Well, you can't say they did a bad job. This year's "The Omen" is solid as a rock and very faithful to the original. So faithful in fact, that one has to wonder what the whole point of it is.

Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles are an odd choice for the leading couple but they're both okay in their respective roles. The direction is just okay, too, but you gotta be thankful that no cheap scares (or not too many of them) were thrown in to keep viewers interested. On the other hand, it must be said that the movie is a bit slow at the beginning, especially if you already know the plot. Opinions will differ on how well recent events such as 9/11, the tsunami in Sri Lanka or the death of Pope John Paul II. were integrated into the story, but that's not really a major issue. The few changes John Moore made involve a different way of dying for one character and two or three rather effective dream sequences (the last one sticks out - it's a sequence of really creepy images without any sound effects at all, probably my favorite moment of the whole movie). Also watch out for a nice reference to "Don't Look Now".

The most interesting thing, however, is the complete absence of the infamous choral score that made the original so scary. God knows why it's not here, it sure wouldn't have seem dated.

If I realized anything watching this movie it's how amazing the script was in the first place. It builds up perfectly, it's thrilling as hell (excuse the pun) and there are no plot holes to be found. This is why "The Omen" still works greatly and will hopefully be enjoyed by a lot of young people who haven't seen the original. For everyone else there's no reason to spend money on a movie we have already seen in a superior version.

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85 out of 133 people found the following review useful:

If it ain't broken, don't fix it!

Author: bonnie91 from Ventura, California
12 August 2006

I can't understand this remake binge Hollywood has gone on. Has everyone just gotten too lazy to come up with any original ideas? Some remakes that improve on the original might be worth the time, money, and effort to produce (not to mention our hard-earned money to go see), but not this one! The original The Omen is a horror classic and one of the scariest movies of all time. There was no way they could have topped it. So why did they do it? Like in almost every horror movie, some characters die. The deaths in the original are, to say the least, imaginative. In the remake, the deaths are either watered down copies of the original or changed in such a way that they take away from the story or just aren't as effective, and one death near the beginning of the movie doesn't even make any sense. Who is this person and what does he have to do with anything? Absolutely no explanation, just a disembodied scene that has no connection whatsoever to the plot that I could see.

The atmosphere in the original builds and builds, and is very creepy. In the remake, the atmosphere is kind of blah. And what about Damien? The kid says like three words in the entire movie. And he just doesn't have the presence of the little boy who played Damien in the original.

There's a lot to gripe about and almost nothing good to say about this one. There's probably only one scene in the entire movie that I enjoyed, only because it looked a bit more realistic than in the original. But why pay 4 or 5 dollars to rent a movie out for only one scene? It's just not worth it.

I can only hope that they don't remake Damien: Omen 2, my personal favorite of the Omen trilogy (I don't count the fourth one they made with the little girl in the starring role of the AntiChrist, which is a joke). It would be adding insult to injury!

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38 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Another Insult To A Horror Classic

Author: sexytail from Olympia, WA
19 June 2006

First I'd like to say that Richard Donner's 1976 "The Omen" is not so much a horror film as it is a supernatural thriller. My Summary merely refers this film coming latest in a parade of bad horror re-makes ("Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Dawn of the Dead", "The Fog", etc.).

As most know, "The Omen" was a 70s movie about an ambassador who's baby dies shortly after its born and agrees to take another baby in its place without telling his wife. Five years later deaths start to occur and he begins to fear he's raising the anti-Christ. It was a well-made, subtle, smart suspense film. What made it a classic also made it a prime target for re-making.

It's not the 70s anymore, it's the 2000s, so naturally some things have changed. I expected them to. The poem from the first film is here interpreted to refer to recent events, like 9/11 and that Tsinumi. Since this version takes place in present day it only makes sense. However, opening the film with a slide-show of these things at The Vatican is not only extraneous, but insulting to the viewers intelligence. We all know quite well what time we are living in.

Ignoring that, we have the pleasure of watching the truly talented Liev Schreiber tackle the role of Robert Thorn, originally played by the late and great Gregory Peck. Naturally he's good, and easy to watch. However when paired with Julia Stiles, trying to claw her way into Lee Remick's role as Katherine Thorn, things don't work out so well. Working from almost the same script, the sympathetic mother, through pure delivery, is transformed into a shrill and spoiled nag. The actors sort of cancel each other out, talent-wise.

Ignoring that, we come to the action. As in the original, the plot is moved along by mysterious and terrible deaths. Save for the first one (added for spice, I guess) they are nearly identical to those in the original. However, director John Moore is of the hyper-fast Xtreme school (he also made "Behind Enemy Lines"), so Richard Donner fans beware. I won't spoil things, but I will say that adding screams, flashes, glass shards, fire, and then subtracting the showiest death of all did NOT help this story or this film.

Ignoring that (if one can ignore so much), is the music. Jerry Goldsmith won an Oscar for his score to the 1976 version. It was a very hard won Oscar too because it was pitted against not one, but two scores by the great Bernard Herman ("Obsession" and "Taxi Driver"), and right after his death, meaning Goldsmith competed against great talent and Acedemy sentiment. In short: it was a great score. Marco Beltrami's score to this remake was hardly a match for it. I can hardly remember it. Goldsmith's "Avi Satani" will be with me until I die or lose a piece of my brain.

Ignoring all that... assuming I'd never seen the original, I'm sure I still would not be impressed with 2006's "The Omen". The uneven pacing, the poor delivery, the un-scary dream-sequences, and the generally bad direction make this movie a stinker. It was obviously made to try and cash in on the gimmick of 6-6-06, which is cute at best. They might as well have realized the cheese factor and thrown Iron Maiden's "The Number of the Beast" on the soundtrack (no offense to Iron Maiden).

The original was a classic for a reason. It's sequels and this remake all remind us why it should have stood alone under its own still potent strength.

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113 out of 207 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly good!

Author: u2bme102 from United States
5 June 2006

I saw a sneak preview of The Omen tonight. At first, I couldn't tell if it was going to be a spoof of the original or if it was going to be a serious remake. Audience members were laughing at parts which were supposed to be serious.

and then ...

the entire audience jumped.

and a little while later jumped again.

by the end of the movie, the audience was cheering and totally wrapped up in the movie.

The director did a great job of pulling us in.

Does everyone already know the basic plot? If not, I think it's best if I don't say anything about the plot, so I don't give away anything.

Mia Farrow was great in her role as Damien's nanny. Julia Stiles was the one who was unintentionally funny at the beginning of the movie, or maybe it was intentional, because she ended up pulling off the role quite well.

but the movie belonged to Liev Schreiber. He wisely did not try to do the same as Gregory Peck, and was excellent in the role.

It's worth seeing. Be forewarned - the movie is much more graphic than the original, so don't take the kids.

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53 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

Couldn't beat the original, but more than fine

Author: manuel gomez (kentbrookman) from Chile
6 June 2006

Movie was good, better than expected, don't know why but it reminded me a lot to stigmata, anyways, picture is pretty good all over the movie, characters were chosen fine, i think Julia Stiles is still too young for her character, the kid was amazing, of course never like Harvey Spethens but still, the new Demian's smile was one of the best things on the movie, priests were fine as usual, and the nanny wasn't scary as i expected. The deaths were probably he highlights of the movie, absolutely well done, i think i jumped off the chair like 5 times. Now the worst thing, THE MUSIC, something so necessary in this kind of movies, it felt many times that appropriate music was being missed. so, an overall of 6 out of 10, great movie to have a good time, not one to remember. Happy 6/6/6 to everyone

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