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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Liev Schreiber
Julia Stiles
Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick
Pete Postlethwaite
David Thewlis
Mia Farrow.
Directors
John Moore.
Screenwriters
Dan McDermott.
Running Time
110 minutes

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The Omen
John Moore's remake of the Satanic classic


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Plot
An American diplomat begins to suspect that something is wrong with his son, Damien, after a series of strange accidents takes place around him. He begins to suspect that Junior is actually the son of the devil, in this remake of the 1976 Richard Donner horror.


Review
The Omen
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When Gus Van Sant was asked exactly what the point of making a shot for shot remake of a classic (in his case, Psycho) he responded, “So nobody else has to.” Director John Moore obviously wasn’t listening, because what he has managed to produce is the ultimate in pointless exercises, a remake that is neither much better nor much worse that the original.

Accordingly, when in Richard Donner’s 1976 studio shocker Damien’s nanny flings herself of the roof yelling, “It’s all for you Damien!” (surely a gift of Pokemon or Lego would have been more appropriate) we get a shot by shot retread of the scene in the 2006 version. Suspicious photographer Jennings discussed the American Ambassador’s satanic son with him at a snow-flecked roadside cafe, so it is to a snow-flecked roadside cafe that David Thewlis and Liev Schreiber go in this redundant retread.

Moore has thrown in a little more gore and a few subliminal shocks - and there are a range of succulently hammy turns from the likes of Pete Postlethwaite and Mia Farrow (nodding to her starring role in the same era’s Rosemary’s Baby) ­ but for the most part has followed the original screenplay with uncanny slavishness. Which makes it odd that Jerry Goldsmith’s iconic score, which has forever associated screeching choirs with diabolical doings, is missing from the mix.

The overwhelming impression is of a lost opportunity, given that the current American administration’s sinister attempts to infect politics with religion provide a contemporary backdrop even more fertile for this Mephistopholean melodrama than the post-Vietnam paranoia that boosted the original movie, though the final shot, of Damien holding the hand of the President – the back of whose head bears a passing resemblance to George Bush’s – at least demonstrates that Moore and co. noticed the possibilities.


Verdict
Competently made, and enjoyably played. But you do really end up wondering what the point was. Cinematic déjà vu is the most likely response.


Reviewed by Adam Smith

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Omen
Empire Star Rating

RE: Deja vu

One of the most purely pointless remakes of recent years,being almost identical to the original except having a different cast and with almost every scene inferior to it's original counterpart except with sometimes a tiny bit more gore.  Example-the scene in the cemetery with the dogs,which starts off as a brilliant piece of suspense in the original and then becomes quite terrifying.  The remake's scene has no suspense and just rushes in to it all,'aided' by the usual shoddy CG animal... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 18:50, 05 June 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Deja vu

L: kumar It wasnt all that bad, i found it to be quite tense and the atmosphere was developed quite well. Had some shocks, but since it is a remake of the original, it doesnt add all that much. t as good as the original though it didnt add much more to it. better than Psycho remake, but still a rather pointless one. Doesn't that make it a classic?prised to find this still floating around as a thread, as of a few days it qualifies as two years old. Really two years since the 06/06... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Daniel Kelly at 13:43, 01 June 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Deja vu

It wasnt all that bad, i found it to be quite tense and the atmosphere was developed quite well. Had some shocks, but since it is a remake of the original, it doesnt add all that much. its just as good as the original though, shame it didnt add much more to it. better than Psycho remake, but still a rather pointless one. ... More

Posted by kumar at 01:46, 27 May 2008 | Report This Post


Deja vu

Like the Psycho remake, and many others, you have to ask yourself why? I suppose there is something magical for the film-maker to recreate scenes that you loved from classic movies, the same way you used to play Star Wars with the action figures when you were a kid. Fun for you, but damn boring for everyone else. This was the problem here, with this film. It is just a by the books remake, offering nothing new. For those few who didnt see the original, i am sure there is plenty to see, but for ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The Driver at 20:52, 05 November 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Bovril

L: Nevvylivid In 1976, as a young man and a punk, I had a predilection for having Bovril licked off my naked body by my Satan worshipping girlfriend. She had 666 tattooed on her skull and a black tear tattoo permanently oozing like tar from an eye that was rarely seen not painted in back mascara and eyeshadow. In early 1976 she had been a sweet girl, her temperament unencumbered by the harshness and indifference of life in Bexleyheath. But then there was … The Omen. Once she had witnes... More

Posted by Wilbert at 10:27, 04 June 2007 | Report This Post


RE:

I found it to be a very mediocre horror movie. Some scary bits but its realy nothing special. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mrdoom14 at 16:43, 31 May 2007 | Report This Post


RE:

I watced this for the first time the other evening. It is terrible. the acting is so wooden its unbelevaible. Its a very poor second best compared to the Orginal wich is supurbley Chilling. 2 out of 5 and thats beeing nice.   What made the Orginal so much Scareir was the Muscial Score, which was sadley mssing in the remake. ... More

Posted by ScottiE at 10:45, 31 May 2007 | Report This Post


creepy kid

the kid was good. Liev was also equally good, however, why bother remaking a perfectly good and decent film? Waste of time in my opinion. Hollywood- give remakes a rest! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lolathegreat at 10:27, 26 April 2007 | Report This Post


creepy kid

the kid was good. Liev was also equally good, however, why bother remaking a perfectly good and decent film? Waste of time in my opinion. Hollywood- give remakes a rest! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lolathegreat at 10:27, 26 April 2007 | Report This Post


Why bother?

If you're twelve and never seen The Omen then you will enjoy this, but for every one else why not just watch the original? It's much scarier. Waste of time. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Caster at 22:35, 06 March 2007 | Report This Post


A near shot-for-shot remake, with added jolts and jumps, but seriously diminished returns ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 17:33, 04 March 2007 | Report This Post


Cinematography outstanding!

The visual aspect of the film is creep and immense. Bar the faithfulness I have no real bones to pick with the film actaully thought it was pretty darned good. But then again most of you know that already ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Daniel Kelly at 19:35, 05 February 2007 | Report This Post


the remake was ok but the original stands alongside jaws as one of the greatest horror films ever made. If any hollywood halfwit tries to remake jaws! i may have to have them assassinated ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by iconzero at 19:07, 06 December 2006 | Report This Post


The problem with re-makes is all you do really is compare it to the original, and every so often one comes along that betters the original, The Omen however is not one of those. Where to start? First of all Julia Stiles is one of the worst actresses i've ever seen, the bloody dogs out act her. Damien himself is dreadful, he's too much older and is not a bit scary. The disturbing thing with the original Damien is he LOOKED innocent, whereas this Damien seems to know what he's doing and is intenti... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dj vivace at 23:51, 18 October 2006 | Report This Post


The Omen 666

I'm a big fan of the origional Omen but this is boring. When you watch it it is the same as the origional frame by frame, was there any need to remake this? Damien doesn't look sinister and that ruins the film straight away. When I watched it I felt that the only reason they made a remake was so they could relaese the film on 6/6/06, which rakes more money in at the box office because people will probably watch it for that reason. We can only hope we don't have a remake for "The Exorcist&qu... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JACK M14 at 11:57, 26 July 2006 | Report This Post


RE: The Omen

A boring cover version with not one shred of atmosphere or menace - pisses all over the original, and not in a good way - notable seemingly only for one of the ugliest casts outside of a Tod Browning film ( one particular Tod Browning film ), and very obviously made for the sole purpose of releasing it on 06/06/06.  Makes about as much sense as making a film about the emergency services and releasing it on the 9th of September 2009.  Worth watching just to see how ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by repo man at 21:56, 22 July 2006 | Report This Post


I'm giving it 3 stars for the pure snarky-heckling opportunities it presents. I found the whole red-in-contrast-to-everthing-else thing incredibly tedious, that it'd probably be better if they had a plank of wood with "IMAGERY" and "SYMBOLISM" written on it, and bashed the audience over the head with it until they died. It would probably have made it more enjoyable. That said, there wasn't much to hate. Just not much to like either. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hannah_dee at 16:50, 06 July 2006 | Report This Post


RE:

It was alright. I had a few jumps in there, and I thought Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles were pretty good despite the very obvious age difference. She still has puppy fat for God's sake. Pete Postlethwaite, overracting as usual, and David Thewlis' accent seemed to jump between Salford and Chaz and Dave. I was also put off by the fact that they were clearly living in a £6 million house. He's only an ambassador, not the freakin' king.   Liked the kid playing Damien, he nailed that line... More

Posted by doubleshiny at 15:16, 02 July 2006 | Report This Post


Really liked this film. I thought that it updated the original but didnt change it too much. It has its shocks, jumps and gore for the people that like that kinda stuff (i do), but it also has a psychological aspect to it as well. The climax of the film built up really well - good pace - and ended leaving you feel satisfied. all in all one of the better remakes of late. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Superlad at 19:05, 29 June 2006 | Report This Post


Totally Pointless

The film itself was OK, but what was the point? It's biggest problem is Damien himself, every time he turned to the camera I half expected him to spit on it and write POB on the lens! I'd have much rather seen a remastered version of the original on the big screen. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by skeletonjack at 23:12, 28 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE:

i thought the film was ok, but the use of the dogs was a bit extreme and i got a bit sick of them - especially as i have a fear of dogs! The acting was pretty stiff throughout the film, but i suppose it was an easy watch for any audience. I am now going to watch the original to see how it is the same/different to this remake and i have heard that during the making of the original there was lots of spooky "coincidences". I thought the choice of the actor for Damien was a bad one, i don't think h... More

Posted by sarahbee66 at 10:44, 20 June 2006 | Report This Post


666

This is why remakes are made!!! I'm a big fan of the original and felt that a remake would undoubtedly be nowhere near the original, but boy was I wrong!!! I feel that this was no more than an updated version (just to coincide with the commercial time bomb of 06/06/06) but there is nothing wrong with that when the original was almost a perfect genre film. The only gripe I have is with british filmgoers, who think they are clever laughing whenever damien was on screen which stopped any tension wh... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dragonINC at 21:14, 19 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE:

I thought it the best of all the remakes. Actually enjoyed it more than the original and found it was done with great style. The cast were unusually good for thistype of thing ... More

Posted by Daniel Kelly at 14:18, 18 June 2006 | Report This Post


well don't care wat anyone else said i enjoyed it. it rocked along at a fair old rate and the kid did come accross very sinister. only problem not as many jumpy bits as there should b. only twice did it actulally get me ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by plum bob at 12:01, 18 June 2006 | Report This Post


The Best ever Remake

Remakes dont tend to be good but this really was a quality film. The casting was excellent and in Director John Moore we have a stylish director who will soon come to blockbuster kingship. Some sequences were genuinly scary more than The Amityville horror are The hills have eyes remakes can boast. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Daniel Kelly at 22:19, 17 June 2006 | Report This Post


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