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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
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Good 3 Stars
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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

hmm... (slight spoilers)

I jst saw this last night. I was good for what it was, but really nothing spesh c'mon guys we've seen it all before, the mirror shock was an umbearable cliche for instance. i found Damiens character luaghable, i didnt feel convinced that he was truly evil, yes ok so he pushes his mother off a banester n stuff but it jst didnt do it 4 me. o well i enjoyed the jumps *sigh* ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Tedz at 19:29, 17 June 2006 | Report This Post


hmm... (slight spoilers)

I jst saw this last night. I was good for what it was, but really nothing spesh c'mon guys we've seen it all before, the mirror shock was an umbearable cliche for instance. i found Damiens character luaghable, i didnt feel convinced that he was truly evil, yes ok so he pushes his mother off a banester n stuff but it jst didnt do it 4 me. o well i enjoyed the jumps *sigh* ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Tedz at 19:29, 17 June 2006 | Report This Post


Why, why why why why why!!!!!!!!!!

If ur gonna remake something like this movie, bring it up 2 date..! Alot of things have adapted since this horror last graced every1c video collection (or appeared on telly) chrickey we all take the piss out of that arnie film bout the devil SO WHAT IS THE BLOODY DIFF HEAR!!!! DO WE ACTUALLY BELIEVE THIS KID IS SOOOOOOO TERRIFYING? Ps - u can guess im not v religiouse ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Funk at 01:05, 16 June 2006 | Report This Post


... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Funk at 01:02, 16 June 2006 | Report This Post


close but no cigar

the name damien thorne has certainly permeated the collective consciousness hell even only fools and horses made a reference to it confident we would get the reference. which makes it invetiable that we would we would get a remake in this the year of 6606and it isnt half bad. it had worries that it would be watered down for a summer audience a 12a compromise but no all the famous gory setpieces are there plus some new ones ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by quizkid at 15:26, 15 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: The Omen

SPOILERS!   Isn`t it obvious why The Omen was remade? It isn`t just because this year we have the date 06/06/06 and it`s the perfect release date to launch a new version there are other reasons than just a potentially promising commercial enterprise. It`s 30 years since the orgional came out and there have been some freaky things happening in the world in the last five years or so that you could easily say have been predicted in Revelations. These events needed to be sho... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Cruisecontroller at 14:27, 14 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: ---

Yep, kinda ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Hockeystick at 17:12, 13 June 2006 | Report This Post


"What's the point?" sort of sums this film up. As so many others did, I went to see it on 06.06.06, for the novelty, and that was the most exciting thing about the film. Words like "bland" and "dull" spring to mind. The acting was either half-hearted (Schreiber) or hammy (Postlethwaite -- who, incidentally, went to school with my aunty. Brush with fame, eh?). The new score was crap, completely devoid of atmosphere, and the few "jumpy" moments were overused... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Shaunette_ofthe_Dead at 12:45, 13 June 2006 | Report This Post


just ok

you know if the child you reared turned out to really be the devils spawn I think it might upset you a bit. In this film nobody gets too worked up about anything. This is a story that needs a little drama. All the actors seemed to just be looking at a paycheck. On the other hand the dogs were scary. Even if they switched from one dog to a completely different one at the kids house. A shepard is not a rotweiler. I kinda liked it but it was a little flat. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mrmuki at 23:27, 10 June 2006 | Report This Post


Surpisingly good

Like others have said, I went along to this remake (having seen the original twice before) with a good deal of reservation it would come up to the mark when compared with the 1976 version. I was, however, surprised as to how good it was. Found the pseudo-religious mumbo jumbo at the beginning a little hard to understand or believe, but as the film progressed, I found it quite a thrilling romp. I tried to put the personae of Gregory Peck and Lee Remmick out of my mind as it watched it but coul... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Greynomad at 08:35, 10 June 2006 | Report This Post


Enjoyable Horror

It's not as good as the (5 star) original in most ways but has plenty of redeeming qualities and it much, much better than any recent horror I can think of. First the bad. This movie didn't need the extra gore- it's not that sort of horror. Not as ambiguious as the first movie- Damian is clearly the son of Satan here when in the original there was always the possibility that he was unfortunate enough to be singled out by some lunatics who convinced his father he was evil. There's an extra death ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sindoy at 20:53, 09 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE:

Wasn't the absolute crap it could've been, but it wasn't great either. I think the principal problem with a remake of a film like nt this kind of story isn't...well..scary anymore. The attempts to make it more contemporary, and thus more relavent, were a nice touch, but it did nothing to make the film more eerie. In fact, whilst the film was very atmospheric at times, it lacked any real frights (which I'm sure weren't helped by the audience knowing what was coming most of the time - t... More

Posted by Filmfan 2 at 15:46, 09 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: The Omen

It's just really boring. This film did not need to be remade at all. They really rush through the story. From the moment you see the first nanny until the 'it's all for you, Damien' bit is about 60 seconds. Too many images of satanic figures popping up when they close the mirrored door while brushing their teeth (that old trick). Also, the kid seems to know who he is. That was the great thing about the first one. The kid had no idea and only at the end did you think he was starti... More

Posted by Wilbert at 20:51, 08 June 2006 | Report This Post


The Omen

People are being a little harsh, i feel. Although the similarities between the two films are, at times, uncanny to say the least, i think that it was about time for a remake. The way the Revelation prophecy was linked in to modern day settings was genius (all be it much discussed genius) that the old version couldn't have dealt with - simply because the things needed hadn't happened yet. The shot at the end (one of those similar moments) was worth more and even went so far as to suggest the devi... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Mantha at 13:59, 08 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: WHY,OH WHY?

- dios - Day TUDIO EXEC 1an, with that 6/6/6 date coming up, we really need a gimmick movie to pull in the crowds! EXEC 2ow about a prequel to i]? EXEC 1ood idea, but here's a better one: Let's remake nhe estinationtion! EXEC 2unds like a winner! We can ditch the creepy atmosphere of the original, and instead just ram in a few shots of things JUMPING INTO FRAME accompanied by A VERY LOUD NOISE! And people will simply mistake these cheap tactics are real sca... More

Posted by taz_e at 12:35, 08 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: WHY,OH WHY?

it's just dull, honestly.  one neat scare with the dogs and a couple of decent hammy supporting performances aside, it descends from quite entertaining guff to just being boring when it follows schreiber and thewlis (who has obviously bought a new house recently) around mainland europe in a narrative that appears to have been re-written by dan brown.  julia stiles pulls it out from being rubbish, just because she is julia stiles.  this director seriously needs to put away his sta... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bigbigtom at 10:35, 08 June 2006 | Report This Post


WHY,OH WHY?

Saw the omen on 06.06.06 as you do. If you are going to do a remake, then watch the original, to make sure you know what your up against. Then, do not dismiss what made the original half as successful, i.e. the score....I mean, where was that creepy, Jerry Goldsmith church choir music? After all these remakes, e.g. Texas Chainsaw, Amityville etc, not being a fraction enjoyable as the original, I'm actually worried about the film I've been waitng to see so far this year..Superman Returns. Will... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by harpreet at 09:52, 08 June 2006 | Report This Post


Terrible acting ,even from Liev Schrieber, compromising direction and the story... well the story is exactly the same as the first one. Only the killings were a little different and that first of the scene of the movie(which was supposed to make you feel scared or something). ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by taz_e at 06:46, 08 June 2006 | Report This Post


great remake

Yeah it's not that different but wattcing the original, what really needed to be changed? a great story,great entertainment. I see people's points aboutt this film being pointless but if it gets a new generation of people interested in one of cinemas greatest horrors there's no harm done. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by benfear at 21:27, 07 June 2006 | Report This Post


The Omen

Out of the glut of recent horror remakes ,The Omen comes across as being the most pointless. It's not the worst,but it's hard to see the point of a film which uses a script which is almost the same as the original's and recreates many of the same scenes. Maybe this would not be so bad if some of the recreations were improvements,but apart from a touch more gore in the deaths almost all the bits were done better previously. Some of the original's best scenes,such as the superbly creepy ceme... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 20:37, 07 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: the omen

went see omen last night 6/6/6 a solid enough remake with decent peformances except the boy who was more spoilt brat than scary shit.liked the new beheading scene,. great. but my over riding veiw was why a remke so faithful,might as well have stayed at home and watched the 5 star original instead of the 3 star remake......................... ... More

Posted by andrew peat at 17:55, 07 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: the omen

Very enjoyable and creepy stuff, with a decent cast and some good gore! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DJ Rob C: Mark II! at 17:14, 07 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: the omen

A poor film, the kid who played Damien was terrible. ... More

Posted by lord of the pies at 17:08, 07 June 2006 | Report This Post


the omen

Was excited as original was fab and I liked the idea of David Thwelis/Pete Posilthwaite to bring some class acting to the fore. Unfortunately, Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner et al were far superior. Film too similar but not a patch on the original. PS Damien was about as scary as my Mum (ie not!). ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mcauleyp at 14:47, 07 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: The Omen

]A shot for shit remake. ]  ]It takes a special kind of film to make you feel embarrassed for having gone to see it in the first place.  The Omen (2006) has made a hypocrite out of me since the first whisper of it origins around these parts (when they were orange).  At first I howled like everyone else touch the Omen!” “It was never cheap and nasty to begin with”en…. having to hand back my movie-snob badge and credentials…. the idea kind of grew on me.   You see, fo... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by demoncleaner at 12:18, 07 June 2006 | Report This Post


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