The Omen DVD

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The Omen
Cast: Liev Schreiber
Studio: Fox
Rating: 4/10

CORPORATE LINE: Many believe the prophecy from the Book of Revelation provides a map to a terrifying future…or it presents fragments of history that have come to life in our time. The signs, they claim, are all around us: terrorist attacks, extreme weather… the list goes on.

The passage specifically points to the arrival of the Anti-Christ, who is branded with the numerical sequence “666”: the mark of the Beast. The Anti-Christ will receive his power directly from Satan to establish a counterfeit kingdom on earth, signaling the beginning of Armageddon…

Robert Thorn is unaware of such dark prophecies. Thorn, a senior American diplomat, has other things on his mind. His wife, Katherine, has endured a difficult delivery and she’s as yet unaware their newborn child has died. Devastated by the loss, Thorn’s concern turns to Katherine, who had suffered two previous miscarriages. The news will surely devastate her.

The hospital priest, Father Spiletto, presents Thorn with another child born that night, whose mother died in childbirth. The priest compels Thorn to take the infant boy as his own; Katherine will never know the truth, and their son, which they name Damien, will be raised as their flesh and blood. Katherine embraces the child as her own, blossoming in motherhood; Thorn, it would seem, has made the right choice.

Thorn’s career ascends – he becomes the U.S. ambassador to Great Britain – and the family settles into an estate outside London. But certain events, all seeming to revolve around the now five-year-old Damien, are deeply disturbing: Damien’s nanny hangs herself at the youngster’s birthday party; a strange priest brings dire warnings to Thorn; a children’s trip to the zoo results in a panicked frenzy; Damien becomes hysterical during a drive to church; and blurred movements in a series of photographs portend shocking deaths.

The troubling incidents multiply, pointing to something wrong – terribly wrong – with Damien. Enter Mrs. Baylock, Damien’s new nanny, who seems to have a preordained devotion to the child. Then tragedy strikes closer to home. But only later does Thorn comprehend the truth: Damien is no ordinary child; he is the long-prophesized Anti-Christ. Now, Thorn must make the ultimate sacrifice to prevent the unspeakable terror that awaits the world.

The prophecy is clear, the signs unmistakable: Armageddon is upon us.
On 6 / 6 / 06, the omen is revealed…and our darkest fears are realized.

THE REVIEW: The new trend in Hollywood is the remake and for some reason the ‘70s has become the source for a lot of movies recently. Now, The Omen comes on what is supposed to be on the ominous date; 06/06/06.

The first issue is how close this version of The Omen follows the original. It’s nearly scene for scene and the dialogue is mostly on-point with the 1976 version. The second issue is how weak this version is considering it’s the same movie. It lacks any originality or an air of fear. Even worse, the changes in the 2006 version only make matters worse. You’d think if you were making a remake it should be better because the new era can learn from the mistakes of the original. Some people never learn however. We could make points on the cast—but it’s a waste of time as The Omen is senseless overall.

THE EXTRAS: The commentary by director John Moore, producer Glenn Williamson and Editor Dan Zimmerman seems to be more of a chance for them to discuss why the remake was made. They also find it a good opportunity to discuss what they changed and why they made those changes. They also talk about the special effects and miscellaneous details.

“Revelation 666” – This is an odd history channel style featurette about the devil and his influence on the 21st century.

“Omenisms” – A true behind-the-scenes documentary with the cast and crew.

“Abby Road Sessions” – A short featurette about the making of the score. Seriously, this was not necessary.

The final unrated extended sequences are parts of two scenes that had to be cut down in order to make the R rating. They aren’t dirty—just bloodier. Finally, the unrated alternate ending doesn’t seem to be much different.

FRANKLY: The Omen 2006 tries to throw more blood at the viewer hoping we shriek with horror. The only shrieking will come from those leaving the theater feeling ripped-off after paying $30 for tickets and popcorn.

+ Charlie Craine

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