The Omen
Director: John Moore (Flight of the Phoenix, Behind Enemy Lines)
Written by: David Seltzer
Producers: John Moore, Glenn Williamson
Starring: Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, Julia Stiles, Liev Schriber, Pete Postlethwaite, Mia Farrow
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 110 min
read my spoiler disclaimer

- If you've never seen the orignal

- You already know what's coming, why bother?

     The day of the beast is upon us, 6.6.06! And the devil is now within our midst; and his son is a little boy named Damien. I saw him in theater number 6, in the 6th row at 6 o'clock! Be prepared for hell on earth. Ok ok; maybe not hell on earth, but definitely hell in the cinema. An almost exact replica of the original Omen fails to scare or even excite me. Probably due to the fact that I knew exactly what was going to happen and when.

      As time goes on, I am realizing more and more how stupid and pointless remakes are. Retellings of various stories still have merit, but why remake an exact copy of a perfectly good movie? It takes most of the fun out of all of it. This time, Julia Stiles and Liev Schreiber tread all over Lee Remick and Gregory Peck's roles as the unknowing foster parents of the antichrist. They go through the exact same motions without the exact same presence. When it comes to Stiles, I am a fan and she was okay, but Schreiber failed to convince me of anything other than that he's an actor wishing he was Mr. Peck. I was more impressed with the better talent that the creators employed for the side roles in this film. Although of little importance, Pete Postlethwaite, Mia Farrow and David Thewlis provide a little extra "oomph" to cover up the cracks that I feel were left in the original.

      The star of the show is of course, Damien; the antichrist himself. Played by relative new-comer, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick. Not bad. He pretty much copied the kid from the original. With almost no dialogue or acting ability, most of his moments were squints of the evil eye and a brief mischievious smile towards the end of the film. In other words, he did his job.

      This film, instead of relying on true creepiness, gives way to lots of "jump out at you" moments which were so predictable, I couldn't beleive my eyes and ears as the theater jumped out of its seat in unison and teenage girls screeched and grabbed for the boyfriend's arm. Dumb (I say that cuz I have no pretty girl grabbing my arm...**sigh**). But seriously, it's not scary, it's just alarming.

      I will give some credit where credit is due. The art director did some interesting things with the lighting and some dream sequences that were genuinely creepy. But these sequences last mere seconds and don't make much sense. Still, it's got some neat ideas in cinematography and overall visual feel. Cold and cramped with the right amount of color sprinkled about when necessary, open and bright at other times. Take special note of how, quite often, Stile's costumes match exceptionally with her surroundings. Coincidence? I think not.

      Lastly, the whole thing is preposterous. If you just go with it, fine. Otherwise, trying to tie in real life events of today (9/11, Katrina, European Union, even the Space Shuttle Colombia disaster; ple-eease) to signify the coming armageddon just made me roll my eyes. Especially if you know anything about biblical prophecy. Some of the quotes I heard by the cardinals and pastors in the movie made me shake my head and groan a little that the scriptwriter thinks I'm naieve enough to believe this crap.

      So as I asked before, why remake a perfectly good movie? I think the answer lies here: people who have never seen the original or even know anything about it, may actually have a good time with this one. Part of my boredom came from the fact that I knew exactly what to expect at every moment. You know who is going to die, when and how. What fun is that? If you've never seen the film before, it might not be so predicatable and can probably even hold some intensity to your white knuckles. Kids can be hell!
(yes, I stole that last line).

Links: - full cast and crew
Official Site