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Thursday, February 10, 2011

My review of The Omen (2006)

Daniel 8:23-25 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.

And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.

And through his policy also he shall cause craft (fraud, deceit, treachery) to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand."

Daniel 7:20-21 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

Daniel 7:24-27 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Acting/Characters: First off, they butchered the character of Damien. Damien is supposed to look creepy and he is supposed to have the air of the son of the devil. However, in this film he just looks like he's sick and perpetually about to throw up. Not really creepy. So they can't really have a good movie if the central character is crap. Leiv Schreiber I enjoyed slightly as Robert Thorn. The chick who played Mrs. Thorn was okay too. HOWEVER, the one casting choice that I must pat the director on the back for is Mia Farrow as Mrs. Baylock. Given her past in Rosemary's baby, I liked seeing her in this. Was she as creepy or evil as the original Mrs. Baylock? Not even close. The original Mrs. baylock seemed like a happy normal person but there was still something incredibly unsettling about her. Mia Farrow Just seemed totally happy with flashes of evil and really nuts at the end. But they could have done a lot worse. One thing I highly disliked is how there were four or five instances where a character starts to cry (each time with good reason I must admit) The character gets the 'cry face' on, half sobs two or three times, pulls it together and that's the end of that. 3.5/10

Plot: In the very beginning, the Vatican is positive that the comet they have seen is a sign of the end times approaching. However, I quote Matthew 24:36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." So the theology is a bit off there. Other than that it was a carbon copy of the original plot. They tweaked one or two things here and there but there wasn't a scene in the film that wasn't in the original. That's one thing I don't get, why remake a film that is 95% exactly like the original? Why not just stick with the original? I will say that there were two moments that made me jump so bravo there. But the plot was overall pretty weak particularly with the changes that they made to it. Not the worst I've seen though. 3.5/10

Screenplay: Here we go, this is where the film really loses points. In the original, Mrs. Baylock says to Damien "have no fear little one, I am here to protect thee" Much more unsettling than what they changed it to which was "Don't worry I'm here to protect you." LAME LAME LAME LAME LAME!!! If your going to remake it at least keep in the cool lines. They butchered the screenplay. Absolutely butchered it. 1.5/10

Likableness: It had its moments to be sure, but they were pretty rare. It took a lot of the creepiness that was so prevalent in the original out of the remake. What's the point? I imagine they were trying to make it scarier for a modern audience, but they just utterly failed. The best parts were Mia Farrow as Mrs. Baylock. But we didn't see her too much. It would probably be semi-entertaining for those who haven't seen, or know nothing about, the original. As I have seen it, I feel that this one is incredibly weak. Plus, some of the special effects used in the movie (most prominently the mother falling) I thought were incredibly poorly done. Plus, where the heck is Avi Santini? If you're going to have an Omen movie, you have to have the Avi Santini music somewhere. 2/10

Final Score: 10.5/40 26% (huh, the exact Tomatometer score) (S)

TRIVIA TIME: 1. The remake is seen largely as a result of two things. Fox wanted to bring a remake of the film to the Japanese market as "creepy kids" seem to be big box-office there, but when John Moore came on board he suggested redoing the story for the world and not just the Asian market. Also, the fact that the date June 6, 2006 was approaching surely must have sparked some interest in doing a remake.

2. The teaser in which Seamus (Damien) is seen slowly rocking on the swing dressed in red was the Seamus's screen test for the role.

3. The role of Katherine Thorn was originally offered to Rachel Weisz who declined because she was pregnant at the time. Other actresses considered for the part were Laura Linney, Hope Davis and Alicia Witt, before Julia Stiles who finally got the part. Stiles and Mia Farrow were both in a play together, and Stiles suggested to director John Moore that they use Farrow for the role of Mrs. Blaylock (Damien's nurse). Initially Moore didn't think that Farrow would accept the role, but Stiles convinced him she would. Eventually he just rang up Farrow at her home and offered her the part.

4. Harvey Stephens, who portrayed Damien in The Omen, appears in this remake as the tabloid reporter who asks Robert Thorn if the deceased nanny "was on drugs".

5. During filming, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick was never told that his character was supposed to be the son of the Devil; co-star Julia Stiles has commented that it was because the filmmakers thought "he was too young to understand it, but he was really obedient when John asked him for the Damien face."

6. The day after they filmed the scene where Robert cuts his son's hair to reveal the birthmark, the entire scene was completely destroyed.

Mia Farrow with the kid who spends the whole movie trying to look evil but really looks like he's going to puke
Yeah, right here. This is their really scary jump moment scene. Right here. This is supposed to be the scariest moment in the film, and they use it in the trailer.


  1. This was too mediocre for me. Check out my review on RT.

  2. The remake takes place in an alternative reality - in which the original "Omen" series has never been shot - otherwise the Thorns would realise someone's shot a film about THEM.

  3. Omenism

    1) About the remake of „The Omen” taking place in an alternative reality.

    „The Omen 666” (the 2006 remake of 1976 „The Omen”) takes place in an alternative reality - in which the original „Omen” and its sequels have never been shot. Otherwise the Thorn family would notice that someone has shot a film about them ( inserting into a remake a scene of the family watching the original film together, and suddenly realising this fact would make the remake some sort of a parody). The events in the remake take place between 2006 and the break of 2011 and 2012. The comet which announces Damien’s birth shows in the sky in 2006, after the WTC destruction, Columbia disaster and the tsunami (and those other catastrophic events mentioned in the beginning). The pope in the remake is a virtual pope who’s neither John Paul II nor Benedict XVI. The scene looking like the Pope’s death can’t be showing John Paul’s death - Damien as born on 6.06.2006 was conceived in 2005 in September - 7 months after John Paul’s death; besides, the same pope who’s shown dying when Damien is between 5 and 6 is receiving the news of the comet showing up on the day of Damien’s birth - and the Pope receives the news after the events that had taken place in the years between 2001 and 2004. Damien apparently turns 5 in 2011, his foster father’s funeral may be taking place in 2012 (the weather hints either later autumn or earlier spring - it’s not clearly stated, if the events from Damien’s 5th birthday to the funeral were compressed in about 4 months, or stretched into 9 or 10 months). The world-known events, such as the war between Georgia and Russia in 2008, Smolensk catastrophe in 2010, Breivik’s attack on Utoya in 2011, the revolutions in Arabic countries, Osama’s death, or even the Jokela school shooting in 2007 aren’t mentioned at all - it could be assumed the Thorns had too much on their hands to notice and care for them, but it may be also another sign of the remake’s events taking place in an alternative reality ( I know - the real reason is the film was shot in 2006 - but anyway, it turned out to happen in an alternative reality).

    2) About the original 1976 film and the 2006 remake having each a different atmosphere.

    The original film and the remake have each a different atmosphere. The original film has the atmosphere of a filmed theatre rather than of a regular and typical film - most of the scenes in it make an impression of a theatre scene with only a few actors on it - even the scene of the car ride to church - though it is supposed to be a ride through the city, there are no broad views of the city, no scenes with many extras - just the scene of the inside of the car, with the few key actors in it. Practically all the action focuses on the Thorn family - there are very few references to the outside world, and they are very vague; it can’t be even told precisely which times the film takes place in (everything looks a tad old-fashioned even as for the times the film was shot in) - so it was easy to shift Damien’s year of birth in each successive sequel - the only hint was more precise - it had to be after the World WAR II (when the state Israel had been created). The remake, on the other hand, has the atmosphere of a regular, typical film - there are many scenes with extras and many broader views - in the scene of the church ride we can see the outside of the car, with the outrides escorting it on their motorbikes, we have a view of the city streets. There are many references to the outside world, and those references are clear enough to state precisely the year of Damien’s birth - the only matter is, it all is going on in an alternative reality.

  4. Omenism - continued

    3) How the sequels of the remake (remakes of the original sequels) should be made, if it’s to be done.

    The remake of the first part of the „Omen” series is quite a close remake - not quite a re-imageing. That will be the right way of remaking the second part - with its being rather a close and only a little bit updated remake, and not an entire re-imageing or sequel-of-a-remake. Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick can be cast as Damien - if he agrees. It should be shot between the end of 2012 and the middle of 2013; the Seamus will be 7 years older in the second part than he was in the first ( just as Damien is supposed to be) and between ages 13 and 14 (what is close to the age 12, which is Damien’s age in the second part - even closer, than Jonathan Scott-Taylor was between the ages 15 and 16). The second part would be released in the midst of 2013 then - but its action would be taking place on the break of 2018 and 2019. The third part, if it’s to be made, should be shot several years after the second - as it is an ill-advised idea to wait another 20 or 21 years to adjust to the timeline of the remake series. Since the date of Damien’s birth is precisely stated in the remake series (unlike in the original series) the third part must be taking place in the future - somewhere between 2036 and 2039 (when Damien is supposed to be between 30 and 33). One option is casting some adult actor looking similar to Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick as Damien (someone looking as similar as Jeremy Cooper - the one who was cast as Seth Dove in „Reflecting Skin” - as a child he looked almost like Seamus in the 2006 remake). The other idea is getting Seamus’ face digitally aged (using the same technic the police use, when the searching for someone who’s disappeared as a child, and is supposed to be adult when still not found), and then, using the right computer technic, putting it on some adult actor’s body (the adult actor giving his voice and posture, Seamus giving his digitally-aged face; the face could be also a bit altered, so as to look more daemonic). If the third part is shot a few years after the second, then Seamus will be in his mid- or late teens - then his face will have its nearly-adult looks, so ageing it to the early-30s looks won’t be too hard. As the third part must be taking place in a rather distant future (due to the date of Damien’s birth being clearly stated - unlike in the original series, where it could be shifted), it can’t be an actual remake of the original third part - it has to be rather a re-imageing or a sequel-of-a-remake style film, with only several key points of the original third part retained. It has to be patently futuristic, and have the atmosphere of „Gattaca”, „Equilibrium”, „Judge Dredd” or „Artificial Intelligence” . It should also revert to the symbolic and filmed-theatre-like style of the original series - the references to the outside world have to be very few, and very vague; or, it can be placed straight-out in an alternative reality (as, in fact, it takes place in an alternative reality anyway). The third part can even be tinged with „Matrix”-like atmosphere (or the atmosphere like Gabriele Salvatores’ „Nirvana”); some scientists say in the 2030s/2040s the computational power of the computers will be so great, they will start to influence the outside reality - especially, if graphene supplants silicon for good; adding those „Matrix”-like tinges to the Armageddon-and-Antichrist plot of the series will give it an additional twist. No remaking of the fourth part! The original fourth part was, by itself, something added to the original trilogy by force!

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