The Omen (2006)
What’s This About: Oh Men and Women! Listen to this tale about a boy named Damien who happens to be the anti-christ!
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- I vaguely recall that the coming of the antichrist was foretold with the correspondence of a comet or something in the original but this remake is making damn sure that’s the reason for Damien’s birth.
- You would think cardinals wouldn’t even have to quote the bible to the Pope but always cite your source material I suppose.
- This remake is also tying in catastrophic events like 9/11 as the harbinger of the antichrist. This film was released in 2006 so it totally missed out on the Keeping Up With the Kardashians!
- The original had religion play a small part in the story but not this much and it’s making me uncomfortable.
- So Liev Schreiber is told that his wife gave birth but the baby died in childbirth and his wife doesn’t know. However, this priest at the hospital is proposing that they take another child that the mother died in childbirth. You know the ol’ switcheroo. My mom attempted this when my pet hamster died.
- It’s just one measly orphan, who’s gonna know?!
- I always liked Julia Stiles. Super cute and not a bad actor. Wish she did more stuff. Wish she was in something better than this.
- Damien growing-up-living-a-normal-life montage!
- Julia Stiles is super stoked to be moving to London when Liev is named deputy ambassador to Great Britain. I mean, she’s living in Rome now and she’s more excited for London?
- Make that chief ambassador as his boss just had an untimely Damien-related death.
- Did the original Damien ever speak? I know he pleads with his father at the end when he tries to kill him but I don’t recall one other instance of him talking. Which adds to the creepiness of his character. This one has him being super sweet to his mother. You can’t fake us out movie—we know he’s a super creep!
- The remake kept in the demon hound sent to protect Damien. Almost forgot about that from the original.
- They also redid the “This is all for you!” suicide by the au pair as she hangs herself off the building at his birthday party. Every remake is entitled to a few blatant similarities.
- I used to hate David Thewlis. He’s a far cry from contemporaries Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman and even Jermey Irons but he’s grown on me over the years.
- Pete Postlethwaite. I actually miss him. Great British actor.
- Telling a father that his son’s real mother is a jackal will surely get you escorted out of the building.
- Saying that being a mother is not a job struck a nerve with Julia Stiles.
- The casting of Mia Farrow as the new nanny Mrs. Baylock is nothing short of brilliant. And I shouldn’t have to explain why to you folks.
- They’re not going to explain why she has no British accent though.
- Having weird anomalies on a photograph doesn’t have the same impact in the age of digital photography as it did back in 1976.
- Do ambassadors get this much police protection and escorts? Seems excessive for such a role. I mean, what do ambassadors even do on a daily basis?
- Damien attacks his folks in the car when he realizes he’s headed to a church. This is Damien’s first time being in a church? Wasn’t he baptized?
- And he’s never been sick a day in his short life!
- Mrs. Baylock just takes in the hellhound into the house without telling Mr. & Mrs. Thorn. I believe the same thing happens in the original. I’m not watching something all that new here. Kinda disappointing.
- The zoo scene where Damien makes the animals go all ape-shit with fear. This approach to remaking a movie is veering into Van Zant’s Psycho territory.
- Don’t worry, I’m not going to review Gus Van Zan’t shot-for-shit remake of Psycho. RIP Anne Heche.
- I love how in certain movies, someone will be at a party or a function and someone not even remotely involved in that same party or function will approach the main character and tell them to meet them at another time and place to discuss something and then that person just leaves. Like how did that priest even know that Thorn was going to be at that opera that evening? Was it coincidental that both of them were in attendance?
- So David Thewlis is a photographer and he is starting to notice weird things in his photographs when he took photos of Pete Postlethwaite’s priest. I’m not 100% sure why he’s taking pictures of that priest. Even if he’s Paparazzi that priest is hardly worth taking photos of.
- OK how does Pete Postlethwaite know that Thorn’s wife is pregnant and why would Damien kill that baby? Would Damien be jealous of a sibling that isn’t an anti-christ? Or is the priest implying that the Thorn’s only produce Anti-Christ children and Damien will kill the sibling because he has to be the only one? C’mon, this isn’t the Highlander.
- Let’s see if this remake can top the gruesome death of the priest…
- …not too shabby. Although I think the original was slightly more unnerving. And points off for doing it exactly the same as the original.
- I don’t recall Kate being this distant and suspicious of Damien this early on in the film. In fact I don’t think she ever way in the ’76 version. Just Robert was. I could be wrong though.
- So far the most disturbing thing in this film is Mia Farrow slowly feeding strawberries to Damien in silence.
- Really, they’re recreating the Damien knocking his mom over the railing scene? Can they think of anything new or original here?
- It was done slightly more menacingly though and I think she fell 3 flights instead of 2, but she actually survived that fall which is dumb.
- I guess this remake was made so younger people didn’t have to watch a movie made in the 70s.
- This movie isn’t really doing the whole paranoia between the parents bit very well. Robert Thorn is going through each scene without much care or emotion.
- In both versions, why does this average photographer even give a shit about Thorn, the priest, and Damien? Why is he risking his life and career over this?
- The priest had 666 on his body too? Was this in the original? Because it makes no sense for him to have the mark of the beast on his body, especially when he became a priest.
- The priest’s home looks like something out of John Doe’s apartment in Seven.
- How did they even get in the priest’s apartment?
- Wait, so Damien was born on June 6th 2006 and now these events are 5 years later? Or are the three 6’s June 6th and his time of birth which is 6 am?
- I can see Thorn going back to Rome to get some answers but he brings the photographer too? Not sure if this was how it was in the original but that is weird and lazy.
- The movie is trying hard to tie in biblical prophecies to the coming of the anti-christ and while that makes lot of sense and sounds cool, they are referencing the establishment of the European Union (cir. 1957) and the State of Israel (1948) as the catalyst. When this story was set in 1976 this made more sense. But using events that happened almost a half-century before Damien’s birth is a bit of a stretch. It’s like, The prophecy of the anti-christ is set in motion. Now we just have to wait 49 years until he’s born!
- Why is Emperor Palpatine in this movie?
- If the hellhound and Mrs. Baylock are helping and protecting Damien and they appeared out of nowhere, (well the dog anyway) why isn’t there anything or anyone trying to stop Thorn and the photographer from solving the mystery? Where’s the hound to protect the grave of Damien’s actual mother?
- I get trying to hide or conceal Damien’s “mother” but why bury a jackal in a grave? Why leave something like this to be possibly discovered? Burn that bitch or bury it in a random hole!
- AND also the dead fetus of Thorn’s actual baby which Thorn just discovered was murdered so they can give Thorn Damien? Again, don’t give these crimes a proper burial you idiots.
- I understand the conspiracy to killing the Thorns’ natural baby so they can swap with Damien but did they have to bash the baby’s skull in? It’s a newborn, there’s got to be a more kindly way to kill a newborn. suffocation for instance? I can’t believe I just wrote that!
- Here are the dogs! They must’ve been busy eating some snausages somewhere.
- Mrs. Baylock injects air into Kate’s IV to kill her but also holds her mouth to either suffocate her or to silence her. All things considered a pretty menacing death.
- Now Thorn and his photographer buddy are in Israel! Man, they get around quick! Isn’t Thorn the ambassador to Great Britain and doesn’t he have work to do? And his wife is now dead, shouldn’t he be back there taking care of that? I know the anti-christ is on earth and Armageddon is upon them but still!
- Dumbledore?! Now I’m sure he can help!
- How’d they even find this old guy?!
- Now Thorn is doubting that Damien is the anti-christ and should be killed. Was he not at the cemetery where the jackal and his own son were buried.
- He’s just getting cold feet really. What’s the matter Thorny, you can’t stomach stabbing your son with seven large daggers to kill him?
- NICE! Instead of a plate of glass that decapitated the photographer in the original (one of the best decapitations in cinema history) this one has a hammer fall from a roof onto a metal sign (for lack of a better description) which loosens the top making it swing at the perfect height and time to take off David Thewlis’ noggin’. His headless body then clumsily falls down a small flight of stairs. Well done remake!
- I just realized when I just YouTube’d the clip to include here that there was an alternate cut of the decapitation that was more graphic and gory and now I love it even more! Enjoy kiddies:
- You would think the devil or whomever is making the “accidental” deaths of people helping Thorn would simply down the plane he was just flying in to go back home.
- You would think a better movie would introduce the hidden cellar door earlier in the film before Thorn used it to trap the hellhound.
- I don’t remember if Gregory Peck cut or shaved off Damien’s hair to find the 666 birthmark in the original but it’s kinda ridiculous that Thorn picks a random spot to cut off Damien’s hair with scissors and lo and behold there are the three sixes.
- Damien can’t defend himself for shit. Some Anti-Christ.
- Hahahaha. Thorn just plowed right over Mrs. Baylock with his car at full speed.
- I don’t recall a high speed chase between Thorn and the police as he races to a church. It makes sense, I just don’t remember it.
- You would think taking those very large and ancient daggers on an International flight would be problematic in a post-9/11 world but whatever.
- Hahaha. One cop yells “Stop” at Thorn while he’s holding the dagger and immediately shoots him off screen. No warning shot for the US ambassador!
- Same ending with Damien with the POTUS and he turns toward the camera and smirks.
Final Thoughts: I realize that releasing this remake on June 6th 2006 was a great idea on paper, but the original is one of those bullet-proof horror movies that should never be remade in my opinion. It’s like remaking The Exorcist (or making 2 failed prequels to The Exorcist)! But a few years before this, Psycho was remade to much chagrin so nothing’s sacred. Say, speaking of sacred, this was one of the most boring high stakes horror movies I’ve ever watched. Everyone except Pete Postlethwaite and Mia Farrow phoned it in. And like I said numerous times, nothing new was presented or updated. The deaths were basically the same and the plot was beat for beat the same as the Dick Donner original. If they changed the methods of death for the photographer, priest, nanny etc. then that would be interesting but this was so carbon-copied it left me cold. I’ll just stick to the 1976 version thank you very much.
Score: 4 Evil Strawberries (out of 10)
Which was Better?: No contest—the original.
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