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In this chilling remake of The Omen — that is even more terrifying than the original — man's darkest fears are manifested as an unspeakable terror is unleashed on the world! U.S. diplomat Robert Thorn (Liev Schreiber) substitutes an orphan for his own stillborn baby in order to spare his unknowing wife (Julia Stiles). But after a series of grotesque murders and dire warnings, the Thorns come to the horrifying realization that their child is the son of Satan!
For more about The Omen and the The Omen Blu-ray release, see the The Omen Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on June 25, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Julia Stiles, Liev Schreiber, Mia Farrow, David Thewlis, Pete Postlethwaite, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick
Director: John Moore
» See full cast & crew
The Omen Blu-ray Review
Take this movie as an omen to stop making bad movies.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, June 25, 2008
We stand now, on the eve of armageddon.
2006's The Omen (666), a remake of the classic film of the same name that starred the legendary Gregory Peck, is another so-called "horror" movie that relies on anything but genuine tension and fear to scare audiences. Instead, it brings us more of the same generic scares meant to make you jump out of your seat thanks to split-second flashes of something out of the norm, accompanied by obnoxiously loud thuds, screams, or any instantly-loud here-one-moment-and-gone-the-next noises. The best of horror relies on tension, psychological fear, and atmosphere to make your skin crawl while you unwittingly look nervously around you in fear of your life, all the while you are transported squarely into the realm of fear as presented on-screen, coming face-to-face with terror itself. The 2006 remake of The Omen is not the best of horror. It's a worthless movie that proves itself as one of the most pointless remakes, horror or not, in cinema history.
Our story begins in the Vatican. Through the lens of a high-tech telescope, a Vatican astronomer observes a celestial phenomena in the form of comets that scares him right out of his wits. Taking this as the fulfillment of Biblical Prophesy as found in the book of Revelation, the astronomer creates a PowerPoint presentation that ties together some of the biggest disasters since the release of the original The Omen in 1976, including Ishtar, One Missed Call, Meet the Spartans, Gigli, and The Omen (666) as signs of the pending apocalypse. OK, not really, but I could have taken this movie a bit more seriously had it attempted to parody bad movies rather than pretend not to be one. Anyway, the astronomer does convince the leaders of the Catholic Church that these comets represent the final sign of the coming of the unholy one, the devil incarnate, Damien himself (please, don't name your son Damien; it only leads to potential end-of-the-world scenarios and generally bad movies).
That same night, U.S. government official Robert Thorn (Liev Schreiber, The Sum of All Fears) learns that his son has died during childbirth and that his wife Katherine's (Julia Stiles, The Bourne Identity) womb has been damaged, leaving her barren. Unbeknownst to his wife, Robert is talked into taking in another newborn, an orphaned child, as his own, admonished that is wife is never to be told of the dead child and the exchange. Unfortunately, this child will make Junior of Problem Child fame look like an angel since the exchanged child is really...the devil! So as to maneuver his way into power, the devil (Damien) kills the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain at 6:06:06 PM (I'm scared now!). Damien's daddy just so happens to be the ambassador's number two man, and he ascends to his former boss' position. A few years later, Damien is a "very precocious five" when he witnesses the suicide of his nanny ("Damien! It's all for you!") at a party, which leads to the hiring of a new nanny, one we know to be unscrupulous the moment we lay eyes on her. Not only does she say everything Robert and Katherine want to hear, but we're also clued in by the fact that the nanny agency failed to send over her documentation, which she conveniently pulls from her purse. Will this demonic duo rule the day, or will Robert and Katherine, with a little help from Razzie Award nominee David Thewlis, thwart the devil's plans?
I'm simply shocked that the above-referenced Razzie was the only one for which this film was nominated. Other deserving categories are: Worst Picture (although it's hard to argue with the selections nominated, with the possible exception of Lady in the Water), Worst Actress (Julia Stiles, yikes!), and Worst Re-Make or Rip-Off. Most of the cast recite their lines like they were reading them for the first time upon receiving the script and there's very little emotion to these stiff performances. The worst such scene occurs in chapter nine when the characters Katherine Thorn and Mrs. Baylock argue over Damien's preparedness to go to a church. Only Liev Schreiber pulls off an average performance here. Even the child who plays Damien, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick (TV's "The Guiding Light") fails to be creepy in the least, but he is the least of this movie's problems. Almost every scene lifted from the original fails to work here. One stands out as clearly the worst, while another stands out as clearly the best. The "impaling" scene works very well here. For once, the movie is taut, scary, and thrilling all at once. The scene that doesn't work so well is when Damien annoys his mother. In the original, Damien was making the most god-awful, annoying noises you could possibly imagine, driving not only his mother insane, but the audience as well. Here, he's simply playing a game which rings out with the occasional puny yet repetitive sound. The mother may have very well been annoyed by it, but the scene proves to a complete failure nevertheless, especially in the shadow of the power of the scene as played in the original version of the film.
The Omen Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Omen (666) makes its mark on Blu-ray with an above-average 1080p, 1.85:1 transfer. The image looks fairly good in its bright outdoor locales, best demonstrated by those scenes taking place in Jerusalem near the end of the film. The image is crystal-clear and highly detailed, not only in clothing and in faces, but in the surroundings as well, especially the earth-toned colors of the buildings and the ground itself. The goriest scene of the movie is set here, and it is a somewhat disturbing image that shows quite a bit of gruesome detail that can be seen in all its gory glory. Other fine details scattered throughout the film appear equally impressive, notably those seen immediately proceeding the ambassador's death in Italy early in the film. We are privy to the individual bricks on the street, the grime on a tire well, the grooves in the tire itself, and all of it looks as real as if you were sitting a foot away from it in person. Detail in close-ups of faces is also fine, as every line, pit, blemish and strand of facial hair is clearly visible. Much of the color palette seen in The Omen (666) is slightly dulled. Many whites seem to have a slightly gray and blue tint to them, a fact seemingly due to directorial decisions for setting the lighting and mood of the film. Nevertheless, black levels are nearly perfect. Flesh tones appear to be a bit off, and some close-up shots appear soft and lack a defined sharpness. Film grain is retained throughout the picture, and it adds a depth and sense of dread to some scenes, as do some of the deliberately hazy-in-appearance shots scattered throughout the film. The Omen (666) isn't the pinnacle of Blu-ray high definition imagery, but it is solid enough, and one that shouldn't disappoint viewers.
The Omen Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Omen (666) presents listeners with a devilishly good DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. This is a solid, well-rounded soundtrack where dialogue is crisp and natural and the action and atmospherics of the film are let loose and sometimes stretch the limits of your sound system. There are several instances of loud, devastating explosions, each one enough to scatter your pets and leave your ears ringing. There are other pounding moments, such as when a gorilla attempts to escape from a cage in the zoo. Every beat of its hand against the glass causes a rumbling tremor throughout your listening area and its repeated thumps emanate from the subwoofer. Bass rumbles in chapter 12 with a low, tight, powerful effect. Nevertheless, those less-than-exciting moments of the film present listeners with a sometimes flat soundtrack. There isn't much in the way of rear channel presence (save for the blending of the score into the rear) or ambience outside of the louder, more raucous scenes. In chapter 13, a rainstorm (one of my favorite things to listen to in high-definition) offers a nice and complete rear-channel presence, and the thunder in the scene booms and the wind ravages your listening area, as well as the locale on-screen, with effective realism. Add to that some of those generic, "scary" howls, screams, moans, chants, and the like that sound good here but don't really add anything to the movie, and the soundtrack that accompanies The Omen (666) just might be the only reason to watch the movie.
The Omen Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Omen (666) arrives on Blu-ray with a handful of take-'em-or-leave-'em extras. First up is a commentary track with director John Moore, producer Glenn Williamson, and editor Dan Zimmerman. The trio discuss their sole purpose for remaking the movie, the performances of the actors (plenty of back-patting), and a barrage of generic information that even fans will probably consider less-than-pertinent. Abbey Road Sessions (1080p, 10:14) takes a behind-the-scenes look into the making of a film score, in this case composer Marco Beltrami taking us into the writing of the various themes heard throughout The Omen (666). Revelation 666 (1080p, 22:17) is a History Channel wannabe feature that looks into the secrets of the number 666. Next up are two extended scenes: Impaling (1080p, 2:07) and Beheading (1080p, 2:05). Finally, The Devil's Footnotes is a pop-up trivia track that runs for the length of the film, covering topics such as the fear of the number 666, some Biblical history, and the role of the color red in the film.
The Omen Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Omen (666) drags on, and on, and on, and on, a pointless exercise in futility that left me yearning to be watching the original film rather than another Hollywood money-grabbing remake. This isn't even a re-imaging, it's nearly a straight remake where the biggest changes are simple, everyday things, such as updating the setting and the times but keeping the story similar to the original, so similar, in fact, that the entire point in remaking the movie is obviously a scam to reel in audiences who find One Missed Call, The Reaping, and other modern-day horror tripe "scary," and those who never saw the original The Omen (despite what the filmmakers say in their commentary). I hope audiences ignore this film and instead indulge themselves in the classic original, a film vastly superior in every regard to this one. Technically, the disc is sound, with solid video and audio and a handful of extra materials. Watch at your own peril.
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The Omen Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Amazon Blu-ray Deals of the Week: The Omen and Wrong Turn Collect... - October 21, 2012
Amazon's Blu-ray Deals of the Week affect Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment's The Omen Collection as well as the Wrong Turn Collection. Through this week, the two bundles are 70% and 50% off their respective SRPs. These deals expire at 12 AM PST/3 AM EST ...
• Amazon Blu-ray Deal of the Week: The Omen Collection (Expired) - October 9, 2011
Amazon's Blu-ray Deal of Week has The Omen Collection marked down to $19.99. The set, which includes The Omen, Damien: Omen II, Omen III: The Final Conflict and Omen (666) has been discounted 67% off the $59.99 SRP. The deal ends on October 15th.
• Fox Announces The Omen Collection for Blu-ray - June 30, 2008
Fox Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring 'The Omen Collection' to Blu-ray on September 9th. The four disc set will feature the three original Omen films ('The Omen' (1976), 'Damien: Omen II', and 'Omen III: Final Conflict') as well as the 2006 ...
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