The remake of David Seltzer’s 1976 screenplay, The Omen, purposely and appropriately made its debut on June 6, 2006 (06/06/06). Was it brimming with evil that could only be brought by the devil himself? Well, sort of.
The cast of well-known stars, such as Julia Stiles, Mia Farrow, and Liev Schreiber, seemed to add credibility and strength to the horror flick that opened with Robert Thorn (Schreiber) making a very tough call. Should he lie to his wife, Katherine (Stiles) about the baby she supposedly lost during birth and take another in its place, a child who does not have a family?
The relationship between Damien’s parents, Katherine and Robert Thorn, was underdeveloped and lacked the impression of a deep, loving relationship. This made it difficult to believe Robert really had Kate’s best interest in mind at the start of the film.
There were several gruesome scenes, although not as many as one would expect. Perhaps in this case the director was going for quality, not quantity. The settings of the film were spectacular, such as the large, and almost ironical, church-like home in which Damien lived.
The movie was directed by John Moore, who updated and revised parts to fit the era. One difference was the age of the characters. In the original film, Katherine and Robert were middle-aged and financially stable. Robert had a distinguished career. In Moore’s remake, the couple is much younger, which leaves the audience with the impression that Katherine and Robert have recently started their careers and life together.
The performances in this film were impressive. Stiles had poise and grace with bouts of fear and, at times, insanity. Despite her gripping performance, Stiles appearance was distracting. She was too young to be Damien’s mother. Schreiber, however, fit his role well. He played a strong dignitary who was starting his political career. The performance of the devil child, Damien, played by Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick in his feature film debut, was limited to facial expressions. His lack of speaking lines, however, does not diminish the young actor’s talent. His piercing blue eyes were haunting and powerful, and his gaze was intense.
Another memorable performance was the part of Damien’s nanny, Mrs. Baylock, (Mia Farrow). Sent by the devil as a protector of the Antichrist, Baylock was willing to fight evil, even if it meant her death. Farrow played this part with ease. She was believable as a sweet, nurturing woman and a psycho apostate from hell, often performing both roles at the same time.
The film’s music score was subtle, yet powerful. Horror films often consist of overbearing music in scenes of intensity and shock that are ruined by overtly ominous music. The Omen chose the least obtrusive music that was also disturbing.
The Omen was a decent foundation for the first movie in an anthology of four. The film was a good setup for hopefully more to come.
Brittany Douziech can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.