This re-make of the 70’s classic is just a pale imitation so if you’ve seen the original there’s no need to catch this one.
A nice American diplomat and his wife discover that they are bringing up a very naughty little boy born at six o’clock in the morning on that ominous date the sixth day of the sixth month. 6 – 6 – 6 is the mark of the devil so be prepared for some hyperactivity.
“Competently made and enjoyably played but you do really end up wondering what the point was.” Empire.
“We’re meant to be terrified of the boy, but he’s so cute you’re more likely to want to read him a bedtime story.” Daily Mirror.
So we’re back in the world of ancient prophecies and spooky priests. First The Da Vinci Code and now the re-make of The Omen, second only to The Exorcist in 1970’s iconic horror classic status.
As you can get the much better original movie in any video shop, there’s very little point in catching the re-make which replaces cracking acting from Gregory Peck and Lee Remick with merely decent performances from Lief Schreiber and Julia Stiles.
It is really just a matter of up-dating the 1970s setting to the 21st. Century. So Damien gets a computer game, Julia Stiles wears some modern frocks and we’re offered gratuitous shots of 9/11 and the Asian Tsunami to bring us up to date with all those end-of-the-world prophecies. Nothing much has changed in thirty years though. Nasty things still happen when there’s a thunderstorm and American diplomats are still pretty slow to realize when things are going wrong.
Director John Moore, not gifted with an eye for the unusual or with much sense of composition, over-relies on crane and tracking shots to the extent that the vague camera movements become a sloppy substitute for rhythm and pace.
True he gives us a few surprises especially if you don’t know that all kids are really little devils and that dogs should be kept outside at all times. It’s just not frightening enough. We get to see more gory details, well a bit more blood, but the new Damien (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick) is just too dinky – nothing like as scary as the original kid in his terrifying little 70’s orange trouser suit.