The Omen (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner07/06/2006

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 110 mins

Despite one or two good moments, the only good thing about this disappointing remake is its release date.

What's it all about?
Another week, another pointless remake, this time of Richard Donner's 1976 horror classic. Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles star as American diplomat Robert Thorn and his wife Katherine, who unwittingly end up raising the spawn of Satan (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick as Damien).

After a series of nasty incidents and a warning by Pete Postlethwaite in full-on babbling foreigner mode, Thorn joins forces with an investigative photographer (David Thewlis) to find out what the hell is going on. Meanwhile, Damien acquires an extremely sinister nanny (Mia Farrow) and attempts to elevate matricide to an art form.

The Bad
The main problem is that the film just isn't scary enough and this is largely down to the performance of Davey-Fitzpatrick as Damien, who's more spoiled brat than Son of Satan and basically just needs a good slap. He's not the Antichrist, he's just a very naughty boy.

Julia Stiles does her best but Schreiber never really gets to grips with the part, remaining oddly distanced from the whole thing. The scenery-chewing competition between Postlethwaite and Michael Gambon is mildly amusing, but the supporting honours are stolen by Mia Farrow, whose Satanic nanny provides both the scariest and funniest moments of the film.

The Worst
Clearly, the lure of the 6/6/06 release date was irresistible to the Hollywood suits, but they really needn't have bothered. In fact, as with Poseidon, they probably should have just re-released the original film, because the only attempt to update the material is a sequence at the beginning with footage of 9/11 and the tsunami being used to prove that the apocalypse is nigh, or something.

Worth seeing?
Ultimately, The Omen is both poorly directed and badly acted and Moore ensuring that there's plenty of red in every scene isn't enough to make it scary. Rent the original instead.

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Content updated: 24/10/2017 08:36

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