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February 8th, 2006:
When his wife, Katherine (Julia Stiles), gives birth to a stillborn child, an American ambassador named Robert Thorne has the doctors substitute it for another unwanted newborn. With time, he begins to notice his son’s strange behavior and a personality change in those around him. When many who come into contact with the boy begin to die, Thorne’s suspicions lead to horror. Little does he know that the child he inherited may be the devil incarnate.What to Expect:
The 1976 horror classic, directed by Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies, Lethal Weapon films) and starring the great Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, was basically a slightly cheesier version of The Exorcist, which came out only a few years prior. However, with its haunting musical score and frightening satanic premise, it was still a very effective horror film that eventually spawned three awful sequels. It appears that the remake is another typically unimaginative attempt by Hollywood producers to copy a proven formula instead of creating something original. Needless to say, the results of such experiments are usually profitable, but unsatisfactory in quality. Article continues below
The remake’s director, John Moore, has a history of second-rate movies in his credits. Both of his feature films, Behind Enemy Lines and Flight of the Phoenix, received generally negative reviews and indifferent receptions at the box office. While Behind Enemy Lines at least managed to make some slight impact on audiences, Flight of the Phoenix was an especially forgettable picture. With a run of the mill action director in charge, the producers are already taking the wrong approach toward the remake, which should be built on eerie suspense rather than action. A chilling atmosphere will most likely be sacrificed for constant predictable scares. Furthermore, the inexperienced, first-time screenwriter will probably have few new ideas in store.
Unquestionably, the most promising aspect of the remake is the cast. Liev Schreiber, who most would remember from the Scream series, was able to display his fine acting skills in another remake a couple of years ago, The Manchurian Candidate. With the competent direction of Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia), it was a well-constructed update of the 1962 thriller. Schreiber displayed a high level of confidence as he easily handled his most prominent role to date. I can honestly say that I should not have any problems accepting him in the role of a politician once again. Julia Stiles, who starred in teenybopper films like 10 Things I Hate About You and Down to You early in her career, has matured into more serious roles over the past few years. While she is probably not destined for superstardom, I did like her quiet supporting turns in The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy. The Omen is probably her biggest role to date and could be a decent career boost, despite the film’s apparent flaws. Both of the leads have a certain intelligence and calmness about them that, regrettably, will probably not be utilized in the movie. The biggest star in The Omen may actually be Mia Farrow, who will play the child’s evil nanny. Although in the last 15 years her career has been relatively quiet, she has always been an excellent actress. Her performance as Rosemary in Roman Polanski’s incredibly gripping horror classic Rosemary’s Baby, is a good indication of what she could bring to The Omen. The two films touch upon similar satanic themes, however, this time around, Farrow will be playing a character that’s a total opposite of Rosemary. She could have some fun with the role, providing that the script allows her to.In Conclusion:
The Omen’s stars will probably not be able to save it from poor writing and casual direction. I believe that the remake will lack the necessary suspense and will instead opt for traditional scares. When the producers chose this writer-director team, they pretty much admitted to a lack of interest in the quality of the project. Honestly, I think that the only thing that the remake has going for it is the “ominous” release date (6/6/06). With good marketing, it should still rake in some cash, which was probably the filmmakers’ plan to begin with. I would recommend that you rent the original if you still haven’t seen it. Better yet, see The Exorcist.Similar Titles: The Omen (1976)
, Bless the Child
, Exorcist: The Beginning
, End of Days