The Omen

on June 25, 1976 by Tim Cogshell
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Since 1976's "The Omen" is considered an iconic classic of the sub-genre of horror movies known as Films of the Apocalypse (including "Rosemary's Baby," "The Seventh Sign" and "Prophecy"), its remake bears a particular responsibility -- namely, to be necessary. "The Omen" 2006 is not necessary. This is true for any number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the original "Omen" is, in hindsight, a silly movie taken entirely too seriously by a superstitious and unsophisticated mid-'70s moviegoing public still hyped up from Linda Blair's head-spinning in "The Exorcist" some two years earlier. This fact renders the current incarnation of this tale of the Devil's spawn, born to the halls of American political power, all the more moot.

What it also isn't is scary. It does not chill the soul and give pause for contemplation of the many prophecies of the Book of Revelations. Indeed, Damien (mostly played by young Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick) seems more autistic than demonic, while the moments of devilish mayhem are belabored: fiendish and brutal, yet dull and numbing.

The plot points here rarely deviate from the original, making predictability another of the film's downfalls. Actors Liev Schreiber ("The Manchurian Candidate") and Julia Stiles ("The Bourne Supremacy") stand in for Gregory Peck and Lee Remick; while they are both plainly incorrect for their respective assignments, the material does not suggest different casting would have mattered. No, the central problem is that the film, for all its gothic iconography and moody lighting, is a silly bore. Global warming is scarier. Try watching the newly released documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" and sleeping through the night. Starring Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles, Semus Davey-Fitzpatrick, David Thewlis and Michael Gambon. Directed by John Moore. Written by David Seltzer. Produced by John Moore and Glenn Williamson. A Fox release. Horror. Rated R for disturbing violent content, graphic images and some language. Running time: 111 min

Tags: Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles, Semus Davey-Fitzpatrick, David Thewlis and Michael Gambon. Directed by John Moore. Written by David Seltzer. Produced by John Moore and Glenn Williamson. A Fox release. Horror
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