Friday, June 09, 2006

The Omen

The Patented Constipated Look

The remake of The Omen will mark a triple grand slam of horror movies I watched in a week (which is so rare), with Slither and Silent Hill making up the other two. From one demonic kid in the latter movie, to Damien, one of the earlier demonic kids in cinematic history, this remake, like most remakes, will make you wonder, just what is the point?

Director John Moore (watched his remake of Flight of the Phoenix, and Behind Enemy Lines) has crafted it scene for scene, but of course with the usual updates made in setting and the props department. The story plays on this year's calendar with 6th June 2006 (6.6.06) being extremely attractive for such a film to open, with the triple 6s the number of the devilish beast. And I guess most Singaporeans will still fall for any horror movie hook line and sinker, as many evening screenings on that day, were completely sold out. Mental note to self - horror films should make money here.

As the hokey prophecy goes (hokey because the film forces relatively current events to fit the trumpeting angels of Revelations), the son of Satan will make his appearance of Earth, and spell the end of mankind. Sounds boring, doesn't it, especially since John Constantine already had a field day bitch-slapping Son of Satan back to hell, and showing the devil the middle finger while at it too.

Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles star as the Thorns, parents to Damien, son of Satan, born from a jackal. An ambassador, Robert (Schreiber) makes an illegal pack with a priest (never trust false prophets I tell you), and innocently raises Damien as his own. As our boy grows up, strange happenings start to occur, starting with the happy self-hanging of their nanny. Pete Postlethwaite stars as Father Brennan, who takes it upon himself to warn Robert of dire consequences, and the need to rid Damien soonest possible. But things aren't easy, especially with a new nanny Mrs Baylock (Mia Farrow, in quite chilling a role), being the new surrogate guardian of her hellish master.

Just how terrifying is this remake of The Omen? By today's standards, and given the remake, it is a piece of chicken feed. It's not scary, and the death scenes are so Final Destination-ishly bad, they make the deaths in Final Destination look like instant classics. The body count is not high as well (maybe Damien needs to grow his powers first), and we're only offered 3 "grandeur" deaths in the whole movie. And it's always sad for a horror movie to have to rely on cheap scares to try and frighten the audience. And what more, in dream sequences too, with quick cuts, and loud crescendos.

Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick probably is the child actor with the easiest role to date, and all it requires is of him to act like he's pissed all the time. Not very challenging to stretch his acting chops, but then again, the rest of the cast all had it easy too.

The version shown in local theatres is the edited version, with some noticeable "censored" bits glaringly missing. So if you prefer your gore in its complete glory, then you might reconsider. Then again, you might be better off with the original.

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