Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

THE OMEN (2006)

THE OMEN (2006). Director: John Moore.

This remake of the 1976 Omen suffers in comparison in large part because the somewhat odd-looking lead actors can't match the original leads (Gregory Peck, Lee Remick), who had more experience and more authority. Liev Schreiber plays a younger Robert Thorne, and his wife Katherine is played by Julia Stiles, who somewhat resembles a cabbage patch doll. As in the original -- this pretty much follows the 1976 movie almost scene for scene, with some differences -- Thorn unknowingly replaces his own murdered baby son with the son of a jackal, the demon spawn of Hell. Mia Farrow [interesting casting!] is not bad as the nasty nanny, Mrs. Baylock, but she isn't nearly as memorable as Billie Whitelaw in the original. The scene with the little devil boy in the zoo falls flat, but the impalement of the priest is well done, and there's a clever variation of the beheading of the photographer. The remake adds another violent death early on, as Thorn replaces the man initially chosen to be ambassador after the latter is parboiled when his car catches fire. Marco Beltrami's music is okay, but doesn't stay in the memory like Jerry Goldsmith's eerie strains for the original. Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick makes an adorable little devil, and David Thewlis and Pete Postlethwaite are effective as, respectively, the aforementioned doomed photographer and priest.

Verdict: See the original. **1/2.

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