Throughout my movie-going life I have fallen asleep during two movies so far. The first came earlier this year with the Fox Searchlight release Night Watch (a movie I still managed to give a C+) and Fox has done it to me yet again as The Omen had me snoozing in the aisles. I jerked awake no fewer than five times during this movie and if you have ever done this you know how embarrassing it is as you look around wondering if anyone noticed. Fortunately my “word of mouth” screening was as empty as second weekend theaters will be for this mess.
For fans of the original flick you had better not even waste your time that is unless you need to reaffirm your position that you could never remake the original and be successful. Personally I am a bit so-so on the original Omen. I don’t think it is all that great and it isn’t all that bad, but compared to this mess it is a freaking masterpiece.
On the outside there is only one thing this film has going for it and that is the casting of Tomas Wooler as Damien at age 2, beyond that the lead characters on this film is as flawed as the script and the director that guided it.
Julia Stiles is enormously miscast as Damien’s “mother”. Julia is 25 years-old and perfectly capable in years of being a believable mother, but she still has that look of a college student and it may still be a few more years before I stop looking at her and seeing Kat Stratford of 10 Things I Hate About You. I am a fan of Julia’s but she was entirely wrong for this movie.
Continuing the casting pain we have Liev Schreiber, another good actor in a role that he was not made to play, although he fits the part a bit more than Julia, just not as her husband. Schreiber and Stiles are about as believable as a couple as would be a lion and a gazelle. It just doesn’t look, sound or come off as a good match.
With the exception that this remake uses current world tragedies as an excuse for an explanation of the coming of the antichrist, including quick looks at the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Hurricane Katrina, oh yeah, and some weird comets falling from the sky, it is a complete carbon copy of the original picture. Minus any kind of suspense or thrills.
Next we have our director, John Moore. Moore has directed such films as Behind Enemy Lines and Flight of the Phoenix, hardly a winning filmography even though I did like Enemy Lines a little bit. However, after previously watching the special features on the Flight of the Phoenix DVD I had decided this guy may be the biggest ass in Hollywood. From what is shown he yells at everyone on his crew and I can only imagine it makes for a highly hostile working environment, no wonder everyone looked so bothered in this movie. He must have some kind of deal over at Fox, because I can’t see any other reason anyone would hire a guy that treats people like that. On top of that, if he thought Julia Stiles and Liev Schreiber made a convincing couple he should also have his eyes checked.
What it comes down to is that this is a bad movie. Is it scary? Not in the least. Is it boring? Most definitely. That is unless you like your horror movies with scenes of the happy couple going and buying the biggest house ever, a house that hardly plays a role in the film. Or how about a misleading trailer? Yeah, that scene where Damien watches from above and eerily says, “Bye, bye.” Not in the movie folks.
If I can plead with you for just a moment, PLEASE DO NOT GO SEE THIS MOVIE! This is the type of trash that is bringing movies down, down, down. I have a hard time understanding how this script got greenlit seeing how it is such a copy of the original. I know a lot of filmmakers like to refer to remakes as a re-imagining of the original, but this one would be better classified as a copy.