THE OMEN REMAKE IS AN APOCALYPTIC BORE

The Omen may be the most pointless film remake I've ever seen. It's a ludicrous, badly acted, snail-paced, by the numbers re-filming of the original. Only instead of Lee Remick and Gregory Peck, you get Julia Stiles and "that guy who was in that movie". If you've seen the original, there's absolutely no reason whatsoever to see this remake.

It's awful from the start. Various Catholic bigwigs are in what appears to be the Vatican Situation Room showing the Pope images of events that correspond to prophecy in Revelations. If we're to believe this presentation, the 9/11 attacks, Space Shuttle Colombia explosion, Abu Gharib prison tortures, and Hurricane Katrina are 4 of the events that will precede the birth of the Anti-Christ. This shitty approach sets the shitty tone for the rest of this shitty movie.

The rest of the film is full of cheap-ass scares that are either telegraphed to the point of ridiculousness, or lame "make you jump" startling effects. The latter consist of a scary face accompanied by a loud noise that rattles you. They aren't clever, but are akin to you turning on your car stereo not realizing the volume was preset to full blast.

The script is one of the biggest problems in the film, because it's nearly the same one as the original from 30 years ago.  In fact the whole film seems as if they took the original script and just added a few modern touches to it.  Even the deaths are the same.  A revamp might have at least made this a bit more thrilling to watch. If you're even remotely familiar with the original story, you see every twist coming a mile away. It feels like you're watching the characters plod through a slow motion dream while you wait for the predetermined events to happen.

Liev Shrieiber and Julia Stiles are completely unbelievable as husband and wife in this movie. The 24 year old Stiles is an unconvincing mid-30s mom, and the chemistry between the two is nonexistent. In fact, in a later scene when Liev gets word his wife was killed, he mentions her death so casually to a friend that it produced a laugh from a good chunk of the audience.

This is one of those shitty movies that will make an audience restless and start to heckle it incessantly. Or scream during quiet parts to get cheap laughs.

Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick plays Damien, but with his near wordless brooding performance, he seems more like the retarded son of Sloth than the spawn of Satan. Poor Mia Farrow is wasted in the film. She has a great subtle evil to her character and gives the movie a class that it doesn't otherwise deserve.

Fans of good gore effects might enjoy a revamp of the classic decapitation scene, at least, which you can see coming a mile away, but is at least executed well and got the appropriate gasps and nervous laughter from the crowd.

Ultimately, if Satan's goal is to make us watch crappy movies, then perhaps Armageddon has already begun.

-Robert Berry
rberry@retrocrush.com

 


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