Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Omen : 666

 It is somewhat ironic that this 2006 re-make of The Omen played here on NZ telly just a few hours ago. Why? Well it seems as if the whole of northern hemisphere bloggers are all agog over Halloween!! And why do I find this amusing? Well many in the north of our planet do not realise that Halloween isn't celebrated way down here in the likes of NZ, Oz, South Africa etc. It isn't part of our heritage like it is up top.

 This is unusual considering these countries have a strong colonial past with the U.K. You'd think the first settlers down under would have brought Halloween with them and continued it. But no, Halloween isn't part of our social calender!!!! But with it just around the corner, and being aware of it, I suppose NZ telly had to play something, even in quiet acknowledgment. So from the myriad of horrors to choose from we were offered up this 2006 re-make of the 1976 Gregory Peck original.

 Well as many of you be know this was released on 6.6.06 to coincide with the Bible's number of the beast!! Believe it or not I saw one of the first screenings of it in the world! NZ is after all the first country to see the sun of the new day! My, this post is getting factual isn't it?! But anyway my local mainstream theatre had a one off 6.6.06 screening. I still have the ticket butt! Suffice to say early tickets sales sold out within hours in anticipation of this rare and momentous date/occasion!

 Pity though for all the hype, fun of the date, and tie in of the film, it turned out to be such a poor film. Even as re-makes goes it was poor. The original wasn't exactly a masterpiece even though now a semi-classic. Fortunately this 2006 version hasn't followed in the footsteps of the original and made two awful sequels!

 As far as horrors go the original Omen has dated considerably and would be hard pressed to produce any scares these days. Even in its day it wasn't an overly scary film. But the idea of Damien being the son of the devil was intriguing, and used before such as in the classic Rosemary's Baby. Admittedly it has been quite a number of years since I have seen the original. But as I watched its un-necessary, and inferior, re-make most of it came back to me. I like the premise and the story of the original, and it has its place in the horror genre. But its re-make should be consigned to the dust bin of cinematic history.

 As a re-make it couldn't even find a shred of originality. I mean the deaths of those who fathom out who Damien is are all but carbon copies of the original. And even as an updated horror film it produced the big fat zero in the fright stakes. Seriously, come on, if you are going to re-make a film isn't the idea to re-interpret, or at least freshen it up a bit? There is such scope with The Omen to have made a really scary, creepy, chilling, horror film. But alas, it was not to be, and all we got was this sad lame excuse of a so called horror flick.

 So in short the script was total rubbish. With so much scope to play with how could the mark have been missed so badly? It may be a re-make of a 1970's film with the world having moved on to the point of de-sensitivity in regards to what we see on screen, but this even felt like a 1970's film itself! It just had absolutely no updated feel to it all. Whilst not quite a scene for scene re-make like the dreadful Psycho attempt of several years ago it might as well have been. It is totally devoid of impact and is an ultimately pointless exercise.
 The cast? Well in such a dud they all felt like cardboard cut outs. Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick as Damien has no chill factor and looks no more than a spoilt kid who needs to put across your knee and have his arse tanned. Liev Schreiber is totally blank and going through the motions ( I read at the time he had a big on set sulk ). Gregory Peck he isn't!! At least Peck in a somewhat ordinary role from him looked as if he was trying. But Mia Farrow was actually quite reasonable as Damien's nanny. I laughed at this all too obvious, dumb, cheesy nod to Rosemary's Baby. Unfortunately it sort of sums up the whole film.

 Not surprisingly with the gimmick of its release date it broke box office records for a single day in the US. But it quickly fell off and it only made 4 times it US$25 million back worldwide. The original is still the highest earner of the series...and still by far the best film! Funnily enough it was the 12th highest grossing R rated film worldwide in 2006. But either way it under performed and it is not hard to figure out why. It is just poor. On release critics gave it generally negative to middling reviews, with most commenting on it being too similar to the original. ( which is my main criticism as well ). IMDB has this with a 5.4/10 rating. I'd be hard pressed to give it a 3/10. I can't actually believe I wasted my time and watched it!!!

 In a word mediocre. No.........CRAP.


  1. I actually enjoy all all your factoids myself, so keep them coming man!

    Mia Farrow was the best thing in a pointless film, this is almost as bad as the Psycho remake....

  2. "the 12th highest grossing R rated film worldwide in 2006"

    ^ quite the achievement isn't it!

    I remember seeing this in the cinema when it was released although the only thing I can remember about it was that the child actor was creepy and Julia Styles is the blandest actress in Hollywood!

    Happy Halloween :-)

  3. Thanks Daniel!At least I aren't boring anyone! Yep This was utterly, utterly pointless and as poor a film as it is possible to see. I really couldn't find any redeeming features about it. is an acheivenment considering what utter crap it is! Just such a great story with so much scope to work within and it was nothing but an almost scene for scene re-shoot.
    Happy Halloween? Hahahaha I don't even know what date it is on!!

  4. I don't understand why New Zealand is starting to celebrate Halloween like it's a holiday worth celebrating. I just don't get it. Dressing up like gimps and going round door to door asking for lollies seems lame. Last year I had two young children come to my door asking for lollies. All I could offer were bite-sized Snickers bars but this isn't the point. I was appalled that they were wandering around the neighbourhood without a parent. It's dangerous, man.

    As for THE OMEN remake, well yeah. Why bother? I went to boarding school in Palmerston North and the prefects were infamous for hiring shite DVDs on the weekends. I remember seeing it when it was a new release on DVD. It was depressing. I saw bits of it on Four last night but wasn't really interested in subjecting myself to it for a second time so I put on a DVD of my own.

    In general I avoid watching films on TV because the NZ channels are notorious for butchering them with ads. Especially Prime.

  5. I'm with you there all the way!! Halloween is nothing to do with NZ. I think what is happening is places like The Warehouse etc are trying to make money out of it by selling costumes etc. It does piss me off because it just isn't a Kiwi thing at all let alone a southern hempisphere tradition.

    The Omen was garbage no question. I felt embarrassed that I watched it again knowing how poor it was! TV in NZ is chronic for butchering films with ads. I watched Bond film The Man With the Golden Gun on Saturday night and honestly it was near on 2 2/4 hours long with the ads included. It finished at 2.30 on Sunday morning!!

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