The Omen (2006)

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I usually love remakes and 9 times out of 10 I find them a vast improvement over their legacies from years past. The Omen does not fall into that category.

One would think with names like Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles, and Mia Farrow, they couldn't possibly go wrong, but somewhere (read: everywhere) it did.

After The Manchurian Candidate is was easy to see Leiv Schreiber in the role of an understated tormented lead. This time his character does not roll over, but he does sacrifice himself for the good of mankind.

That notwithstanding, his performance was flat and uninspiring. It was as if he didn't even want to make this movie.

Julia Stiles isn't one of my favorite actresses and for me personally this casting choice was a disappointment. Her 2-dimensional portrayal of the clued-in victim did little to elevate her status in my eyes. It too was as if she could not get motivated.

Mia Farrow even disappointed. A veteran of films, and even this genre, she didn't produce the foreboding thrills we experienced with Billie Whitelaw in the role of Mrs. Blaylock.

Even the casting of Damien was an achievement in incompetency. This little actor walked thru the film with about 3 lines and no facial expression whatsoever. Was he awake? Of course, Harvey Stephens is a hard act to follow, but they should have found someone that would try!

With all this indifference from the actors, could one blame the writer? David Seltzer can write amazing films. I enjoyed Dragonfly immensely. However, in this case, he did little actual writing as the script was almost word for word a copy of the original.

The effects were believable but bland. They changed a bit here and there, but again, it didn't scare like the original. The skewered priest and decapitate journalist scenes weren't as advanced as we found 20 years ago. And who decided to have the suicidal nanny hit the side of the building instead of crashing thru a large window? What an anticlimactic moment.

So, I have no choice to lay most of the blame on John Moore. With credits like The Flight of the Phoenix and Behind Enemy Lines I expected more. Perhaps he was out of his element trying to tackle horror/thriller.

All in all, save your money and wait for cable.