June 07, 2006

Review: The Omen (2006)

Movie image
Title:
The Omen
Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

The Omen 2006

The story of the US Ambassador to the UK's son, whose secretive past hides a destiny beyond his parent's comprehension.

Review: (no spoilers) 8.5/10

Firstly, let me say I haven't seen – and therefore am not influenced by – the original 1976 version of this film, although I was familiar with the general plot. So no accusations of this being better/worse, just whether you should go see it or not!

The Omen is a wonderfully gripping progressive film, which unfurls itself slowly to the audience, increasing with tension with such certainty as to be quite unsettling. Indeed, this horror film starts off getting its scares from disturbing scenes but don't be fooled – this film will certainly make you jump when it starts to get going using a mix of classic fast cut–shots and noise, to the downright unexpected. On more than one occasion I definitely saw popcorn flying: you have been warned!
The film cleverly incorporates recent history in its rationale as to why the Church expected an entity like Damien to come, giving it a quite contemporary feel that's just a little too close to the truth: it makes the entire film seem quite plausible and might make even the most devout atheist consider taking up some form of religious faith as it proceeds to exactly correlate with the events of today.

Critique:

This film would definitely be a classic if it were not for the slightly bad casting. To me it felt distinctly B–list and I would be very surprised if the actors in it were the first choices. Julia Stiles (both Bourne films) really didn't have the motherly warmth needed for her role which made it hard for her character to lever any emotional weight over the film. Liev Schreiber acted finely but I just don't think he suited this type of lead role; I find him too type–cast as being an untrustworthy character (Manchurian Candidate, Scream 3) when here the script demands integrity and honour.
It neeed one more audience screening before release, as some of the scenes don't quite work: the line "There's something about Damien" had me in stitches at the possibility of a spin–off comedy spoof film, whilst the very ending is just corny to the point of getting a few giggles. Spot the 'scary' pictures Damien painted in his bedroom, as well as the front–page's hilarious graphic inappropriateness and caption.

Summary:

It's a really fine film, the only reason to not see it is if being made to jump isn't your thing: this film will get you jumping out your seat. And don't be put off by the terrible cinema trailers, they don't even feature in the film.
Go see it, it's certainly the highlight of this year's Cinema season.

Conclusion:

It's almost good enough to be a classic, but I can't give it full points because the casting was just amiss across the board thus with a little deductive marking The Omen 2006 scores 8.5/10.

As always, the Comments board (link just below) eagerly awaits you. Go see the film and come back here, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

The Omen review 2006 film cinema


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