2006 marked yet another year for horror remakes, and that included a remake of 1976's classic The Omen, which starred Gregory Peck. Creepy children, especially creepy devil children, are always quite popular among moviegoers, and so it is a sensible remake - except for the fact that everything that possibly can be done with creepy devil children has been done before, and to better results.
The Omen (also known as The Omen 666) stars Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles and Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick as Damien the devil child. Schreiber, while quite good in everything he does, is no Gregory Peck. Still, he handles the role well and makes for a likable protagonist. Stiles is okay, though I'm still not convinced that she is ever going to break out into serious pictures. I still see her as a teen actress for some reason, and she seems out of place in movies where she is supposed to play someone older. As for Davey-Fitzpatrick (we will just refer to him as Damien the devil child from now on), he isn't anything to scream about. Obviously, this kid in his first big picture was under heavy direction and most of the fault lies on the adults around him who gave him a character who doesn't have much to do. Other than being the son of the Devil, he isn't as creepy as director John Moore intended him to be. Had they given him more dialogue, more character and more stuff to do, he could have had a chance.
Regardless, one doesn't go see these movies for the sake of acting. The movie, unfortunately, is a complete carbon copy of the original, and it appears that little time was put into making this film its own. The original, only 30 years old, still stands up quite well, which begs the question: why, why, why? If you've seen the original, and you probably have if you're interested in movies about devil children, what's the point of watching a glossier scene-by-scene remake that doesn't star Gregory Peck? Moore has done a pretty good job of doing what he can, but you can't have a more predictable film when you've already seen it years before.
There isn't much more to say. Had the screenwriters taken the general outline but done some different things, like making Damien the devil child more of a character and less of a creepy face, the movie would have been worth my while. Instead, there is little new to offer in The Omen 2006 version.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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