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The Omen

  • Film

Time Out says

A disastrously miscast remake of the 1976 horror classic, which retains the apocalyptic themes of David Seltzer’s original script but renders them dull and fright-free. Liev Schreiber, best known as the creepy Cotton Weary in ‘Scream’, gives off entirely the wrong vibe in the US ambassador role to which Gregory Peck brought so much gravitas. As his wife Kathryn, played by Lee Remick in the Richard Donner film, the insipid Julia Stiles is far too young and way out of her depth. Likewise poor Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, who makes no impression at all as their perpetually scowling son Damien. Only David Thewlis, in David Warner’s old role as the press photographer whose snaps seem to presage his own death, survives with his credibility intact.

A shameless ‘Da Vinci Code’-style prologue shows Vatican priests warning the Pope about an impending Armageddon, citing the Book of Revelation and recent disasters: Hurricane Katrina, the Asian tsunami and 9/11. This pre-empts any ambiguity about the devilish nature of the baby, Damien (Davey-Fitzpatrick), which Rome-based diplomat Robert Thorn (Schreiber) switches for the boy his wife lost in childbirth. So when Thorn is unexpectedly appointed US ambassador to Great Britain, and the family move to London, it’s no surprise when the diabolical happenings start. There’s a shocking public suicide, the ominous warnings and bizarre death of Father Brennan (Pete Postlethwaite), and the mysterious appearance of übernanny Mrs Baylock (Mia Farrow) and her fiercely protective ‘devil dog’.

Nuts-and-bolts director John Moore (‘The Flight of the Phoenix’) stages a couple of gruesome set pieces with panache, but the film lacks suspense, atmosphere and any hint of human emotion.

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Written by Nigel Floyd

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Tuesday 6 June 2006
  • Duration:110 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:John Moore
  • Screenwriter:David Seltzer
  • Cast:
    • Liev Schreiber
    • Mia Farrow
    • David Thewlis
    • Pete Postlethwaite
    • Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick
    • Julia Stiles
    • Michael Gambon
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