Director: John Moore
Writer: David Seltzer
Starring: Julia Stiles, Live Schreiber, Mia Farrow, David Thewlis, Pete Postlethwaite, Michael Gambon, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick
The remake of The Omen was released on the 6th June 2006, which was a date that was too tempting to miss. The original film is an all time classic, that still stands up today. The remake, on the other hand, is soulless and not really needed. It’s not a bad film, but it just doesn’t match up to the original in any way.
The story is identical, with lots of the scenes and dialogue playing out in exactly the same way. The biggest difference is that some of the deaths have been strangely altered and the finale feels a lot more rushed. If you haven’t seen the original in a while, watching this does feel like a shot for shot remake. That’s the film’s biggest issue. Why bother remaking something if you’re not going to do anything new with it? The sequels to the original proved that there were other stories you could tell with the same premise, and it could have gone off in other directions.
Changing the deaths is a strange choice. One of the most iconic moments of the original is altered into something that feels like it’s from a parody. It’s groan inducing as you see it coming and can’t believe that they changed it in such a stupid way. Likewise, when the nanny, played here by Mia Farrow, starts to defend Damian, it’s laughable. She screams constantly and her death is changed from being stabbed to being hit by a car and goes flying off screen. It completely undercuts the tension and is such a bad sequence it’s laughable.
If you’ve seen the original then you’ll spend a lot of the film thinking to yourself, ‘oh, this is when that’s going to happen, but it was better in the original one’. There’s an authenticity to the original, which has only gotten better with age, that makes it feel genuinely scary. The remake feels like a greatest hits tour, with the iconic moments being the main attraction.
That’s not to say it has no merit. The cast are all fabulous. Just looking at the cast list alone, you know there’s going to be some good performances. Julia Styles is great as Katherine Thorn, Live Schreiber does a surprisingly fantastic job as Robert Thorn, even when compared to Gregory Peck from the original. David Thewlis is captivating as the photographer Keith Jennings. The effects are more than decent, and probably the biggest improvement over the original.
If you’ve never seen the original, then the 2006 remake will probably sit better. It’s essentially the same, it’s just the original is a better made film. The remake just doesn’t recapture the same creepy charm and ultimately it feels pointless.
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