The Omen (2006 film)

The Omen (2006 film)
The Omen

Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Moore
Produced by John Moore
Written by David Seltzer
Starring Liev Schreiber
Julia Stiles
Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick
Mia Farrow
Music by Marco Beltrami
Cinematography Jonathan Sela
Editing by Dan Zimmerman
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) June 6, 2006 (2006-06-06)
Running time 110 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million
Box office $119,498,909

The Omen (also known as The Omen: 666) is a 2006 remake of Richard Donner's The Omen of 1976 and a part of The Omen series. Directed by John Moore and written by David Seltzer, the film stars Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles and Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick. It was released worldwide on June 6, 2006.

Contents

Plot

Robert Thorn (Liev Schreiber), an American diplomat stationed in Italy, is told that his son died soon after birth. To spare the anguish of his still unconscious wife, Katherine (Julia Stiles), Robert accepts the suggestion of the hospital's Catholic priest, Father Spiletto (Giovanni Lombardo Radice) to secretly adopt another newborn whose mother died in childbirth. Robert and Katherine raise the boy as their own and name him Damien.

Robert's career ascends over the course of the next five years. He is named Deputy Ambassador to the United Kingdom, and after the ambassador dies in a bizarre accident, becomes Ambassador and settles into a large estate just outside London. However, disturbing events start to revolve around Damien (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick), the most prominent being his nanny hanging herself at his birthday party, driven to do so by a large black dog.

Soon afterward, Robert is approached by Father Brennan (Pete Postlethwaite), who delivers an eerie warning and seems to know the truth about Damien's birth, at which point Robert has him escorted out. Meanwhile, photographer Keith Jennings (David Thewlis) finds out that several of his photographs contain mysterious signs, later revealed to foreshadow a series of shocking deaths.

A new nanny, Mrs. Baylock (Mia Farrow), is hired and tells Damien that she's been sent to protect him. Tension between Mrs. Baylock and the Thorns rises when the nanny starts to make decisions against their wishes, including bringing a large watchdog (a Rottweiler) without their consent. On the way to the previous nanny's funeral, Damien becomes terrified as they approach the church, attacking Katherine.

That night Katherine experiences a first premonition/nightmare dream about Damien. The following day a field trip to the city zoo ends with primates going wild at the sight of Damien. Katherine suspects that there is something not right about her son. Robert however brushes off her concerns. That night Katherine again experiences a premonition dream and awakes in panic. She goes downstairs and discovers Damien making a sandwich in the middle of the night. She calls to him but he simply walks past her with an ominous stare.

Robert again meets with Father Brennan, who tells him that Damien must die and a man called Bugenhagen, located in Megiddo, can show him how. Enraged, Robert sends him away again. Father Brennan, sensing something evil, with a torrential storm around, attempts to seek shelter in a church, but the door is mysteriously bolted shut. A lightning bolt strikes the church steeple, causing him to be impaled by a large steel rod which falls from the roof of the church.

Upon discovering she is pregnant, Katherine wants to have an abortion, as she is afraid to have another child like Damien. Robert however is against it. Shortly afterward, Katherine is knocked off the landing by Damien riding his scooter, and tumbles over the balcony. He refuses her pleas for help and she falls to the floor, severely injuring herself and also resulting in the loss of the baby. After the bedridden Katherine begs her husband, "Don't let him kill me.", Robert finally accepts that something is amiss with his son.

Fueled by the warnings given to him by Father Brennan and further information from Keith Jennings, Robert and Jennings go in search of Damien's real mother. After meeting a nun in Rome, they discover that the hospital where Damien was born burned down. They then go to a monastery in Subiaco and meet Father Spiletto, now wheelchair ridden and badly disfigured, who tells them where Damien's mother is buried.

They find the grave of Maria Avedici Santoya, Damien's real mother, in the old cemetery of Cerveteri, and find out that it contains the skeleton of a jackal, revealing that Damien cannot be human. In the neighboring tomb, Robert discovers the corpse of a human infant with a cracked skull, revealing that his biological son was murdered at birth. He and Jennings are then attacked by a pack of rottweilers, and barely escape over the fence.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Baylock visits Katherine in the hospital under the pretense of delivering flowers and then murders her – inducing an air embolism by introducing air from an empty syringe into her IV.

After learning of Katherine's death, Robert decides to follow Brennan's advice. He goes to Megiddo and meets Bugenhagen (Michael Gambon), who tells them that Damien is the long-prophesied Antichrist, and that the only way to destroy him is to take him to holy ground and kill him with the seven sacrificial daggers of Megiddo. To prove his claims, Bugenhagen tells Robert to search Damien for the 666 birthmark. Robert at first states his disbelief in any 666 markings, refuses to kill his son and leaves. However, Jennings is determined to go through with the plan, and picks up the daggard. Jennings (after a brief exchange of words with Robert outside) is decapitated by a falling sign. This graphic decapitation causes Robert to change his mind.

After a long pensive flight back, Robert arrives home during a torrential storm. The dog attacks but Robert manages to trap it. Robert then goes upstairs to Damien's room and quietly cuts a large lock of Damien's hair to reveal a 666 birthmark, which he stares at in absolute horror. Mrs. Baylock attacks suddenly, but Robert is able to fight her off. He takes Damien outside to his car. Mrs. Baylock pursues them and Robert kills her by running her over.

Robert drives the Lexus frantically, crashing through his iron gate with law enforcement officers pursuing. He drives to a church to kill Damien on consecrated ground, but as he is about to strike the blow with the sacred dagger, he is killed by an officer of the Diplomatic Protection Group. Scene fades with the crucified Christ statue at the altar looking down.

Robert's funeral – shown in parallel to the death of the Pope – is attended by the President of the United States. After the service is over, the Secret Service informs the President that his car is waiting. The next shot shows the President holding the hand of Damien, both with backs to the camera. The last shot shows Damien slowly turning around, giving the camera a gaze and then a smile.

Cast

Production

Principal photography began on October 3, 2005 at Barrandov Studios in Prague, Czech Republic.

Release and reception

The film was released on June 6, 2006, at 06:06:06 in the morning. This symbolically represents the number 666, the biblical Number of the Beast.

Box office

The film recorded the highest opening Tuesday box office gross in domestic box office history in the United States, by earning more than $12 million. Fox initially stated that the film earned US$ 12,633,666 on its first day, but later Bruce Snyder, Fox's president of distribution, said admitted that they were "having a little fun" by manipulating the figure to contain the number of the beast in the last three digits.[1]

The film ended grossing $119,498,909 worldwide, making it a modest success on a budget of $25 million. It finished as the 59th highest-grossing film of 2006, the 12th highest-grossing R-rated movie of 2006 and the 2nd highest domestic gross of The Omen series when adjusted for inflation. The 1976 original remains the top earner in the series.

Critical response

The film received a mixed set of reviews. The film currently has a rating of 43 out of 100 on Metacritic denoting that overall the film has received mixed feedback or reviews of an average nature.[2] 26% of reviews collected on Rotten Tomatoes were positive.[3]

James Berardinelli commented that "On every level, The Omen isn't just bad filmmaking, it's bad storytelling." and especially criticised the film's similarity to the original film, which he also greatly disliked.[4] Rolling Stone also made the latter point: "Not since Gus Van Sant inexplicably directed a shot-by-shot remake of Hitchcock's Psycho has a thriller been copied with so little point or impact".[5]

Roger Ebert however gave the film "thumbs up" and "three stars" in contrast to his negative review of the original, praising John Moore for letting the strong story unfold itself rather than foregrounding visual effects,[6] while the Washington Post's Stephen Hunter praised the film: "It's handsome in the way it's fast-moving: sleek, well-engineered, full of gooses and honks. Some of the casting seems a little off. Still, it works."[7]

Other critical quotes are as follows:

  • "John Moore's remake – while arguably better than its source – can't help but feel a bit stale." – BBC fim review[citation needed]
  • "This film is for people who've never seen the original, and who are easily scared by mediocre horror films"- Eric. D. Snider[citation needed]
  • "Director John Moore has added some creepy visuals and assembled an unusually strong cast for a horror flick." – New York Post[citation needed]
  • "Competently made, and enjoyably played. But you do really end up wondering what the point was. Cinematic déjà vu is the most likely response." – Empire Magazine[citation needed]

While Seamus Davey-Fitzpatricks performance did win him a Chainsaw award from Fangoria magazine for "Creepiest Kid", David Thewlis had been nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for "Worst Supporting Actor" in 2007.[8]

Home media

The film was released in the US on Region 1 DVD on October 17, 2006.[9] It was released in the UK, on a Region 2 DVD on October 23, 2006.[10] It was released in Australia, on a Region 4 DVD on March 7, 2007.

The film was released on blu-ray on November 14, 2006.

References

  1. ^ "''Omen'' Opens to Tuesday Record". Box Office Mojo. http://boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=2086&p=.htm. Retrieved October 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Omen, The Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/omen. Retrieved August 1, 2009. 
  3. ^ "The Omen (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/omen/. Retrieved August 1, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Reelviews Movie Reviews". Reelviews.net. http://www.reelviews.net/php_review_template.php?identifier=1110. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  5. ^ (Posted: Jun 8, 2006) (June 8, 2006). "Omen : Review". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/7401721/review/10512120/the_omen_2006. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  6. ^ "The Omen :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. June 6, 2006. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060605/REVIEWS/60524002. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Critic Review for The Omen on". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/movies/the-omen,1113085/critic-review.html#reviewNum1. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  8. ^ "The Razzie Awards". Found: 27th Annual Razzie Award Nominees for Worst Supporting Actor. http://www.razzies.com/history/06NomsActo.asp. Retrieved February 11, 2007. 
  9. ^ "product page". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HCO87W. Retrieved October 30, 2010. 
  10. ^ "''Omen'' review". Play.com. April 19, 2009. http://www.play.com/play247.asp?pa=mcpotw&page=title&r=R2&title=1033443&source=9316. Retrieved October 30, 2010. 

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