US (dir. John Moore)
Cast: Julia Stiles, Liev Schreiber, Mia Farrow, David Thewlis, Pete Postlethwaite, Michael Gambon , Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick
Synopsis: The prophecy from the Book of Revelation provides a map to a terrifying future. The passage specifically points to the arrival of the Anti-Christ and the beginning of Armageddon. Robert Thorn, a senior American diplomat, has other things on his mind. His wife, Katherine, who had suffered two previous miscarriages, has endured yet another unsuccessful delivery, but she’s unaware their newborn child has died. The hospital priest, Father Spiletto, presents Thorn with another child born that night, whose mother died in childbirth. The priest compels Thorn to take the infant boy as his own. Katherine will never know the truth. Katherine embraces the child as her own, blossoming in motherhood. Thorn’s career ascends. He becomes the U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, and the family settles into an estate outside London. But certain disturbing events seem to revolve around the now five-year-old Damien. The boy’s nanny hangs herself at his birthday party; a strange priest brings dire warnings to Thorn; a childrens trip to the zoo results in a panicked frenzy; Damien becomes hysterical during a drive to church; and blurred movements in a series of photographs portend shocking deaths. Then tragedy strikes closer to home. It’s apparent that Damien is the long-prophesized Anti-Christ. Now, Thorn must make the ultimate sacrifice to prevent the unspeakable terror that awaits the world.
Review: Special Features Review (September 2010)
Oh, what a treat “The Omen” DVD was! An absolutely excellent, well put-together DVD featuring almost everything you could hope for in terms of special features. It almost makes you wish every DVD was this comprehensive. The DVD boasts a commentary with the film’s director, John Moore, editor, Dan Zimmerman, and producer, Glenn Williamson, that is at the very least, a fantastically informative track that explores virtually every scene of the film in as much detail as the three men involved in the picture can recollect. There are extended scenes and an extended ending, a featurette about recording the film’s score, a behind-the-scenes featurette (“Revelation: 666”) that pretty much doubles as an actual documentary about the film’s production, and a 30 minute documentary entitled “Omenisms” that deals with the whole 666 concept and the potential arrival of the “Antichrist” as predicted in Revelations.
These were, hands down, the best DVD features I’ve seen during this month. The commentary was so marvelously thorough, with virtually every aspect of what you see on-screen discussed and nearly every tidbit about the difficult filming process (made all the more difficult due to a tight deadline) revealed. The best anecdotes proved to be the all out creepy shit that went down during filming, similar to the tribulations infamously encountered during the filming of the original “The Omen”. The behind-the-scenes featurette I watched immediately after the commentary track further documented the filming process in a highly detailed manner, leaving virtually no major incident undocumented. This was truly one of the best behind-the-scenes look at a filming process I’ve ever seen.
For those interested in the musical score and its production, the “Abbey Road Recording Sessions” featurette is definitely right up your alley, presenting another thorough behind the scenes look that is this time aimed at the music production. Though a tad boring, the development of the haunting musical score is definitely worth checking out. The extended scenes and extended ending, however, aren’t really worth your while, merely providing different angles for certain scenes or just lengthening them. Nothing new or revelatory to see there, unfortunately.
The “Omenisms” documentary, a look at the symbolism of “666” and its biblical and historical relevancy is a little cheesy to be honest. I mean, they interview a man who was born on June 6th, 1966 and make his life story, including the time he fell off his motorcycle, seem like a sure sign he is the Antichrist. Further interviews with “conspiracy hobbyists” that possess no credible academic qualifications and the lead singer of a death metal band, Matt “The Lord” Zane (… yeah), are also added in order to provide insight on the “666” history and its relevancy to Catholicism and Christianity, is pretty laughable but some of the insight provided by actual religious scholars is pretty interesting and makes for a great little companion piece to the film, especially for those unfamiliar with the relevance of “666”.
Sadly missing from the extra features is some sort of connective feature that discusses the transfer from the original film to the remake. Perhaps even some background on the making of the original (i.e. interviews with cast and crew) could have really made this DVD package go above and beyond. All in all though, a great DVD package for a great horror movie remake!