Director: Richard Donner
In Rome on the 6th hour of the 6th day of the 6th month a child is born to Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck – To Kill A Mocking bird, Cape Fear), an American diplomat and his wife, Katherine (Lee Remick – Anatomy of a Murder, The Long, Hot Summer). Unfortunately the child is stillborn. Another child is born at the same time and his mother dies in childbirth. Due to his despair coupled with the insistence of a priest Thorn agrees to take the male child and raise it as his own. Robert does not tell Katherine and she thinks the baby is hers. They name the child Damien (Harvey Stephens – The Omen – 2006).
Five years later the Thorns are living in London where Robert has been named ambassador. Damien is a loved and spoiled child. On the occasion of his 5th birthday a tragedy occurs where his nanny (Holly Palance – Under Fire, The Best of Times) hangs herself. The Thorns hire Mrs. Baylock (Billie Whitelaw – Quills, The Krays) to be Damien's new nanny. Many weird accidents start happening around Damien, which start to worry Robert. A priest (Tommy Duggan – Superman II, The Final Conflict) tries to warn Robert about Damien, but he won't believe him. A photographer, Keith Jennings (David Warner – Scream 2, Titanic) who has been investigating Robert Thorn soon helps him realize that what is happening is part of an ancient prophecy. Something evil has come into the Thorns lives. Robert Thorn has to accept what is happening and do something about it before the son of Satan succeed in his attempt to take over the world.
It is the 30th anniversary of the film and the DVD release has been timed to coincide with the updated version of the film. This film was one of the better horror films to come out in the 1970s. It is good because it frightens through the method of 'what could be' rather than simple blood and gore. The imagination is always much more scary. Director Richard Donner (16 Blocks, Lethal Weapon 3) is skilled enough to make a film where what you imagine about what is going to happen is what scares you. He is excellent at creating tension and having the viewer wonder about what will happen next. The creepiness of the film is accentuated by the gray tone of the cinematography and the excellent musical score (which won an Oscar for Jerry Goldsmith). It also lends to the credibility/believability of the story to have a respected actor such as Gregory Peck in the film. He is excellent and believable in his role. Just like most horror films there are points in the story where you will have to suspend belief, but this is typical in films of this type. There is nothing that is so outrageous that it ruins the film, so don't overanalyze. This film is probably second only to "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Exorcist" in terms of evil/devil/religious overtones horror films.
Damien: Omen II
Director: Don Taylor
It is now seven years from the ending of the first film and Damien (Jonathan Scott-Taylor – Bugsy Malone) is living with his wealthy aunt (Lee Grant- Mulholland Drive, The Swarm) and uncle (William Holden – The Towering Inferno, Network). He is going to military school and is not really aware of who he truly is but definitely has a dark side. Before long, Damien realizes his powers and makes plans to take his rightful place. His first step will be to take over his uncle's business.
The Omen III: The Final Conflict
Director: Graham Baker
Damien (Sam Neill – from television's The Tudors) is now an adult and running Thorne Industries. He has also just been named as ambassador to Great Britain. However, the prophecy of the son of God coming to wage battle against The Beast might get in the way of his plans as it predicts that the son of God will win the battle. Obviously Damien is going to do his best to try and change the outcome.
The Omen – 2006
Director: John Moore
Sometimes you just wonder what they were thinking in regards to certain remakes. "The Omen" was a successful movie when it was first released in 1976 and was remade in 2006. The odd part is that they used the exact same screenplay as the original. Nothing was changed or updated. It sorta strikes me as pointless to make the same movie twice. All that being said, this film is certainly faithful to the original and overall is not a bad film. For those who have not seen the original it is still as creepy and smart a film as the 1976 version. What they have done to this version in order to make it appealing to young viewers is cast Julia Stiles and Liev Shreiber in the lead roles and they do adequate jobs. The weak link in the cast, unfortunately, is Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, who is no way near as creepy as the original Damien. What has changed or improved in the film are the graphics. This allows the director to go further with the gory scenes and there is an especially impressive death visually for one of the characters. The 2006 version of The Omen is a decent film that if you don't have too many expectations will end up entertaining you. On the DVD version there are some never-before-seen unrated scenes that have been tacked on. Director John Moore (Behind Enemy Lines, Flight of the Phoenix) uses this as an opportunity to include some of his more gory scenes.
U.S. diplomat Robert Thorn (Liev Shreiber – Kate and Leopold, Hamlet) swaps his stillborn baby for the son of a woman who dies during childbirth with no known relatives. Thorn is thinking of his wife, Katherine (Julia Stiles – Save the Last Dance, O), who is somewhat unstable. Thorns is transferred to England as the U.S. ambassador and soon after strange things begin to occur. First the nanny commits suicide at Damien's (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick – has appeared in episodes of Sex and the City and Law and Order: Criminal Intent) 6th birthday party then Katherine begins to think that Damien hates her. To make matters worse a Roman Catholic priest, Father Brennan (Pete Postlthewaite – In the Name of the Father, The Constant Gardener), surfaces and tries to convince Thorn that Damien is the spawn of the Devil. At first, Thorn ignores him as you would a crazy person, but then freelance photographer David Jennings (David Thewlis – Basic Instinct 2, The New World) also tells Thorn that something is not right with Damien. The new nanny (Mia Farrow – Rosemary's Baby, Hannah and her Sisters) also is quite protective of Damien and strange. Thorn feels as though he is going mad. He does not know what to do and cannot turn to Katherine without telling her about the baby swap. Thorn and Jennings begin an investigation to try and uncover the truth.
-Bonus-View Trivia Track
-Interview with Director Richard Donner
-Introduction by Richard Donner
-666: the Omen Revealed
-The Omen Legacy
-Curse or Coincidence
-Wes Craven Appreciation
-The Score with Jerry Goldsmith