Tracking on The Omen (20th Century Fox, 6.6.06) is expected to uptick this week (as all films do the closer you get to their opening day), but it wasn’t looking very good a week and a half ago. What are the gut attitudes among HE readers? We’ve all seen the trailer and developed a sense of it. Are devil movies over or…? Is there any intrigue in John Moore trying to re-jigger the Richard Donner original (which seems to have been more or less the plan)? How comfortable is everyone with Liev Schreiber playing Gregory Peck, and Julia Styles as Lee Remick? I for one am looking forward to Mia Farrow playing Damian’s nanny-nurturer-enabler…her first villain role, I believe. The more replies, the better.

37 thoughts on “

  1. Wayne on said:

    I saw the trailer, and it seems like a big fat pile of “meh” to me. Waiting on reviews for this one.

  2. In a post-Rosemary’s Baby universe, Mia Farrow + horror is always a good thing in my book. I haven’t seen any of John Moore’s films, but he seems to be perceived (by Armond White and a few of my friends, anyway) as an above average studio hack. Also, I don’t think Schreiber is playing Peck or Styles is playing Remick, they’re just playing characters that perform similar plot functions. To be fair, I this movie should be considered on its terms and not dismissed for not being faithful enough to the original. That makes for a better remake, doesn’t it? A new and distinct film. That said, I still have no desire to see this…and I’m a total sucker for horror films.

  3. What can be said without actually seeing the movie. First off, it’s like the Poseiden flick, all you can really do is improve on the effects. Liev is a gifted actor but he is not Peck heck he isn’t even Holden who was in the 1st sequel. It’s not that he is younger per-se but the other two actors bring more gravatis to the occasion.
    As for Styles vrs. Remick or Lee Grant? Fine by me. That character isn’t all that important except for emotional reasons.
    Mia Farrow… now that is inspired casting.
    From the trailer it looks like they first off filmed the same script but updated the lingo and second they have upped the ante with flashes of Devil imagery.
    But why? I understand the marketing dept. at Fox going: “The Date, Look At The Date… When will we ever have a chance likie that again to release a movie about the Antichrist/Devil than 06/06/06. I can undertand it. I even don’t blame them.
    That said though… I wished they could have come up with a new and original tale to tell. Last really interesting Studio take on the Devil and Antichrist that was compelling and original was The Devil’s Advocate.
    So Jeffrey in answer to the question Are Devil movies over? I really don’t think any story/plot/genre is ever over if it is approached with a fresh/original story and done well to boot.
    But if you keep making any movie by formula then yes a genre would be killed if it’s pipeline is filled with ‘been there-seen that’ syndrome.
    Keep it fresh filmmakers!
    Of course this is just my opinion…

  4. College dude friends have remarked “they’re remaking The Omen? Fuck yes.” It’s summer and anything other than the tentpole flicks will attract some sort of audience, especially with the gimmick opening date.
    18-24′s are always ready to drop some cash on the new scary movie, particularly if it feels like they’re part of some sort of “happening”.

  5. well, the film was press-screened here (GR) today, and I have to say –this coming from s’one who hasn’t seen the original for over a decade because he was scarred when he first saw it– the remake is scarring as hell too. the scary parts are all still scary (if not scarier), the imagery has the balls to be disturbing and haunting, and the stuff in between is ok as well. and given that it’s a shot-by-shot remake for the most part, the art directon and the costume department that did most of the modernizing, did a pretty good job at not turning anything too fancifull and distracting from the plot.

  6. Saw the trailer again on the weekend. I don’t mind Liev Schreiber as one of the leads, but Julia Stiles looks all of 15 years old in the movie — an older sister to satan boy, as opposed to his mother.

  7. Agree with DJF. I have no problem with Liev Schreiber, but Julia Stiles can still pass for a late teen.
    ALso, this preview showed in front of X3 for me, and everyone laughed at the 6.6.06 release date.

  8. I don’t get the date-dissing. Granted it’s a marketing trick and an all too obvious one, but that doesn’t mean the movie is crap. Or at least, un-entertaining crap.
    And Stiles, though the weakest link in the movie, she doesn’t have that big a part in it anyway.

  9. Doesn’t do anything for me, but I haven’t seen the original, either. Though it looks like they’re trying to re-invent the film to appeal to the Left Behind crowd.

  10. Granted, the release date had to make the marketing folks salivate, but I wonder if there isn’t also a push for the devout, evangelical christians behind the whole “the signs are all around you” tag line. It seems to me that studios are trying like hell to tap into this market after The Passion, and here they have the chance to get not just horror fans and teenagers, but maybe some of the red-staters who think the signs really are all around them.
    Stiles could go either way, but Schreiber’s last big studio pic was The Manchurian Candidate, which was a modest success and proves that audiences take him seriously as a political figure, no matter his age. And it’s always nice to see a good character actor get the chance to carry a big studio release (the great Tony Shalhoub in 13 Ghosts, Geoffrey Rush in House on Haunted Hill, and I actually enjoyed Ryan Reynolds in the Amityville remake… of course, none of those movies were very good. Now that’s an omen.)

  11. My first thought was ‘why?’, then I remembered,these people have absolutely no new ideas. I might be interested if a name director with a different take on the subject matter was on board, otherwise whats the point. There’s good material to work with, y ou could have satan grow up, rise to power and become president, start a ‘pre-emptive’ war, bankrupt the economy, shred the constitution and create torture centers around the world, the whole time using christianity as a bulwark against reason. Oh wait…too close to home.

  12. The trailer for The Omen got some big laughs at the screening of X-3 that I attended yesterday, but not as many laughs as the goofy trailer for Ghost Rider got.

  13. This is the trailer that threw me into a huge fit of remake rage, just screaming “WHY?” at the top of my lungs. I don’t mind if someone’s bringing something new to the table, but this looks to be nearly a shot-by-shot remake. When you watch the original today, it holds up well. Schreiber and Stiles are such stars that they make you want to remake rather than just re-release? I think not.
    Toss it in the dust bin with Van Sant’s PSYCHO.

  14. I can’t say the remake or the casting generates any must see enthusiasm on my part. If the reviews are flat out raves I’ll change my mind but that’s the only thing that would. Frankly I’m baffled as to why anyone would think The Omen deserved a remake in the first place. The original was an old fashioned B grade shlocker made palatable through slick production values & a fine cast. Popular enough in its day but hardly the kind of material that screams out ‘Remake me for the 21st century!’

  15. I think when it goes to the dollar houses after a week, we will be amazed that we discussed how it would do for TWO weeks.

  16. Of all the recent remakes of major ’70s horror flicks that have come down the pike recently, this one upsets me the least – I watched the original again recently and honestly, it doesn’t hold up that well. It’s got some good moments, yes, but there’s no subtlety to it. It all feels rather artless and heavy-handed.
    That being said, the trailers for this make it look like a virtual shot-for-shot remake. There may be a director out there who could bring something really great to this material, but I seriously doubt that John Moore is the guy.

  17. I can’t believe with all the talk of casting, no one is talking about the kid. The kid in the original absolutely personified the scheming adult in a child’s body — on sight. This kid (based solely on a trailer that I’ve seen)has to try and doesn’t quite pull it off which means to me that this movie wouldn’t creep me out, I think I’ll just find it silly.

  18. I don’t get the date-dissing. Granted it’s a marketing trick and an all too obvious one, but that doesn’t mean the movie is crap. Or at least, un-entertaining crap.

    And Stiles, though the weakest link in the movie, she doesn’t have that big a part in it anyway.

  19. If you’re gonna remake a classic, you’re doing yourself a favor by casting Liev Shreiber and Julia Stiles. They’re among the better actors of their age range, Shreiber in particular. I’d be less inclined to see it if they weren’t in the leads. They’re clearly smart people and capable of good work. My only question centers around whether it has the balls to be really vicious as in the original. Hard to judge from the trailer, but that shot of Stiles hanging by her fingertips in horror as Damien waves bye-bye is a nice touch (even if they appear to spoil whether she survives). Oh, and Mia Farrow as a villain is genius, agreed. Just wish she had more than a quick two-second shot in the trailer.

  20. Duck of Death: If an AICN test screening is correct, they used 9/11 imagery in the film, and it didn’t go down well with the audience.

  21. I hope this movie goes down in flames. I read the script…it’s a beat by beat, lazy replication of the original script. The studio would have made more money refurbishing and re-releasing the original ala The Exorcist.

  22. You’d have to PAY me to see this stink bomb! No
    Thank You! (Not even for a rental or free on a
    movie channel!)

  23. i could see this making $60 – $75 million. I think it’ll do pretty well. I would say it has a better chance of being a sleeper hit than being a total bomb. the trailer was pretty scary. i’m not particularly excited for it but i bet people will go.

  24. In most supernatural horror films, the protagonist is always very quick to figure out and accept that there is something spooky going on, while the only people who keep insisting that there is a rational explanation for it are usually stuffy, buffoonish authority figures.
    What made the original Omen work so well was that it was Atticus Finch himself, who gradually, unwillingly was forced into believing that his son was the Antichrist and that he had to do something about it. Gregory Peck brought the full measure of his maturity and dignity and on-screen persona to the role, which made audiences sympathetic to his dilemma.
    Liev Schreiber brings no such weight to the role. After all, this is Cotton Weary we are talking about. I can imagine him starting to sharpen the knives the second anyone starts saying anything bad about Damian. Add to that the fact that the young actor playing Damian in this film has been directed to positively reek with evil in every single shot in the trailer, and the net result is a movie with absolutely no subtlety whatsoever. After all, this movie was made by John Moore, who turned Robert Aldrich’s Flight of the Phoenix into a Dennis Quaid workout video.
    What I expect to see is a movie in which the gore and Satanic imagery have been upped considerably, with the usual rapidfire editing and cheap gotcha moments employed to elicit an occasional gasp from the audience. Mia Farrow, David Thewlis and Pete Postlethwaite are solid choices in the supporting roles, but Schreiber is completely wrong as Robert Thorn.
    The original Omen was not a classic, but it was a solid piece of filmmaking and one of the last examples of a successful, deliberately paced film which relied on atmosphere and mounting tension to generate horror. Less than two years later, Halloween came out and changed the way that directors and teenage audiences view horror movies. This version of the Omen is just the umpteenth version of the same thing.

  25. Add to that the fact that the young actor playing Damian in this film has been directed to positively reek with evil in every single shot in the trailer, and the net result is a movie with absolutely no subtlety whatsoever.
    Am I the only one who thinks the kid is supposed to look like a young Hitler? Maybe they’re remaking more than one late 70s Gregory Peck picture here….

  26. How is The Break-Up tracking by now? A few days again it was allegely “finished” so how is the anticipation, also considering it got slammed hard by some influential critics (Variety, Hollywood Reporter).

  27. I have actually seen the film. Schrieber is good, rock solid. Farrow is the best thing about it. It’s schlockier than the first, but in a fun way. Very OTT. Enjoyable. Not as good as the recent Hills Have Eyes (less balls) but nonetheless a good deal of fun. Perhaps though, it should have deviated a little more significantly from the original as much of the first 30 mins plays like a Van Sant-like rerun.

  28. I’ve seen the trailer twice in theaters, and the overall audience reaction was tepid. No one I know is talking about seeing it. (By contrast, people were talking about X Men weeks ago, and have been talking about the Pirates sequel since the trailer was available on line). It looks well made. I like Liev Schrieber. But I think horror is playing younger these days. If it’s not an over the top slasher or a remake of a Japanese movie (even a poor remake), the interest just isn’t there. I think this movie would have had a better shot in 1999 when all the millenium hysteria was in the air. Or even pre-9/11. Now? The reaction is “Eh.”

  29. Do people actually talk about seeing movies when they’re watching the trailer in the theater? Did they turn to each other and say “Hey, I’m deffinitely into this” when the X3 trailer was on? I may be on another side of the planet here, but when the trailers come on, people are usually still looking for their seat, or trying to get the coke they spilt, off their shirts. I go to the theater a lot, but never, not once, have I heard anyone saying to the guy next to him, wether they’d go see the movie or not.

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