2 StarsI entered the world of The Omen with a clean slate as a viewer having never seen the original or its many follow-ups. Of course I was familiar with the name Damien and its relation to a demonic child, but I had no idea that political and presidential aspirations were in the future for the spawn of Satan. The idea that the devil would infiltrate politics to disrupt the world is intriguing and a brilliant modernization to centuries old rhetoric. Too bad the script only hints at these deeper levels and instead focuses on a rather mundane story.
Liev Schreiber is in good forum as the politician that decides to keep more than government secrets from his pregnant wife, Katherine (Julia Stiles). On the eve of his first child’s birth, senator Robert Thorn (Liev Schreiber) is approached by a priest and told that his child has died in delivery. Instead of breaking this horrific news to his sedated wife, Thorn accepts an orphaned newborn in his deceased child’s place. Turns out the couple unwittingly beginning rearing the son of Satan in this chilling and muted horror film. The diabolical plot is implausible, but there are a few jump moments to maintain tension and interest throughout.
As the film progresses into its second act, it unfortunately turns into a mystery procedural. Following Senator Thorn and a photographer (David Thewlis) through the process of tracking down the priest who convinced Thorn that Damien was his child. Director John Moore has chosen to drape the film in a perpetually overcast haze, creating a quiet and errie atmosphere that hangs over the film along with its dark color palette. There are plenty of creepy images and a surprising death at the midway point. The cast preforms well, and John Moore’s direction is slick, but there isn’t much here for the uninitiated to get worked up about.
Director: John Moore
Stars: Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles, David Thewlis