All five Omen films are included in this chilling box set,
featuring The Omen, Damian: Omen II, Omen III: The Final
Conflict, Omen IV: The Awakening and The Omen (2006)...
Omen (1976). Directed by Richard Donner:
to Britain Robert Thorn takes on the responsibility of bringing
up another child after he is told that his own new-born is
dead. A series of strange events and bizarre so-called "accidents"
culminate in Robert being warned by a rather eccentric priest
that his child, Damien, is the antichrist. Finally, Robert
is forced to accept the truth, but killing a small child with
knives (holy or otherwise) is not an easy matter for an honest
It's no exaggeration to say that this is a horror classic
which should stand proud among other "grandfathers" of the
genre such as The Exorcist, Psycho, and Halloween.
Strong performances from Gregory Peck, Lee Remick and Patrick
Troughton aid it further, and the set pieces are so meticulously
choreographed that they remain in the mind long after the
event (and for the best of reasons; there's no gore for gore's
sake here) without overshadowing the characters and events.
The picture has been lovingly restored. It's a real joy to
re-experience the thrill of what was a groundbreaking movie.
I had almost forgotten about the baboon enclosure scene, and
even the 2006 remake chose to avoid copying the immortal decapitation
by a sheet of glass, with the backwards rolling head. Even
after thirty years this original and best version of The
Omen has lost none of its power. The script is tight and
plays out like a thriller rather than a horror, thereby lending
it more credibility with mainstream audiences. And there really
are thrills; the set-piece "accidents" are great and were
all done for real (no CGI), but nowadays it's the earnest
performances which win-over as the film's main strength. A
Features on the film disc include 2 commentaries; Jerry
Goldsmith on the Score (and what a great score it is);
Curse or Coincidence featurette, and Original Theatrical
Trailer. On the second disc of the Special Edition
we have an Introduction by Richard Donner; The Omen
Revealed (a great 46 minute documentary which reveals
a myriad fascinating facts and stories about the filming,
including the unexpectedly detailed English production design);
The Omen Legacy Part 1; a Deleted/Extended Scene
with the dog attack (this contains a commentary by Richard
Donner and Brian Helgeland; Screenwriter's Notebook;
an Appreciation: Wes Craven on The Omen; and a Stills
Gallery. So, more extras than you can shake a holy knife
at, and everyone involved comes across as shining with enthusiasm.
II - Damien (1978). Directed by Don Taylor:
Damien is being raised by his foster father's brother, Richard
Thorn. He is in a military academy and struggling to come
to terms with his burgeoning powers. Paintings have been discovered
dating back to the thirteenth century, depicting visions of
the antichrist, and in particular Damien's face. As Damien
learns the truth about himself, a crow emissary begins to
eliminate possible threats to his rise to power. T
music in this sequel is over-dramatic when very little is
happening (which is most of the time). The writers apparently
wanted to start the second film with Damien already secure
in the White House, but the powers-that-be were determined
to show his teen development.
does Damien not know his destiny until halfway through the
film (and even then he has to be told), when in the first
film he was six when his "father" tried to kill him, and would
have remembered the incident and the media fuss. Also, he
rails at the world when he finds out, but accepts this major
upheaval far too quickly and easily.
acting in this one seems a little stilted in places, but is
helped by the presence of some big names, such as William
Holden, Lee Grant, Robert Foxworth, Elizabeth Shepherd and
Lance Henriksen. The finished product might have been improved
by Richard Donner, who was unavailable due to filming Superman
features are a commentary by Producer Harvey Bernhard; The
Omen Legacy Part 2 documentary; The Omen 2006 - Life
After Film School.
III - The Final Conflict (1981). Directed by Graham Baker.
Damien has been head of Thorn Industries for seven years,
but he discovers from an obscure Egyptian Biblical text that
the new Messiah, the Second Coming, will be born in England
(where else?!) and do battle with the Beast. Arranging an
"accident" for the current US ambassador to Great Britain,
Damien secures the post and travels to England to be in the
right place at the right time. An order of monks comes into
possession of the seven holy knives (the only weapons which
can kill the anti-Christ) and set out to rid the world of
evil, but the threatened Damien orders the deaths of all newborns
in the prophecised location.
Neill is convincing here as the 33 year old Damien. James
Mason suggested the relatively unknown Neill for the part,
but the studio was not prepared to pay for his flight from
New Zealand for the screen test, so Mason felt obliged to
offer it himself. Needless to say, he got his money back.
second sequel has a much better plot, as the characters actually
seem to have direction, whereas in the second film they simply
went through the motions. One point of interest: in the original
Omen the holy knives are supposed to be employed in a cross
pattern in the torso of Damien, whereas at the conclusion
of this one a single blade in the back kills the adult Damien.
This would have acted well as a first sequel. Special Features
are a Commentary by Graham Baker; The Omen Legacy Part 3 (which
is more film clips than information);The Omen 2006 - Making
IV - The Awakening (1991). Directed by Jorge Montesi/Dominique
Karen and Gene York adopt a baby from a convent, but after
a series of incidents Karen realises there's something not
quite right about their daughter Delia. Using a private investigator,
Karen attempts to trace the girl's real parents, but when
she falls pregnant, against the odds, her moment of bliss
turns to terror.
dear, now we're getting silly. The only genuine, fleshed-out
character in this third sequel is the private detective, and
even he gets wrecked (watch the sequence) as if the concept
of his premature death is inevitable. The reasoning behind
Karen's suspicions is pretty tenuous, so here's The Omen
IV's guide to recognising the antichrist in your child:
The baby screams at its Christening.
The child gets in trouble at school.
3. Somebody at a Psychic Circus says the child has a negative
4. Some people the child has met later have heart attacks.
what I mean? After reading this guide half the parents in
Britain will be quaking in their boots and attempting to stab
their children with holy knives! One continuity question:
Why does Karen only notice the 666 on her baby's hand at the
has become common, if not standard, in horror films the ending
leaves the way open for another sequel (God forbid!). Instead,
we get a remake...
Omen (2006).Directed by John Moore. See The Omen
above for synopsis:
remake has its faults (see my more detailed separate
review of this film), but it's not as bad as it
might have been, considering it follows the 1976 classic which
still looks good today. Once you get over the obvious question
of "Why?", you'll enjoy a moderately good film that copies
the original format for the most part. There are a few exceptions
when John Moore attempts to stamp his own authority on the
new version and bring it up to date with recent events, but
these efforts are going to be pretty much overlooked by modern
audiences. If you're new to The Omen franchise you'll
enjoy this, because all performances are strong, but watching
the original film in this set you'll almost certainly revert
back to the question "Why?"
answer becomes obvious when you consider that the four older
films in this Pentology (that's not a word, is it?
Pentagram Box Set would have been my title) have been
remastered to be appreciated anew, and that there are more
extras than you can shake a holy knife at - particularly on
the original disc.
features on this one include a commentary by John Moore, Glen
Williamson and Dan Zimmerman; Omenisms - The Making of
666; Abbey Road (music) featurette; Revelations
666 featurette (exploring the legend of the Beast); Extended
Scenes and Alternate Ending, as well as Trailers.
is the ideal outlet for these films which, after all do deserve
to be packaged and appreciated together. At the time of writing
I can't comment on the packaging itself because I haven't
seen it, having only received Check discs (boo!), but as for
the films.. Aside from The Omen (1976), these are not
great films. You might not go out of your way to pick up one
of the sequels; however, having them all together and remastered
might just make you sit down and give them a try, and they
do deserve that much. Alternatively, as each of these films
are also available separately, opt for The Omen (1976)
30th Anniversary Special Edition.