I got to see The Omen 666 today. When I first heard about this movie, I was horrifed. Why should they mess up the original Omen (1970s)? The original one is a classic. Why the need to update it. Well, after watching the movie, it became clear that the makers of this movie only reason to remake a classic was because of the date 6th June 2006. In one word: crappy remake!
Clearly the newer version has been updated for the 21st Century. With the sightings of the three comets, teh Vatican is alerted to the fact that the Anti-Christ has been born. 9/11, Tsunami, Abu Ghraib Scandal, wars, famine etc are all shown as a beginning to the end of world events. In Rome, a baby is born to an American diplomat, Robert. We soon learn the baby dies. Instead, the priest offers another baby and the diplomat’s wife, Kate, is not told about the adopted baby. Soon, things take a good turn for the family. They are transferred to London, and after a freak accident of another senior diplomat, Robert’s position at the Embassy is elevated.
Things look good in London when a priest approaches Robert to tell him of the shocking truth about the adopted baby, whose mother he claims is a jackal. Robert refuses to believe the priest. Then, at Damien’s 5th birthday party, the nanny commits suicide. A new nanny approaches the family seemingly from out of nowhere, who we learn is there to protect Damien. Kate and Damien’s relationship becomes awkward and they grow apart. A photographer at the birthday had taken pictures of the nanny and of the priest at the embassy discovers something startling. Their deaths had been foreshadowed in the pictures. The priest is also eventually killed a la Final Destination style. Robert begins to seriously consider the idea that his adopted son may actually be the Anti-Christ. The rest of the movies follows his and the photographer’s journey to Rome and Israel, where they find out how to kill the boy and prevent the world from the destruction by the anti-Christ.
I can clearly do a side by side comparison study of the old and new version but that’s pointless because clearly the older one is still a classic, more creepy and more realistic. The newer one is made for the 90s. Fans of the older one will not like the new one, and people who haven’t seen the old one may enjoy the new one.
However, having said all that, I did notice several changes that were welcome in the new one. One was the two dream sequence Kate has of her son. They were creepy in their own right, but took away from the realism of the movie. Secondly, the color red was used prominently to foreshadow something evil. Case in points:
1. a red balloon is seen floating in the sky, soon after the nanny commits suicide
2. kate is wearing a bright red robe in a white bathroom, soon after she sees a freak in her bathroom mirror
3. the priest sees a guy/ girl in a red overcoat run, as well as a red post box in london, as well as a by-stander with a red umbrella, soon after he is killed.
4. the photographer and robert pass by a musem with red banners, soon after the photographer is killed
There are several other “red” clues. To the more serious movie buffs, they will notice this idea of red has picked up straight from The Sixt Sense, where the color red was prominently to signify evil and good.
The Omen 666, although ok for the 90s, is certainly not a classic. The actors on their own are ok, but compared to Gregory Peck and Lee Rimmick in the older version, these new actors are quite pale.
At the end of it all, it does become obvious the movie was made clearly for the 6/6/06 date and not for any other reason. You cannot help but leave the cinema feeling they could have done a lot more!
I give it 2 out 5, for being an inferior version of a classic movie.