Nightlife :: Special Events

The Omen (2-Disc Collector’s Edition)

by Dino-Ray Ramos
Contributor
Thursday Jun 22, 2006
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To make a complete family, American diplomat, Robert Thorne (Gregory Peck) and his wife Katherine (Lee Remick) adopts a child in order to make up for their stillborn baby. All is well with their lives with their new boy Damien until strange "accidents" start to happen during the course of his childhood. Yes ladies and gentlemen, it just so happens that Robert and Katherine’s new child is the antichrist. Needless to say, their lives start going to hell - literally.

The recent redux of this horror classic may be an admirable attempt and be suitable for terrifying summertime fun, but there is no way it can invoke terror like the original. Director Richard Donner created a perfect formula to create The Omen: Gregory Peck + Lee Remick + creepy looking kid + controversial antichrist topics = a film that will have you grasping on to your Bible for dear life.

The eeriness of this film outweighs that late 70s cheesiness that is often associated with works of that era. The Omen has its characterized moments of orchestrated screaming out of hokey fear, but when it comes down to it, this iconic film falls in line with other terrifying religious masterpieces like Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist. Regardless of the quality of the film, Gregory Peck never fails as actor and as his on-screen wife, Remick is vulnerable in a non-irritating manner. Then there’s that fiendishly disturbing nanny, Mrs. Blaylock (Billie Whitelaw) who could be easily mistaken for an institutionalized Mary Poppins. She is pure evil, but in this fanatical, groupie of Satan kind of way.

If you don’t know anything about the original Omen, now is a better time than ever to explore this cinematic classic. An unbelievable amount of the film has the tendency to crawl under your skin and stay there for the rest of your life. Tinged with a spine-tingling, Gregorian chant-driven (not to mention Academy-Award winning) musical score, The Omen is known for some of the most noted scenes in horror history (i.e. Katherine "accidentally" falling, the blood curdling beheading, the priest impalement.) The Omen is not only a fright fest branded with religiously-infused scare tactics, but will also have you think twice about adopting a baby named Damien on the 6th day of the 6th month at the 6th hour. Then again - that’s just common sense.

This two-disc special edition is a staple for everyone else who appreciates classic film. If anything, purchase this DVD for the second disc of intriguing features. I do endorse this DVD 100%, but if you want some mysteries of this film to remain unanswered, you might want to skip over the four uber-informative featurettes.

"666: The Omen Revealed" is a recollection from the director and crew about their experiences while making the 1976 film.

"The Omen Legacy" is a documentary that explores the film, its correlating thematic religious elements and its journey to the screen. Some of the stuff mentioned here is a bit too factual to take this film as a pure work of fiction. It also gives us a look at the "unusual" incidents that really happened during the filming of the movie. Hence, "The Omen Curse" was born.

Composer Jerry Goldsmith talks about his Oscar-winning score that made "The Omen" unforgettably sinister.

Modern day horror guru, Wes Craven gets his own featurette where he praises the film as a pioneering masterpiece.

Other features include: Introduction of this special collector’s edition by Richard Donner, two sets of audio commentaries: one with Donner & editor Stuart Baird and another with Donner and "Man on Fire" screenwriter Brian Helgeland, still photo gallery, a screenwriter’s notebook and a deleted dog attack scene with optional commentary.

Dino-Ray is a Bay Area-based journalist (both freelance and full-time) who is a film fanatic, fashion snob, hip-hop head, pop culture junkie and everything in between. Still not convinced? Check out his blog

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