Watch out…for a week of terror!
Only one week to go before the Season of the Witch, the night of Trick ‘r Treat bangs at the door, if you want it (or the kids) or not. What better way to prepare for that special night than having some movie evenings with old and new horror movies?
Every day, you’ll find reviews for this special kind of genre. Some known, some unknown, some good, some bad flicks. Like a bag of candy, you never know what to expect. So keep tuned to this blog and check it out everyday to discover something which might just be for you…without damage to your teeth.
Children are bad for your health or life
Starting with some classic occult horror movies and (of course) a remake, The Omen should darken the mood sufficiently. Beware, maybe there’s just such a child waiting for you…behínd the door or where the hell it came from.
The Omen (1976)
(UK/USA 1976, director: Richard Donner)
Satan’s son in the form of a young boy creeps into the lives of an ambassador and his wife.
Old school horror which slowly builds up the tension with not the most engaging story (or maybe that’s because it’s been done so many times since its release) but with believable characters. Shock effects and blood are far and in between and just enough to give the audience an uneasy and scared feeling. Especially since most of the supernatural is kept to a minimum. The child itself doesn’t look that creepy, but maybe that’s what’s most unsettling about the experience: the normal everyday horror. The soundtrack is also quite effective even if the choir chorus can get a bit old after some time. Still one of those classics which holds up well even today.
The Omen II: Damien
(USA 1978, director: Don Taylor)
Satan’s child (now a young adult) has to learn the ropes, discover his identity and makes his way in the world of a military academy.
It’s interesting to see the main character struggling with discovering who he really is. Unfortunately this is only a small part of the movie and quickly forgotten. The rest is quite dull, especially when it comes to politics and business talk. There is no real tension, which may be due to the fact that too many characters are introduced but not given enough time to stand out.
Another problem are the supernatural effects. Even if it’s nice to finally have some gore effects (whoever thought this sequel could be as scary as the first, will be disappointed), but even those are rather ridiculous. Maybe it’s because it hasn’t aged that well. Music is also of an issue when it never succeeds to create fear in the audience.
All in all not a bad movie, but not a good one either. Horror with too much talking and very few memorable scenes (if any).
The Omen III: The Final Conflict
(UK/USA 1981, director: Graham Baker)
The antichrist is now in business and ready to prepare the world for its downfall; he only has to get rid of his competition.
A bit better than the first sequel, but not much. This is mainly due to some rather inventive and gruesome kill sequences which aren’t as ridiculous than in the second one. But what is more ridiculous is Sam Neill’s performance. Even if his character gets more screen time than the younger self, overacting destroys most of the serious atmosphere.
Pacing isn’t a problem anymore as it’s pretty much straightforward so the story doesn’t lose itself with too many sub plots. Still tension and horror is rather absent, the ending is especially bad. The idea of having a continuing story in that evil vs. good universe is recommendable, but its execution is far from satisfying. Good thing this was the last one, or was it…?
The Omen (2006)
(USA 2006, director: John Moore)
Same story as with the original.
If this remake is necessary or not, is not relevant. Like most new movies, there are always people complaining it doesn’t capture the same atmosphere as the original, that things were changed etc.. To a certain degree that’s true.
At first the remake doesn’t seem to do much rather than having the same scenes already known, but with less immediate effect and scare factor. After half of the running time though, it gets quite suspenseful and compared to the original, the death scenes and action are better executed.
The only thing missing is the trademark occult choir music which made the original stand out (even if it was used a bit too often and got annoying after some time). Acting performances aren’t that great either and the child isn’t the perfect actor. Still this is a worthy update of the late 70ies horror flick which is well done. Forget about the outcries of so-called elitist cineasts, so just enjoy this occult thriller for what it is (which is much better than what the 70ies/80ies sequels did).