Sunday, October 4, 2009

30 Days of Fright - 03: Damien: Omen 2

*** This is a review of a sequel ***
*** Details of the ending of The Omen will be revealed ***
*** If you haven't seen the original movie ***
*** You might want to skip this one ***
*** Thank you for your attention ***

Being a fan of some of the darker things in life (like being a fan of anything I suppose) can be a type of voyage of discovery. I remember being introduced to the music of Cradle of Filth and enjoying their lyrical and melodical stylings as well as the different stories, some historical and some fictional, they base their music on. One of the things I really enjoy about Cradle of Filth is the way they embrace the theatrical in their albums and DVD’s especially the creepy Latin voice-overs and gothic music they sometimes play before coming on stage to create atmosphere. It turns out though that Cradle of Filth are a bunch of thieving gypsies, as they nicked the intro to one of their gigs from the movie Omen 2.

Damien: Omen 2 picks up the action one week after the end of the first movie, the events of which had made the papers due to Thorn’s status as US Ambassador to the UK. The guy with the cool name, Buganhagen, is aware of Thorn and his son Damien and a recent discovery of his only reinforces the notion of Damien being the Antichrist. Buganhagen tries to convince a friend of his to warn Damien’s adoptive parents of the danger they’re in by showing him the discovery, an ancient wall that features images of the Antichrist at different stages of his life. The picture of the youngest Antichrist is the same as the photograph of Damien Thorn that’s appeared in the papers. As Buganhagen is showing his friend the wall the ceiling of the underground passage they are in collapses killing them both.

The story skips ahead seven years and following the deaths of his parents in the original, a pre-teen Damien is now living with his uncle Richard Thorn’s family, including his cousin of the same age, Mark. The two boys are attending a military academy for the privileged as Robert is a wealthy businessman, the head of Thorn Industries. Thorn's company is doing well, but certain executives are making moves to change the direction of the business into new areas, which some of the board feel are unethical.

Damien is, like in the original, secretly surrounded by Satan's little helpers including his new teacher at school and the dodgy executive who is using the company to set up Damien's evil future. A series of deaths occur as some evil supernatural force bumps off those who get close to the truth about Damien. As he becomes aware of who and what he is Damien slips into the use of his power with ease and begins to handle his own destiny more and more.

The new season of "Deadliest Catch" would make anyone want to gouge out their eyes!

The original Omen is such a powerhouse of a movie that any sequel that came along was always going to have a hard time living up to its predecessor. Still, it's hard not to like Omen 2, and that may be due to the unintentional silliness that crept into the movie which is in such contrast to the serious tone of the first. For example, one of the highlights of the original were the killings and Omen 2 throws in more then it's fair share of horrific deaths, though none match the beheading of the journalist in the first movie and after a while watching Omen 2 becomes like watching one of the Final Destination movies, where you spend your time either wondering how a character will die or berating them for being so stupid as to walk into an obviously fishy (and deadly) situation. The death scene of the woman journo in Omen 2 is downright funny as is the death of the doctor, but I don't imagine these scenes were meant to be so hilarious.

The religious aspect of Omen 2 is a little off as well and the scene where Damien is reading the Book of Revelations made me wonder if that's what the planning meetings for the film were like - basically a bunch of adolescents sitting around highlighting sections of the Bible that either mentioned evil or had dirty words in them (like "Whore", the makers of Omen 2 fucking love the word "Whore"!). The teenagers making the film idea would also explain the crappy dialogue that snuck in, for some reason the script writer could find no better sentence to get to the point with other then "by the way..." which sets up at least two big scenes.

My big gripe with Omen 2 however is how it ignored details of the first film that may have been a tad inconvinient, like how Damien didn't go to live with his aunt and uncle but actually went to live with the President of the United States, a major ommission in the second flick that's never addressed and would have had massive implications for the Antichrist's rise to power.

Still and all, it's hard not to like Omen 2, even if Damien looks closer to fifteen then the twelve years old he's supposed to be.

One Thumb Up and One Thumb Down for Damien: Omen 2

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