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Horror - The Omen 1976

BUY The Omen original version (dvd cover)
Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Billie Whitelaw
Directed by Richard Donner
20th Century Fox 1976
Fox Home Video
111 minutes

The Omen: You do not have to be Nostradamus or a National Enquirer psychic to figure out that come fall Hollywood will moan about box office receipts being in decline and blaming it all on DVD piracy and the internet. The omen for this is that once again the summer movie season is littered with remakes of thirty year old movies such as The Poseidon Adventure and the 1976 horror movie The Omen starring Gregory Peck which was also for TV in 1995.

The original The Omen is not a blockbuster though it is not a bad horror movie at all so why do the powers that be in Hollywood believe a (rumored) scene-for-scene remake is going be rake in the buckage? You got to wonder. It is starting to look like any movie fan with a decent collection of DVDs could become a movie studio executive and order remakes of his or her favorites.

In the original The Omen Gregory Peck doesn't stretch any of his acting muscles (and you can see a few atrophy) as Robert Thorn an American business man whose son dies and who adopts a boy from an Italian orphanage. The rest of the movie is fairly predictable. Someone shows up to warn Thorn Damien is the seed of the devil, Thorn does not believe him, someone gets killed in a weird way. Damien, by way, is played by Harvey Stephens who has a cameo as Tabloid Reporter 3 in the 2006 version of the movie.

As in any horror movie, there are a few moments where willing suspension of disbelief is necessary. The biggest such demand in The Omen, the original, is when new nanny Mrs. Blaylock shows up after the first nanny hangs herself for no particular reason. The Thorns figure out neither of them interviewed or hired her but she gets the job nonetheless.

The Omen is a decent little horror movie that devil-spawned two sequels. Let's hope the 2006 version of The Omen will not have that kind of fate.

Factoid: if you search for The Omen on IMDB.com, your search will include Dr.T and the Women, not a horror movie but a horrible movie.

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