Reviewed by: Taran Gingery
Horror, Thriller, Remake
1 hr. 50 min.
Year of Release:
June 6, 2006 (wide)
What kind of world would you create? Answer
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer
Does God feel our pain? Answer
The Origin of bad—How did bad things come about? Answer
“His day will come”
Six, six, six. According to the book of Revelation, that is the number of the Antichrist. What this number actually means, no one knows for sure. Some people think that it the number of anti-Christs that must come in the future. Others think that it represents a date, such as June 6th, 2006. In “The Omen,” it is none of these. The number 666 is in fact a birth-mark on the body of young Damien Thorn (Seamus-Davey Fitzpatrick), who is not really the child of UN Ambassador Robert Thorn (Liev Schreiber) and Kate Thorn (Julia Stiles), but is, in fact, the spawn of Satan and is the coming Antichrist.
Of course, Robert and Kate don’t know this at first. There are only signs, or omens, that this may be, such as the fact that Damien can’t stand to be near churches or that the monkeys at the zoo go wild in his presence or that a strange black dog (a sign of bad luck) always seems to be at his side. A priest, Father Brennan (Pete Postlethwaite), tries to warn Robert of impending doom, and staunch photographer Keith Jennings (David Thewlis) helps to unravel some of the mystery of Damien’s hidden past, but in the end, Damien’s and the world’s fate are in the hands of the parents.
“The Omen” is a horror film at its heart, but at times it thinks that it wants to say something profound about the state of the world. For example, an early scene hints that recent events such as the collapse of the World Trade Centers, the Hurricane Katrina, and the forming of the European Union are signs that the end of this world is near. Halfway through the film, Keith and Robert sit down to have a little chat about interpreting a few Bible passages in relation to current world problems.
In fact, on a spiritual level, the Scripture and related symbolism reign supreme in this film. Father Brennan forms a poem out of several passages from Daniel and the Revelation in his attempts to warn Robert. Also, in protecting himself from the Devil’s forces, he has covered the walls of his home in pages from the Bible and in crucifixes. When he is violently attacked by evil spirits, his response is to pray and quote Scripture. Brennan also strongly urges major characters to repent of their sins and turn to Christ, because only through His strength, can we face Satan.
Unfortunately, the forces of evil are just as prevalent in the film and more often than not are portrayed to be more powerful that the strength of God. When Father Brennan prays, no help comes, but instead the attacks become stronger. Robert is an atheist because he can’t see God in the sad story of his family’s life and the events that unfold only seem to make him more bitter. The servants of Satan seem to be everywhere, and God seems to be powerless when Damien ruthlessly begins to wreck havoc on those who love him. In a perverse twist, Satan himself seems able to have sexual relations through bestiality in order to bring Damien into the world. Even the church itself plays a hand in bringing about the rise of the Antichrist, as they see fit to help realize God’s prophesies of the Antichrist, but without God.
On a spiritual level, the film is completely messed up and theologically incorrect. On a moral level, the movie ultimately encourages us to realize that life is precious, even the life of an evil person. Even though Damien sets out to destroy their lives and even though they are both terrified, Robert and Kate remain firm in their love for Damien—a choice that would result in their deaths. Therefore, we are also encouraged to love even our enemies unto our own downfall.
Parental warnings: as far as language goes, there are two slightly muffled “F” words mentioned, but other than that, I heard nothing else offensive, not even any misuse of the Lord’s name. Violence, however, is extreme and often graphic. One character is brutally impaled and then peppered with falling glass; another is bloodily beheaded. Damien causes Kate to fall from a balcony, and we later see her wrapped in many bandages at a hospital. He also causes his nanny to commit suicide by hanging in a graphically disturbing sequences. Both Kate and Robert experience demonic visions of brief, but bloody imagery. Robert and Keith are viciously attacked by dogs. The overall feel of the film is dark and oppressive and several other scenes, while not particularly violent, are unsettling and disturbing.
So, on the whole, “The Omen” offers plenty of scares and suspense. I’ve never seen the original, so I can’t compare the two, but the acting is strong (special mention to Schreiber and Stiles), and the film is very well-made. However, the demonic theme of the film and its extremely shaky spiritual foundation prevent me from recommending this film for any Christian, in spite of its few good intentions and few positive moral lessons.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.