Omen Collection
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Omen Collection

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DVD

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Blu-ray

IMDB Links:        Omen (1976)    Damien: Omen II       Omen III: The Final Conflict    Omen (2006)

For as long as man has existed he has been concerned with predictions and prophecy. This need to know what will happen in the future is at the very heart of what it is to be human. It most likely started out as a need to survive. With early humans those that could predict the right time to plant and harvest or the migrations of animals would live. Those unable to make these predictions would die. When a prediction is made in the context of a religious belief it is generally called a prophecy. There are more pieces of literature and films based on prophecy that it would be possible tot count. Not only that for many people prophecy is real and predicted events are coming; it is only a matter of time. Perhaps the most popular and controversial of all prophecies are those that pertain to the end of the world. They usual depict the climatic battle between good and evil with the faith of all mankind held in the balance. As is the case with many strong themes this one has become a very specific sib genre and is usually used in association with horror and thriller movies. Of all the films that have taken on this topic one stands as the standard barer; ĎThe Omení. Made in 1976 it resulted in two generally accepted sequels making it the first in a trilogy. It also had a ill planned and badly received television flick but almost all fans of the franchise denounce this one as not part of the series. There was also a remake of the original film made in 2006. In 2000 all three of the original trilogy was released to DVD. This was followed in 2006 but a DVD set of the trilogy and the remake. Some would have liked to have ĎOmen IVí included but most agree it was better to include the remake than that flick. With many home theater enthusiasts embracing the high definition format provided by Blu-ray many studios are re-releasing their catalogue in the new, superior format. ĎThe Omen Collectioní has now made that leap. This is the way this type of film collection should be done. If you havenít gotten around to owning this franchise yet this is the right time to invest in this set.

The Omen trilogy revolves around the life of Damien Thorne. He is the antichrist, the son of the devil. His mission is to undermine our civilization and make the path clear for daddy to come up from hell and rule the earth. The trilogy is divided on chronological lines. The first film tells the story of Damienís birth and childhood. With the second we see him as a teenager. If you think your teen is trouble just imagine them with unholy powers. Last there is Damien as an adult with his eyes set on world domination. The remake is a modernization of the first film that basically keeps pretty true to the story. The series does fall victim to the curse of the sequel. This is not a supernatural phenomena but a generalization that each subsequent movie in a franchise falls short of the one before. The first film remains as one of the great horror films of all times. With that being said there is an internal consistency between all three films and the story just isnít complete unless you watch all of them. This was when horror films took a more psychological path to scare the audience. There are some great visceral scenes in all of the films but the main fright is what the story places in your mind.

The Omen (1976)

Directed by Richard Donner

Written by David Seltzer

Robert Thorne (Gregory Peck) and his wife Katherine (Lee Remick) would seem to have it all. He is rich and serves as an Ambassador to Italy for the United States. The Thorne have wanted to start a family for years but never managed to have a child. When Katherine finally does get pregnant there are complications. She goes into labor but the child dies. Unbeknownst to her Robert makes a deal with a local priest to switch their dead baby with one born to a poor unmarried local girl. The switch is made and Katherine raises the child not knowing it wasnít really hers. Things seem to go well until Damienís (Harvey Stephens) fifth birthday. Her nanny hangs herself at his birthday party. She is replaced by Mrs. Baylock (Billie Whitelaw) who is so stern that she makes the nuns from my youth seem absolutely jolly. Baylock is overly protective of the child and takes in a stray dog for him against the parentís wishes. The dog also seems to be there to guard the boy even against the parents. Meanwhile a photographer, Keith Jennings (David Warner), notices that there are marks on photographs taken of certain people that relate to their bizarre deaths. A priest who has some clues to the truth about the boy is killed and Robert starts off on a journey to find out about the boy he calls his son. In the end he dies before he can kill the boy and Damien is set to inherit Robertís wealth and power. This film has the age old theme of the changeling contained in it. A child is replaced by sinister forces in order to infiltrate polite society. This is one of Donnerís best pictures with its dark cinematography and moody presence.

Damien: Omen II (1978)

Directed by Don Taylor

Written by Harvey Bernhard

In this one Damien (Jonathan Scott-Taylor) is a teenager and sent to a military school. He is under the care of his uncle Richard Thorne (William Holden) and his second wife Ann (Lee Grant). Richard is a very wealthy industrialist with numerous political connections. In a strange way this is a coming of age story. Instead of a boy becoming a man this one has Damien learning his discovers his true nature and the destiny that is before him. As he finds out more about his demonic powers anyone that pose a threat to his faith meet with particularly horrible deaths. While this film does not reach the level of suspense and tension that the first one had it does add to the general story line.

Omen III: The Final Conflict

Directed by Graham Baker

Written by Andrew Birkin

At this point Damien Thorn (Sam Neill) is an adult. Thanks to his vast wealth and political connections he is appointed as Ambassador to the Court of St. James', the same position is adoptive father once held. By this point he has fully accepted his demonic heritage and embraced his destiny. He enters into a relationship with a reporter, Kate Reynolds (Lisa Harrow), taking her young son, Peter (Barnaby Holm), as an acolyte. One thing that weighs heavily on his mind is the appearance of a unique alignment of stars that believed to be the sign of the second coming of the Christ. Father DeCarlo (Rossano Brazzi) is on a mission to destroy the antichrist, Damien, before this can occur. He and six other priest are armed with the seven knives of Megiddo; the only thing that can kill Damien.

The Omen (2006)

Directed by John Moore

Written by David Seltzer

As evident by the return of Selzer as the one responsible for the script this is fairly close to the original. Naturally there has been some modernization along the way. The events that lead to the rise of evil now include terrorist for example. Replacing searches through old newspapers is the internet. Robert is now played by Liev Schreiber and his wife Katherine is portrayed by Julia Stiles. Stylistically this is slicker than the original using the color red to signify danger and the inclusion of some computer generated effects.

All four films are well done and make the transfer to Blu-ray with better video and audio. The original extras are include.

The Omen (2006)

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Commentary by Director John Moore, Producer Glenn Williamson and Editor Dan Zimmerman

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Abbey Road Sessions Featurette

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Revelations 666 Featurette

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Two Extended Scenes

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Devil's Footnotes Trivia Track

The Omen

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Commentary by Director Richard Donner & Editor Stuart Baird

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Commentary by Director Richard Donner & Brian Helgeland

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Richard Donner On The Omen

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The Omen Revelations With Trivia Track

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Introduction by Director Richard Donner 2006

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Deleted Scene with Commentary

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Documentaries: 666: The Omen Revealed and The Omen Legacy

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Screenwriter's Notebook

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An Appreciation: Wes Craven on The Omen

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Jerry Goldsmith Discusses The Omen Score

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Theatrical Trailer

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Still Photo Gallery

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Omen II: Damien

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Commentary by Producer Harvey Bernhard

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Theatrical Trailer

Omen III: The Final Conflict

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Theatrical Trailer

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Commentary by Director Graham Baker

Omen III: The Final Conflict

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Theatrical Trailer

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Commentary by Director Graham Baker

Posted 10/10/08

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