Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Nature vs Nurture: The Sad Tale of Damien Thorn
So I saw the remake of The Omen today. It was okay. Not bad, but not as good as the original. For starters, they did away with that awesome theme music. That music is iconic, like the Halloween theme music, or the knife-stabbing music in Psycho (random pet peeve: when people can't spell, and write 'Physco' instead. This happens more often than you'd think...).

But already I digress, and I'm only on the second paragraph. The Omen was... lackluster. Not because of the acting - the acting was good enough. I hesitate to say the acting was great. It was... good enough. The characters could have been played by anyone, really. Nobody really stood out. Not even the kid stood out. How hard can it be to find a really hardcore creepy kid in Hollywood these days? That kid out of The Shining was creepy. The kid out of Pet Sematary was creepy. Hell, even Dakota Fanning managed to be creepy in that one DeNiro film. If ANY kid should be creepy, it should be the Omen kid. Come to think of it, I can't remember Damien having more than about two lines. I remember him saying "Did I scare you, Mommy?" (yes, yes you did) and also "Don't kill me, Daddy" (oops). But I honestly don't think he said anything else. Mainly he just stood around emoting, and I gather he was trying to emote things like "rage" and "pure evil" but really he just gave off this bored rich kid vibe.

Speaking of being rich, how much do Ambassadors earn, anyway? Damien's dad (not his Satan Dad, his Non-Evil Human Dad) was the Ambassador to England, and they lived in this bigass house that I would figure you'd have to be a billionaire to live in. It was bigger and fancier than Wayne Manor. Think about that, people... more posh than Wayne Manor. This does not happen.

Anyway, yeah. I kind of have to wonder: Is Damien only evil because he's the son of the Devil? Or does it have anything to do with his being surrounded by Evil Nannies And Dogs? If you take away the Evil Nannies, and the Evil Dogs, would he have a shot at growing up like a normal kid? Or maybe even just only kind of evil, instead of full-on evil to the max? I suspect that just being the son of the Devil dooms you from the start. But the Evil Nannies And Dogs probably aren't going to do you any favors.

The pacing was a bit slow. To be honest, I kind of found myself dozing off a little bit, and I never doze off at the cinema. I've seen a lot of remakes of classic horror films lately, and the vast majority of them really do add something to the original story. The Amityville Horror comes to mind. But if anything the remake of The Omen actually took stuff away. That music, for example. I might not have felt sleepy if, every ten minutes, the soundtrack started booming SANCTOOOOS! DOMINOUUUUUS! or whatever those words are. Seriously. And there was just no sense of urgency. It was all sort of "oh hey, I think maybe that kid is the antichrist. I guess we'd better try to kill him. What's that? His mother was a jackal? Isn't that something." As opposed to the original, which was all "OMG OMG URGENT URGENT IMPENDING DOOM" at all times. Also, I think maybe the deaths in the original were more gruesome. It's been a while since I saw that version, though.

Speaking of mothers who are jackals, I have to wonder: how did that go down, anyway? Did Satan just kind of magically implant a devil baby inside a jackal? Or did Satan have sex with the jackal and impregnate it himself? Isn't Satan more known for having sex with goats? How was the jackal chosen? Was it random chance, or did Satan have a special jackal in mind?

At any rate, giving birth to a human baby is evidently fatal to jackals. Would the child of Satan and a jackal even qualify as a "human baby" or is it something else entirely? This film raises so many challenging questions.

Oh oh, before I forget... before the film started, I saw a preview for yet another classic horror remake. I know a few people who will react with total disbelief when I say this, but... the remake of The Wicker Man looks like it might be okay. From the preview, it seems to have a slightly different story, and the trailer hinted at loads and loads of seriously spooky imagery. I know the whole Nicolas Cage thing is dodgy, but he seemed completely inoffensive based on the two minutes that I saw. I think it might not suck.

Right, then. It's been a long afternoon.