The original Omen film is one of the best horror movies of the 1970’s, which makes it a candidate for one of the best EVER. It had it all: scares, suspense, a tight script, excellent direction by Richard Donner, flawless acting and, of course, the most over-the-top death scenes people had seen up to that time. Considering all the money it made, it’s no surprise that they made a sequel in less than two years. The story continues from the first one, in that Damien is now living with Ambassador Thorne’s brother, who owns a multimillion dollar biological company. Here, Damien is learning slowly, bit by bit, who he is and how to control his satanic powers.
The biggest flaw this movie has is in that it doesn’t follow one straight storyline with consistency. Subplots show up of all kinds, from a reporter to a doctor who finds out too much, something about a new soil that will help/enslave third world countries, it’s too much for one story. The original had one basic premise and storyline, and it made me sad that this film couldn’t do the same, because all it did was make me lose interest. The movie has good acting, don’t get me wrong, particularly from the great William Holden, who has been in so many great movies it could be a joke. Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17, The Wild Bunch, Network, you know it. But here, it seems like he was just wasted, and most of the time he looked more confused than scared. I really missed Gregory Peck, who’s commanding performance in the original is one of the main things that made it more memorable. I was also a little sad that the evil demonic dogs were missing and instead were replaced with crows. Crows are not scary, folks, and even Hitchcock made it difficult for me to believe they were scary. I also have a lot of problems believing one crow could peck out an adult woman’s face off without the woman being able to fight back. Demonic crows or not, it was too far fetched for me.
There was one thing that I liked: I was very interested in Damien’s rise to evil and discovery of his powers. It was the most engaging part of the whole movie, and I wished it had been the central focus. Instead it just becomes another in many subplots. The death scenes, one of the main draws to watching the Omen series, were half and half: some were pretty hilarious (the woman who gets herself pecked to death then turns into a bad mannequin when a truck hits her), some were good (the guy who falls on the ice). The best death, however, belongs to Meshach Taylor, who plays a doctor who discovers Damien was born of a jackal. A level of absurdity kicked in when I realized the doctor was being played by the same guy who played the flamboyant Hollywood Montrose in the two Mannequin movies, but that only added to the joy of seeing him cut in half by an elevator’s metal cable. It’s so over-the-top that an Academy Award should be given to it for Most Outstanding Death sequence. Sadly this movie fails on most levels, and I wasn’t able to relate, nor care for anything or anyone. All it did was make me wish I was watching the first one.