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The Omen (SE)
DVD disk
Jun 12, 2006 By: Scott Weinberg
The Omen (SE) order
Director:
Richard Donner

Actors:
Gregory Peck
Lee Remick
David Warner

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The spawn of Satan is alive and well and ... living as the creepy lil son of a skeptical ambassador and a seriously unhappy mama.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The creepiness is poured on pretty thick in Richard Donner's THE OMEN, and in it we're treated to some of the most shocking deaths ever offered in a mainstream horror movie. (Love that pane of glass!) It's a pretty stylish affair, and we're quickly sucked in as the fairly slow-witted ambassador (Gregory Peck) and his equally clueless wife (Lee Remick) begin to suspect that a bunch of random and horribly violent deaths may indeed have something to do with their creepy little kid. Turns out he's not really their kid, but when Ambassador Guy begins to dig a little deeper, he discovers some truly biblical nastiness. All in all, pretty creepy.

A finely-acted and damn well-directed horror movie, THE OMEN set its fair share of standards for the 'religious-horror' genre, and still stands today as a solid scarefest (especially when compared to its anemic remake). It's not as primally upsetting as THE EXORCIST, but there's something in there to shake you up a bit, regardless of your religious affiliation. Head to the dusty old horror section of your local Video Mecca and snatch it. Do NOT stand in line and have second thoughts about getting some crappy new release, trust me. THE OMEN is a full plate of religious horror, hardcore shocks and quick-but-clever splashes of gore.

THE EXTRAS
Starting with Disc 1...

One audio commentary (with director Richard Donner and editor Stuart Baird) has been ported over from the previous DVD release, and an all-new audio commentary (with Donner and filmmaker/OMEN fan Brian Helgeland) has been brought in to please the fans. Both chat tracks are quite solid, with Donner as effusive and informative as ever. Those looking for a more "nuts & bolts" commentary should stick with the first one; if you're interested in more of a "casual look back," the second one's the way to go.

Two featurettes, Curse or Coincidence (6:18) and Jerry Goldsmith on the Musical Score (17:36), have also been brought over from the prior DVD, but they're both nifty little inclusions all the same. The first piece focuses on the various "curses" that afflicted the OMEN production, and the second is pretty self-explanatory: Veteran composer Jerry Goldsmith discusses his Oscar-winning OMEN score and how it came to be. Rounding out Disc 1 is the original OMEN theatrical trailer.

Moving on to the second platter, we're greeted with all sorts of Satanic Cinematic Slickness!

The disc starts off with a 2-minute Richard Donner Intro, which just sets the stage for a whole orgy of OMEN extras. The 46-minute 666: The Omen Revealed is a great mini-doco that's been ported over from the previous DVD, but making its digital debut is the even better The Omen Legacy, which runs a generous 100 minutes and probably stands as THE definitive OMEN documentary. Originally produced for the AMC network, LEGACY is one of those fanboy treats that'll keep the horror fans glued to the set. If you want info mainly on the first flick, go with REVEALED, but if you want the full OMEN series experience, cue up the LEGACY feature. Watch 'em both (along with the commentaries) and you'll learn more about THE OMEN than anyone really needs to know.

But wait, there's more! For the first-time ever, you can check out the deleted "dog attack" scene (with or without audio commentary from Donner & Helgeland). Cool beans. David Seltzer also provides a 15-minute screenwriter's handbook, which is a very cool look at the script's development. An Appreciation: Wes Craven on The Omen is a 20-minute piece in which the celebrated scare-maker shares his affection and enthusiasm for Donner's Satanic-kid flick. And rounding out the overstuffed set is a fairly cool stills gallery.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
One of the 1970's true-blue horror classics, THE OMEN now hits DVD in its definitive package. The previous release was solid enough, sure, but if you're a big horror fan, this 2-disc mega-set is an absolute prize.
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