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Damien: Omen 2 (1978)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Don Taylor
Mike Hodges (uncredited)

Starring:
William Holden/Richard Thorn
Lee Grant/Ann
Jonathan Scott-Taylor/Damien
Lance Henriksen/Sergeant Neff
PLOT-CRUNCH
Satan’s little offspring Damien (Scott-Taylor) is now living with his father’s brother, acing the military academy and nearing his 13th birthday (get it 13). Time for the pimple popper to discover who he is and how to get those evil ways cranking!
THE LOWDOWN
Damien: Omen 2 had a big beast to beat (that is the original) and although it didn’t come close to the artistry, depth and effectiveness that was the first film, it definitely had its pitch fork in the right place.

I wonder how the film would’ve turned out if the initial director Mike Hodges would’ve stuck to it the whole way (he left the shoot due to creative differences), but as-is, this was a decent watch. Funnily enough, on this run it was the character of Damien and his arc that engaged me the most. Seeing him oblivious to who he is, feel love towards his family to then start using his powers to finally cross the line and embrace his heritage made for a groovy watch. I actually wish the film would’ve focused on more of that instead of trying to top the first film’s murders while emulating its storyline a little too closely. More on that later.

Now did somebody say murder? Yup, I just did and this film had a couple of keepers up its sleeves. Remember these tow: blind girl + Mack truck and the elevator bit! Both excessive and mucho nasty, they, much like the kills in the original preceded Final Destination in the “surprise, accidental death” department. Add on top of that an efficient new Damien ( in actor Jonathan Scott-Taylor), yet another intoxicating score by Jerry Goldsmith (this one was a tad more unorthodox though…trippy score) and some fine acting by all (Was that a young The Henriksen kicking it? You bet it was! He rocked) and you get some "good" genre dining.

Where the film lacked was in its narrative structure. First it followed the original’s to a "T", hence becoming predictable. Instead of a dog, it’s a bird. Instead of a crazed nanny, it’s a couple of guys in high places and we get another loving couple at the core of it all. Deja vu man! The film's knack at always killing anyone that knows or faintly knows of Damien’s MO also got tiring. Too easy man! Should’ve focused more on the drama and the relationships (the romantic angle needed some help) instead. The ending of the film fell flat as well, (instead of whooping ass)! The ingredients were all there! Too bad somebody forgot to cook the meat and make this a finale to remember. Finally although sporting a handful of kool visual moments, the film’s style and suspense were ho-hum. It often looked like a TV movie whilst tension was basically non existent.

All in all Damien: Omen 2 was still a fun watch, with gnarly Damien loving and gory gifts all checked. Too bad that it felt slap -narrative wise as it definitely didn’t use all of the ammo that it had in its clip.
GORE
This one went the typical sequel way in giving us more grub for our bucks than the original did. Eyes pecked out, people crushed in unique manners, stabbings and one heck of a sliced in two body.
ACTING
William Holden (Richard Thorn) made for a likeable presence and lead. Lee Grant (Ann) was credible as the passionate mother. Jonathan Scott-Taylor (Damien) was ideal casting choice to play young Damien. He had the right look and delivery. He was also manly and effeminate enough to be the son of the devil. The great Lance Henriksen (Sergeant Neff) was mucho effective as the Satanist Sarge. Talk about getting so much out of a nothing part!
T & A
Why are you reading this section? It’s not important! This is a horror site! Not a porn site! PS: I’M KIDDING! NO YUMMY IN THIS TUMMY!
DIRECTING
Although the movie had its moments, especially when it came to its kills and capitalizing on its striking snowy setting, suspense, style and bleakness were missing.
SOUNDTRACK
Jerry Goldsmith did it again, with a touch of late 70’s LSD tossed in there for good measure. Fascinating score!
BOTTOM LINE
Taking into account its change of directors and the amazing first film it was following up, Damien: Omen 2 wound up being better than it should’ve been. Strong acting, captivating themes (namely Damien’s plight) and far out murders, this one gave me enough smiles to recommend it. Alas, the film’s storyline didn’t fully bloom and the scares/directing were somewhat pedestrian. See it on a Sunday night, with the lights off and a warm body pressed against ya.
BULL'S EYE
The few scenes Hodges directed (factory and millitary school stuff) were in the film

William Holden was the original choice to star in the first film, but said no dice due to the Satan content. After it became a smash hit, you bet he took the role in the sequel.
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3:15PM on 06/10/2012
I actually thoroughly enjoyed this film. I felt like the filmmakers made the right choice in centering this on the character of Damien and his initial reluctance to assume the mantle of the Antichrist. Jonathan Scott-Taylor, in my opinion, NAILED it with a nine inch spike. Everyone else did well with what they had to do, but in the end, it was Damien's show.
I actually thoroughly enjoyed this film. I felt like the filmmakers made the right choice in centering this on the character of Damien and his initial reluctance to assume the mantle of the Antichrist. Jonathan Scott-Taylor, in my opinion, NAILED it with a nine inch spike. Everyone else did well with what they had to do, but in the end, it was Damien's show.
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