Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reasons Not To Have Kids #10/Compare and Contrast: The Omen

I started the Compare and Contrast segment at least 2 years ago when I took on The Hitcher and I haven't done one since. I figured this was a good time as any to do the second one. For those not familar, I watch both the original and remake and not only talk about what happens in the movie but talk about what's similar and what's different. In the case of "The Hitcher", the differences were glaring. Would I see that again with "The Omen".

I saw the original "Omen" on my 21st birthday, so I was pretty wasted. I didn't remeber much except the parts with the camera and Gergory Peck yelling "Damien" in that deep ass voice of his. I did also see the sequels which in my black out drunkeness I don't even remember at all.

The 1976 version starts off in Rome and Gregory Peck, playing Richard Thorn, is in Rome on the way to the hospital where his wife gave birth. He found out the child died moments after but the Mom, played by Lee Remick, doesn't know. Richard makes a deal with a priest and a nun to pass off another child that was just born as their own and Lee doesn't ever have to know. When a priest is telling you to lie, you know you're in for a wild ride. Richard gives in and we get several scenes showing how happy their family is.

It's now five years later and Richard is the Ambassador to America and/or England. He's in England but he's American so I dunno how all that works. A crazy ass priest shows up just says stuff like "DRINK CHRIST" and "KILL THE CHILD". Richard goes "Uh huh" and kicks Father Crazy out.

David Warner is a photographer who's taken pictures of Father Crazy and noticed a black line in the picture above the priest. David Warner has a lot of scenes where he goes "Hmmm" a lot.

It's now Damien's (Richard and Lee's son) birthday and as a special gift for Damien, his present nanny jumps off the roof with a rope tied around her neck. Happy birthday! Everyone thinks it's odd but it's forgotten. Soon, another nanny named Baylock shows up and she amps the creepy meter by a thousand. She brings in blood thirst rottweilers and promises Damien no harm will come to him.

Father Crazy finally has his meeting with Richard and tell him to go to some city to see a man that'll help kill the child cause he's the anti-Christ! And no, not Marilyn Manson. Richard thinks this is crazy talk and leaves. Then I guess Satan teamed up with God to created a thunder storm. This scares the priest and he goes running to a church. There, a bolt of lighting causes a pole from the roof to break off and it lands on the priest.

David Warner notices that the black mark on the pictures resemble the pole that killed the priest. He also notices that in a picture of the nanny that killed herself, there's some black line that kinda resembled a rope. He shows these to Richard. David Warner is concerned cause he accidently took a picture of himself and noticed that his head is seperated from his body. Uh-oh.

At home, Lee is watering plants when Damien rolls in on his tricycle and bumps into her, causing her to fall over the railing. Turns out Lee was pregnant with another child and is now no longer. Richard starts believing that Damien is the anti-Christ and goes on a investigation with David Warner to learn where he came from.

This journey takes him to Rome where he learned the hospital Damien was born burnt to the ground. The only survivor was the Lying Priest who's in some rest home. There, they find Lying Priest in horrible shape. The Priest tells him to go to some abandoned cemetary, which they do. They open up the graves of a woman who died five years ago on Damien's birthday (June 6th at 6AM to be exact) and there they find the skeletal remains of a dog. They open up the other grave belonging to her child, which is actually Richard's son, and find a baby skeleton with it's head bashed in. What could this mean?

I don't know, it's not explained.

Meanwhile, Miss Baylock arrives at the hospital and simply shoves Lee out the window. Bye, Lee. Richard is pissed now and wants ANSWERS, DAMMIT!!

Next, Richard and David Warner go to that city with that guy to learn how to kill Damien. It involves stabbing him with a billion knives in a certain order. Richard doesn't want to do it, so David Warner says he will when he gets his head cut off like in that picture he took.

Convinced, Richard goes back home, fights Baylock and a rottweiler, then drags Damien to a church where the stabbing must take place. Here's where I got confused. For some reason, the police are after him. Do they think he murdered his wife? Or David Warner? It's not said. Just when Richard leaves the police chase after him. I guess they needed the police there for the ending.

Richard shows up at the church, drags Damien to the altar and is about to stab him with the first knife when the cops come in and shoot Richard. Oh, yeah stop right there before I shoot, dang too late. So there's a funeral for both Richard and Lee and Damien is now in the custody of The President of the United States. He turns and gives us an evil look and helllllo sequel!

So now that that's done, let's take a look at the much unneeded remaked from 2006. Pretty much a lot of the same stuff happens in the remake so I'll go ahead and jump into the comparing and contrasting stuff.

Contrast-The start of the remake takes us to some observatory where a scientific priest (?) is watching the skies. He finds something and runs right over to the Vatican where the Pope is just chillin'. Pope John Paul died in 2005 and Pope Benedict came into office or whatever. This movie came out in 2006 (6-6-06 to be exact) but the Pope in this movie looks like Pope John Paul. So I guess they started filming this when he was still alive and didn't bother to go back. Or maybe cause five years is suppose to go past in this movie...then he's at the end when it's the "present" forget it.

At the Vatican, the scientific priest starts quoting Revelations and relating them to horrible events that's happened since 2000, including 9/11, the spaceship Columbia, and hurricane Katrina....which wasn't suppose to happen yet. ARGH! LEAVE MY BRAIN ALONE!!!! Anyway, these signal that the anti-Christ is on his way. Everyone starts praying.

Instead of Mr. Thorn's name being Richard, it's ROBERT. Cause that sounds more modern. I guess.

Similarities-The limo ride to the hospital and ROBERT getting a call about the birth of his kid. His kid still dies after being born. Mom doesn't know. Lying Priest says "hows about this kid-a, hey?" and Robert goes "oh ok."

Same flash forwarding montage of the next five years.

Similarity AND Contrast-Wife's name in the original was Cathy and here Julia Stiles is called Cathy once, then the rest of the time she's Kate. I know that both names stem from Katherine but really? Then again they thought Richard was SOOOO 1970's.

Similarity-Birthday party for Damien. Nanny hangs herself, saying it's all for Damien. People are upset. The David Warner character, Jennings, is there snapping away. SLIGHT difference in the scene where Crazy Priest comes to warn Robert about Damien. Instead of it being in his office, it's in the hallway. Otherwise, same exact lines of dialouge.

Baylock is played by Mia Farrow, who knows a little something about raising Satan's child.

Contrast-We get an added scene of some dude sitting his car and it turns into "Final Destination" where a series of events sets off a chain reaction where the result is the dude gets blown up. In this movie's most "I wanna slap this movie" moment, this happens right at 6:06:06 PM. Fuck you movie. Fuck you.

Similarity-Baylock is sent to protect Damien so he can rule the Earth. Contrast-It get's fucking creepy. There's a scene where she's feeding him strawberries for some weird ass fucking reason.

Similarity-Damien causes Kate to fall over the railing. Contrast-Instead of a tricycle, it's one of those Razor scooters cause that's more modern. Oh and EVERY FUCKING SCENE has some red in it. Ugh, I get it.

Contrast-Kate, before and after her accident, has stupid dreams, one of which she's brushing her teeth with a pregnancy test. This is only in the movie to give us scares. "How in the hell did people in 1976 find this movie scary without jump scares!" the film makers said to themselves in 2006. "MORE JUMP SCARES!" Fuck you movie.

Similarity-Crazy Priest tracks down Robert and tells him to meet him somewhere. Contrast-He tracks him down at an opera (it was a rugby game in the original) and the meeting place it's already raining, instead of it being a nice day, then the rain came to kill Crazy Priest, then it being nice again. When the rain goes to kill the priest, how did he know?
Similarity-Priest dies when a pole falls on him.

Similarity-Jennings finds the weird black lines going through the priest in the pictures. Also finds the invisible rope around the nanny. And also finds his head cut off. In fact this part of the movie is damn near identical to the original.

Contrast-In the hospital, Baylock brings Damian along to kill Kate. Instead of pushing her out the window, she injects something in ther I.V. Meanwhile, Damien stares at a security guard and nothing comes of that. Ok then.

Similarity-Same thing with the graves and the dogs and the crazy dude telling Robert to stab Damien. Contrast-Jennings is decapitated in another "Final Destination" moment.

Similarity-Robert rushes home, fights with Baylock, and drags Damien out of the house and goes to a church. This time the cops THINK some strange guy kidnapped Damien and go after him. Clearly in the original, the cops SEE it's Gregory Peck but still chase him anyway.

Similarity-The ending is exactly the same. Robert is shot. He's buring. Damien is given to live with the President who looks nothing like George Bush, who a lot of people thought WAS the anti-Christ anyway. Same exact ending shot of Damien smiling to the camera.

Clearly, the winner (again) is the original. It doesn't rely on jump scares to scare the shit out of you and obviously Leiv Shrieber is NO Gregory Peck, although Leiv does do a good impression of him in this movie, talking in the same type of voice. Julia Stiles isn't as much of a bitch as Lee Remick was in the original so when Kate tried to be forceful, it didn't seem right. Lee's a great bitch. Acting wise I mean. But I will admit the 2006 Damien was a bit creepier. I don't really know why. But yeah, avoid this remake at all costs and just watch the original.

1976 Version:

2006 Version:


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does Mrs. Baylock, played by Billie Whitelaw in the origina, Omen look pretty hot? I mean, she's got these eyes and lips and that cute little birthmark on her cheek, not to mention that I can only imagine she must have pretty hot legs!