Plot: What’s it about?
The Omen franchise introduced us to one of horror’s more memorable minions of evil, young Damien. In the original The Omen, we followed Damien from the womb toward his path of dark destiny, leaving a shattered world in his wake. In Omen II, Damien learned more about his own fate and began to use his powers to advance his desires. Then in Omen III, Damien is grown up, but the spirit of evil is still with him. The years of preparation have taken him to the point where his horrific plan can be executed, with little chance of him being stopped. In 2006, The Omen was remade to introduce Damien to a new generation of horror fans, in a faithful take on the horror classic. In this special collection, you can follow Damien on his dark path, then see it start all over again, all in one unique package.
The original The Omen is a landmark horror movie, one where all the tumblers just sort of clicked into place. The story is good, the acting is good, the direction is good, not to mention some wildly effective atmosphere. I’ve seen a lot of horror movies, but few have the kind of story that works as well as this one does. The writing is spot on, so we have great character development and a plot that keeps us interested, with few slow stretches. The cast makes good use of the writing as well, with some solid performances that help get the most out of the material. Richard Donner’s direction also shines, keeping all of the elements in synch and creating just the right kind of eerie atmosphere. The two sequels included here are decent, but aren’t up to the original’s level, though Omen III has a great performance from Sam Neill. The 2006 remake isn’t as good as the original either, but it is passable and remains pretty faithful. So if you’re a fan of The Omen series or just want to see it all in one place, this Omen Collection box set is recommended and the high definition transfers look impressive.
Video: How does it look?
The first three Omen movies are presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, while the remake is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The remake is the same transfer from the earlier release, which looks crisp and impressive. A sharp, bright visual effort that never disappoints. The original films also look quite good, with great clarity and depth, much better on all three counts than I had expected. The transfers show some light signs of age, but that is a given with this material. But without a doubt, all four movies look great here, fans should be delighted.
Audio: How does it sound?
All four films were given DTS HD 5.1 options and all sound quite good, with the recent remake sounding the best of the lot, of course. The remake has a rich soundscape, with ample surround use and power when needed. The atmosphere is enhanced by skilled surround presence, quite a great soundtrack. The three older movies also sound good, but don’t have as much depth as the more recent remake. The first Omen sounds much better than expected, especially the haunting score, which shines here. The original Omen and Omen II also include a mono soundtrack, while all also have French and Spanish language tracks, then the original three have subtitles in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Korean, while the remake has subtitles in English and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The Omen is loaded with extras, such as not one, not two, but three audio commentary sessions. Richard Donner is on two, joined by editor Stuart Baird on one and writer (not of this movie) Brian Helgeland on the other. Donner provides some worthwhile comments in both, but the track with Baird is the better of the two. The third session is with three film historians, who give us some nice details about the production and the film’s lasting impact. Jerry Goldsmith also talks about selected pieces of his score, which adds even more insight. If you love the score, and who doesn’t, an isolated music option is available as well. You can also enable a BonusView mode which supplies random trivia about The Omen, while other extras include a deleted scene, three featurettes, interviews, Donner’s introduction, and the film’s theatrical trailer. The two sequels offer an audio commentary each and the respective theatrical trailers. I wasn’t bowled over by either commentary, but for fans, there are some tidbits thrown in. The remake’s supplements include a bland, but informative audio commentary session, a couple of featurettes, some extended scenes, and a BonusView trivia track option.