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A Teenage boy with a passion for all things nerdy! Expect a lot of Doctor Who, Cult/Horror Movies, Literature and Novels, History, Comic Books and random thoughts. Posts published weekly on a Friday evening. DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the items reviewed on this site and i also do not own of the pictures (unless stated so). If you own one of the photos and wish for it to be removed contact me at this adress: Super.pig@live.co.uk. However all of the written work is my own and is protected under copyright law.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Damien: Omen 2 (1978)

My reasons for posting this very special review on this very special date are simple: Today is my birthday and I wanted to treat myself. Now as regular readers will know I often commented that this was my favourite horror movie of all time, well I lied to myself. All though I will admit this is on par with my number 1, that picture will always come first due to nostalgic reasons. So why you my ask am I reviewing this? For a start this is a whole lot funner to review and I wanted to explore different opinions on this film as all the reviews I found share the same one.

  The movie continues the plot of the original (I highly suggest you see this first) but skips seven years between the two. In this the thirteen year-old Damien (Jonathan Scott-Taylor) is in the care of his uncle (William Holden), aunt (Lee Grant) and hangs with his uncle’s son Mark (Lucas Donat). Damien’s uncle Richard owns Thorn industries a massive corporation that deals in electronics as well as many other profitable enterprises. One of its employees however wants to introduce a radical and controversial scheme involving the world’s food supply...


Meanwhile Damien is enjoying life at the Military school he attends with Mark, that is it until he becomes aware of some vast destiny that is his. Something that will affect not only his life but the entire worlds as well...

This movie is amazing. I know a lot of people prefer the original and I still don’t know why this movie has the effect it does on me. It has that effect however and there is nothing I can do to change it. However I can  attempt to indentify why I enjoy it so much, even if I don’t find out why I prefer it to the original.

For a start there is the whole feel of the movie, it seems to be a lot more light hearted. Also the largely increased budget makes the film a lot more polished and allows us to see some magnificent set pieces. The scenes in the wood for example have a kind of beauty to them and an almost dreamlike feel, a complete contrast to the burial scene afterwards. Some have said that Don Taylor’s direction is too plain, not lively enough, as always I disagree. Just look at Damien’s first scene where clever camera works symbolises Damien walking through the flames of hell, even if it is just a bonfire. This scene symbolises Damien’s evil heritage and we know that this kid is going to do some very naughty things. So what does the Director do in the next scene? Makes us pity the little brat when his aunt is mean to him. It’s a fantastic scene that leaves you wondering afterwards why you felt sorry for a character that you know is the villain in the movie. Up until Damien discovers his heritage he his filmed as just an ordinary 13 year old boy, no sinister scenes apart from the above mentioned and when he experiences his “gift”.

Like the budget another thing in the film that is a step up from the original is the death scenes. Now some of these do stretch human belief (I’m looking at you blind woman meets truck scene!) but others are quite disturbing. Recently I showed this to a friend of mine who thought that to be scary it needs to be gory. So I was rather surprised when he was disturbed by Lew Arye’s death under the ice, however I had always thought of this as the film’s most shocking scene. It’s filmed in an incredibly haunting way with people still running all over the ice looking for him, even though both they and the viewer knows he’s dead. Sadly DO2 has been criticised for relying on the deaths too much instead of plot. Have you people watched the film?? There are about three plots in total! I admit I am largely against gratuitous violence in movies but to be fair the makers had very little choice not to up it for the sequel.

The soundtrack is something else that has been heavily criticised over the years for being just an edited version of the originals. What Jerry goldsmith does is not just edit bits of the original but takes a 30 second snippet and turns it into a whole song. For example, the scene in the original where Thorn is exhuming the bodies has a ten second snippet of music before the lids are lifted. Goldsmith manages to turn this into a whole track.

The main reason is of course Damien. Something noticeable in the omen trilogy is that in each one Damien is given more screen time. In the first despite loving Gregory Peck’s performance I always wanted to see a little be more of the Tiny Terror. I always thought that the writer thought of him as a plot device and not a character. In the third movie you saw too much of Damien with the heroes there to get killed and (SPOLIERS!!!!) kill Damien. Now sadly DO2 does not get the balance right. If the plot strand involving Paul Buhr had been made smaller and replaced with more of Damien at military school then it would have been perfect. Even so you get the best portrayal of Damien in the entire series in this film. The actor who does this is the ever so great Jonathan-Scott Taylor whose career sadly never took off. How JST handles the story of Damien is so fantastic that he becomes the films main attraction, lowering the films “big name” William Holden to a mere Gregory peck impersonator. JST manages to switch the character from just an ordinary boy to what is easily the best evil kid portrayal ever on film. JST once said in an interview that he chose to portray Damien in a Carrie type way, more stuck with his heritage than wanting it. Yes this is what the script chose to do but if an actor does not understand how a charcater should be played then it can often be a dissaster. For example the scene where (SPOILERS!!!!) Damien kills Mark and then bursts into tears afterwards could have been a disaster had JST not fully understood the emotions that Damien is feeling. I have no idea how old JST was when Omen 2 was made but I beleive he was either 14 or 16. For a Boy that age to cry and scream over a character that they know does not exist is truly fantastic acting.

GORE: quite bad but nowhere near the 18 rating the film is given

NUDITY: none

OVERALL RATING: 10/10 fantastic, buy it or watch it NOW!!!

*please note I am now longer intending to find information on the different dvd releases for the films I review as the reviews take up enough time as it is. However if you want information on a particular film I have reviewd, comment on it and I will do my best to help you.

7 comments:

  1. OMG! Just WOW Cal!
    Really great review. And i love the <> photo collection (i saw all the pictures but i didn`t see the 4-th one! Where Carl Bugenhagen is near Igael`s Wall! Where did you find it?

    And the main (first) photo i saw on a Facebook. Btw, here`s my new account there (you can check it if you want :)

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001624340709

    Many YT users asked me to create it and finally i did! And the main thing that i found JST there! (Actually i don`t know if it`s him but already two users confirmed it. Here it is:

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001624340709#!/pages/Jonathan-Scott-Taylor/134384396593310

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  2. I beleive i got the photo you requested off of the omen chronicles in the jennings dark room section

    and your right it could be him. the porblem with facebook is that some times people pretend to be famous people so we may never know...

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  3. But we can always check it (by asking him about something) the more if we concider the information which we knew about him (if it`s fake account then that user just can answer nothing :)

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  4. your right of course and it would be fantastic if it is him

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  5. Good work youngblood, some excellent points. My last trip to Texas coincided with Halloween 2008; subscription TV meant that networks could show whatever they liked whenever they chose to. Hence digesting the entire Omen 'Trilogy' over a rather long breakfast one morning!

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  6. Hello Cal
    I hope you don't think it's too weird that I'm commenting on a nearly three year old post, but I only found your blog yesterday, through a profile search - apparently only five people in the whole of Blogger-land list Damien: Omen 2 as a favourite film, you and I being two of them! It's my favourite film ever, and a lot of that has to do with Jonathan Scott-Taylor, who, as you suggest, acts everyone else off of the screen. I agree that it was sad that his career didn't go anywhere much after the film, although from what I've read, some of that was due to his deciding to go and do other things - I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that he ended up as a stockbroker. Anyway, thanks for the review, and for reassuring me that I'm not the only person in the world who thinks this is a wonderful film!

    Best wishes
    Sammy B

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    Replies
    1. Hey Sammy :)
      No of course I don't think it's weird if anything I think it's very flattering :D thank you I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! it is a brilliant film :) I aplogise for my late reply I've been away! but the blog is back and I'll be updating regularly :D
      Cal :)

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