The Omen (15) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

Did the Devil make them do it? It's hard to know why else they've bothered to remake this schlocky horror show from 1976, with Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles duplicating Gregory Peck and Lee Remick as the US diplomat and his wife who unwittingly adopt the sprog of Satan. Director John Moore plods through familiar scenes as he and his team try to pass off Prague as London and the cast are left to flail through the hokum. It descends into a chaotic festival of bad acting, from which you can decide your own winners: Michael Gambon as a mad scriptural scholar, Mia Farrow as a mad nanny, or Pete Postlethwaite as a mad Catholic priest. "He'll kill - he'll kill again!" the latter pleads to Schreiber, not twigging that if he delivered his apocalyptic warnings a bit less hysterically he might be believed. His death - skewered by a lightning rod that falls from a church roof - at least accords with his ripe persona: to have died peacefully in bed might perhaps have been a disappointment to him.

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