The Omen Collection (1976) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Horror / Thriller
Fox || R - 436 minutes - $129.98 || October 7, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-10-14


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Richard Donner, Don Taylor, Graham Baker, John Moore
Writer(s): David Seltzer (written by/characters)
Cast: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Billie Whitelaw, William Holden, Sam Neill, Julia Stiles, Liev Schreiber, Mia Farrow, David Thewlis, Pete Postlethwaite, Michael Gambon


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 6 Feature Commentaries
  • Isolated Score Track
  • 6 Featurettes
  • 2 Trivia Tracks
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes
  • 666: The Omen Revealed Documentary
  • The Omen Legacy Documentary
  • Introduction by Richard Donner
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Still Photo Gallery


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Widescreen (2.35), Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (DTS HD MA 5.1), English (Mono), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean

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.::THE FILM::.

While each film is a bit different from the next, I will give a brief synopsis of the first film and my reactions to the sequels and remake. The first film sets the story where we meet the Thorn family. Right away we see Katherine Thorn (Lee Remick) give birth to her first child, a baby boy who dies shortly after making it out of the womb. Devastated by the news, Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) agrees to take another baby that was born the same night (the mother had not made it through childbirth) and hopes that Katherine never finds out he made the switch. After a quick conversation with a Priest the deal is done and Katherine and Robert go home to raise their baby boy.

Fast forward five years and we are greeted with a huge birthday party in honor of Damien's (Harvey Stephens) fifth birthday. Things seem to be going great for the Thorn Family - living in a huge mansion with maids and Robert is a US Ambassador. During the party we come to realize things are not how they are suppose to be when the nanny decides, in an apparent act for attention at the time, to jump off the roof of the mansion with a noose around her neck.

After her death, the family finds out that they have a new nanny, Mrs Baylock (Billie Whitelaw) sent from "the agency" that is the replacement for the previous one. Robert soon believes something is wrong with the child when things start to happen and eventually Katherine feels the same way. Armed with the warning from a priest (Patrick Troughton) and a local camera man Jennings (David Warner), Rovert leaves in search of answers as to what is wrong with his son Damien.

The Omen (1976) (****Ĺ / *****) is really the movie you should be buying this set for. Itís a classic film all around filled with suspense and terror - something films of the 1970's were all about. While I've now seen the film several times over the past few years, each time I watch it I wind up liking it more and more. The characters are very well developed and acted, and soundtrack composed by Jerry Goldsmith is simply outstanding. Itís hard to really classify this film as "horror" because itís not - while there are some death scenes the majority of the time we are spent wondering if Damien truly is bad and hoping Robert can find a way to mend his broken family.

Damien: Omen II (***ĺ / *****) takes a look at a young thirteen year old Damien who know lives with his uncle and cousin. For a sequel, I was surprised how much I actually enjoyed this film. While not as creepy as the first, it still brought several great death scenes (even if some of the affects look fake now with the help of HD) and a good cast of characters. This film tends to tell the tale of Damien who is just now finding out about his powers and who he really is while he attends Military school and plans on taking over Thorn Enterprises. A worthy sequel.

The Omen III - The Final Conflict (***Ĺ / *****) brings us to the conclusion of the Damien trilogy. Damien, now in his early thirtyís now runs Thorn Enterprises and is apparently very successful at what he does. This film deals with the fact that the 7 knives that his father (and uncle) tried to kill him with has surfaced and a religious group who knows of his existence plans on taking him out. While not as good as the second film, this sequel still holds up fairly well by getting Sam Neill to portray a much older, wiser Damien (sans the accent). The ending though seems a bit rushed though and left me still feeling that the story was a bit unresolved.

The Omen 666 (2006 Remake) (** / *****) is really, really bad. While I typically don't have any issues when films are simply a remake, this one is more of a "re imagining" and brings nothing new to the table. Itís almost as if they took the script for the original, changed it around slightly and made the deaths more elaborate and that's it. Itís been about two years now since I saw the remake, and right after I finished with the Original Omen on Blu-ray I popped this one in and felt bored to death. Itís the same film just a hell of a lot worse. Why couldn't they have done something like Dawn of the Dead (2004) where it had the general basis with a whole new group of characters in a similar situation? Do yourself a favor and just skip this one altogether.

What's oddly missing from the film is the 4th installment (The Awakening). While it was a direct to TV film, itís still a disappointment this one couldn't be included in this set (as it was for the previous DVD release of films) as itís still a part of the franchise. This film does not include any characters from the first three and instead focuses on the re-incarnation of Damien into a female called Delia and is even worse than the remake. It could be because of a rights issue MGM/Fox had, or that they want to focus on the character of Damien instead (why not call this The Damien collection then?). Regardless, you are not missing much.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

+ The Omen ****Ĺ / *****, *** / ***** (BD EXCLUSIVES)

Commentary by Director Richard Donner and Editor Stuart Baird, Commentary by Director Richard Donner and Brian Helgeland, Commentary by Film Historians Lem Dobbs, Nick Redman and Jeff Bond ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

The Omen Revelation: Trivia Track - I usually love Trivia Tracks as they provide little bits of information here and there... but this was a bit too short for my taste. Needed a bit more trivia. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

666: The Omen Revealed and The Omen Legacy - Probably the best part of the disc is two very long documentaries (over two hours long!) on everything that has to do with The Omen. Very well thought out and I'm glad this was carried over from the previous DVD editions.

Deleted Scene (with Commentary) - A holy grail for some, this is a single deleted scene that shows the menace that Damien's Dogs do.

Richard Donner on The Omen (HD) ** Blu-ray Exclusive **, Introduction to the film by Richard Donner, Screenwriters Notebook, An Appreciation: Wes Craven & Jerry Goldsmith discussed The Omen Score

Also included is an Isolated Score Track (** Blu-ray Exclusive **), Still Photo Gallery and Theatrical Trailers.

+ Damien: The Omen II *Ĺ / *****

Commentary by Producer Harvey Bernhard, Theatrical Trailer

+ The Omen III: Final Conflict *Ĺ / *****

Commentary by Director Graham Baker, Theatrical Trailer

+ The Omen 666 (2006 Remake) **ĺ / *****, * / ***** (BD EXCLUSIVE)

Commentary by Director John Moore, Producer Glenn Williamson and Editor Dan Zimmerman, Devils Footnotes: Trivia Track ** Blu-ray Exclusive **, Abbey Road Sessions, Revelations 666, Extended Scenes

Overall the remake has some very poorly thought at special features. Nothing here was remotely interesting to me besides the trivia track.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The Omen (1976) is presented in 2.35:1 (AVC/MPEG-4) on a 50GB Disc. ***ĺ / *****

The Omen II: Damien is presented in 2.35:1 (AVC/MPEG-4) on a 50GB Disc. **** / *****

The Omen III: The Final Conflict is presented in 2.35:1 (AVC/MPEG-4) on a 50GB Disc. **** / *****

The Omen 666 (2006 Remake) is presented 1.85:1 (AVC/MPEG-2) in on a 25GB Disc. (This disc is identical to the previous 2006 Blu-ray release) **** / *****

Each film looks progressively better than the last (for obvious reasons like some being made years after), but overall I'm still not that happy with the transfer. The first film is the one most will probably want to watch and while I found it to look really good, it still had some problems. In one scene, Katherine is at the bottom of the stairs telling Mrs. Baylock to get Damien ready for church and if you look closely at the white banister you will see a halo effect to it - almost as if there are now two banisters! Some other issues are a bit of Edge Enhancements and other halo affects on bottles and hats. The sequels do look a bit better and the remake looks great, even though it suffers from the old MPEG2 transfer.

The first three films include an English DTS MA 5.1 track as well as standard English, Spanish and French Mono tracks. The Omen 666 includes an English DTS MA 5.1 track as well as standard Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in Spanish and French (Subtitles in English and Spanish). After watching all four films I feel the First film and well as the remake sound the best out of the bunch while the sequels sound just as great, itís just that the score is now as pronounced. I didn't notice any pops or crackles through any of the films.



.::OVERALL::.

If you really love all The Omen films, pick this set up. You won't see The Omen II and III released separately anytime soon so if you want them youíre going to have to buy this set. While I found the picture quality to be decent on most of the films, I can't really see myself every wanting to watch any of The Omen films besides the first. Luckily for film fans, The Omen is available by itself in normal Blu-ray packaging and I would recommend picking that one up.

This collection is just a mess. The packing is absolutely horrific and I can only hope Fox fixes this in the future and offers normal Blu-ray packaging similar to the Die Hard Trilogy (all four films in one big Blu-ray case) or even Sony's Spider-Man Trilogy with individual Blu-ray keep cases inside of a nice cardboard case. Fox messed this set up bad by making the set the size of the set taller than a typical Blu-ray case and putting the four discs in a cheap cardboard foldout with foam insert. Bad Fox, bad!