Thought I'd give this review thing a shot - please leave some comments! (minor spoilers - omen and omen II) DAMIEN – OMEN II (1978) Starring: William Holden, Lee Grant. Director: Don Taylor. The first Omen was not a big success because of its script, which was probably not as good as it could have been. Basically, the story in The Omen is like this: husband and wife have child; strange things happen around child; everyone in the audience, as well as every single supporting character, knows that the child is the antichrist; the parents discover it and try to kill him. For me, films where the audience knows something that the protagonists don’t and have to watch people trying to convince them for 90 minutes, are not examples of good screenwriting. That’s not to say that The Omen had a bad script, just that it wasn’t really good either. What did make Omen so good was the brilliant direction from Richard Donner, who made the film ooze with style and menace, the eerie score by Jerry Goldsmith, and the performances from the actors, Gregory Peck and Lee Remick in particular. Damien – Omen II picks up the pieces from where Omen left off, but instead of adding to the mythology, or indeed adding anything to the story, it just rehashes the exact plot of the original. This time, Damien has been in the care of Gregory Peck’s brother (Holden) and his second wife (Grant) for the last few years. The first signs of malevolence come when his crazy aunt, hammily played by Sylvia Sidney, decides to disinherit the family unless they get rid of Damien because she doesn't like him. Needless to say, the cooky old woman is found dead the day after. That’s basically all that happens in Omen II – people say something that Damien doesn’t like and end up dead. A bunch of people discover this pattern and after having warned Holden, they end up dead too. At the very least, the death-count will not disappoint anyone seeing this film. However, most everything else will. The story is just plain boring. Here we have once again ignorant parents that refuse to accept that their son is evil, we see them watch people around them die until they realize that they have to do something to stop this. At least in the original Omen, Gregory Peck knew something was wrong not before too long. Here, Holden doesn’t give in to reality until about 10 minutes are left. And that's after a lot of weird shit! I’d forgive the character-stupidity if the film would give me any other redeeming values. It does not. William Holden and Lee Grant are no match for Peck and Remick (and indeed, Grant has absolutely nothing to do in the film until the very end) and director Taylor has no eye for visual flourishes. The film looks really plain. Even Jerry Goldsmith’s score is disappointing, though it fits the boring film like a glove. What will I take from this film? There were a few cool death scenes that I can remember – the best of which is of course the “infamous” elevator scene, and then there’s the terribly anticlimactic conclusion, which is so melodramatically ridiculous that it's laughable (“I’ve been his all along!”). Sadly though, what I will not take from it, are all the promises of a better film. Can you imagine what this could have been had it explored the facet of the child killer more? Here we have a child that can kill at will and has no use for remorse. There are times when the film seems to be veering into an exploration of that, but it just pulls itself back after each death scene is over. Extremely frustrating. The Omen was special for many reasons, Omen II isn’t special at all.