20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, William Holden, Lee Grant, Sam Neill
Extras: Commentary Tracks, Featurettes, Isolated Score, Interviews, Galleries, Trailers, and much more
Arriving for the first time on Blu-Ray, "The Omen Collection" offers us all four Omen films in high definition glory in one single box set. While the early Omen" movies are still considered landmark films and genre classics, the 2006 remake of the first film was sadly a misguided travesty that has been included here for completeness' sake.
Based on the novel by David Seltzer, director Richard Donner created an unsettling horror film with "The Omen" that relied heavily on religious themes, much like "The Exorcist" did. The result was dark, almost pagan, film that fascinated audiences around the world and established one of the movie world's youngest villains – Damien. Complemented by a haunting score by Jerry Goldsmith, "The Omen" became an instant classic and genre favorite that to this date has yet to be bested.
Following up on the success of the first film, two years later Fox released "Damien: Omen II" a movie that is every bit as memorable and dark, every bit as devilish and foreboding as the first one. Older now, Damien is on his way to become one of the world's most powerful men, making sure non one stands in his way… ever! Even if it means killing off his own family members.
The third installment in the series introduced the world to actor Sam Neill, who made a lasting impression in his portrayal as the grown-up Damien, now in charge of one of the world's largest and most powerful corporations. But when the time of Jesus Christ's second coming has arrived, Damien has to make sure that the son of God never has a chance. Once again relying very heavily on biblical motives, "The Omen III: The Final Conflict" is probably the quietest and most restrained of the movies, and yet in convinces by its incredibly sinister atmosphere of doom.
In 2006 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment thought it would be a good idea to remake the original Omen film and placed it into the hands of John Moore who had proven on other occasions that he was completely inept in remaking past classics. As such his film is an abomination that I found unbearable and put somewhere on my "10 Worst Movies Ever Made" list because it fails in every aspect. With a horrible cast, a botched script and pain-inducing dialogue, this film is a remake that should have never been made.
This Blu-Ray box set is essentially the "The Omen: The Complete Collection" that was released on DVD in 2006 and brought it over into the high definition world. With 1080p high definition transfers, the movie offer more detail and texture than they ever did, making it a wonderful experience to watch these horror gems. I do have to point out, though, that these films have a very soft look at time, as a result of the original cinematography. For effect, the filmmakers used certain lenses for the production to create a look that is often blurry or distorted towards the edges of the frame. So when you notice that the image seems out of focus or overly soft at times, this is not a mistake of the high definition transfer but in fact the desired effect by the filmmakers to give the film sort of an otherworldly, unreal feel.
Color reproduction in the films is remarkably authentic also, creating the bland look of the scenery at times, and keeping the film awash in color at others. Perfectly reproducing the original look of each of the movies, the transfer also offers incredibly deep black levels for a visual presentation that has remarkable depth.
Not going cheap on the audio either, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has included a DTS 5.1 HD Master audio track for each of the films. I am a great admirer of these films and of Jerry Goldsmith's Twelve-Tone inspired score, and to have the chance to witness their glory in this pristine audio presentation makes my heart leap. It alone is worth the upgrade to high definition. Dialogues do sound a bit limited in places still, but overall the films have a solid audio presentation with good frequency response and dynamic range.
All the extras from the aforementioned DVD collection have been brought over to their respective Blu-Ray versions to make sure this set serves as a full replacement for the previous release.
"The Omen" series has long been a hallmark of the horror genre, offering a fascinating look at the fight between good and evil. Now arriving in glorious high definition, this would be a great time to revisit the films and see for yourself, just how remarkable they are.