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Friday, January 20, 2017

Damien: Omen II (1978)

Since the death of his parents, a 12 year old boy (Jonathan Scott Taylor) has been in the care of his uncle (William Holden) and his second wife (Lee Grant). The circumstances regarding his parents' deaths were suspicious and as he approaches his teen years, he will soon discover who he really is. This sequel to the huge hit THE OMEN (1976) is, like most sequels, a pale imitation of the original. The original may not have been a great film but it was focused on its tight narrative and didn't have time for any distractions and it provided a genuine sense of horror and doom. DAMIEN spreads itself too thin with unnecessary characters and its grisly deaths are just that ..... grisly without any sense of true horror. The leads (Holden, Grant) are underwritten and just aren't as interesting as Gregory Peck and Lee Remick were in the first movie. It doesn't help that Scott-Taylor as Damien is about as malevolent as a tepid drink of water. Even Jerry Goldsmith's score (the first won got him an Oscar) seems tired. There is is one compelling sequence with Lew Ayres trapped under a frozen river and the film could have used more moments like that. With Sylvia Sidney, Leo McKern, Robert Foxworth, Lance Henriksen, Ian Hendry, Nicolas Pryor and Elizabeth Shepherd (TOMB OF LIGEIA). 

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