This sequel, released two years after the blockbuster success of "The Omen", is itself a stylish thriller. Featuring an excellent cast, it attempts to continue the momentum of the original. While having some shortcomings, the film, nonetheless, manages to entertain and shock. This is due in large part to its excellent cast and another chilling musical score by Jerry Goldsmith that is used to great effect.
This film continues the story begun in "The Omen". The Antichrist, Damien (Jonathan Scott Taylor), is here on earth and is now twelve, His parents, Katherine and Robert Thorn, now dead, and Damien is being raised by his uncle, Richard Thorn (William Holden) and his second wife, Ann (Lee Grant). He lives with them and Richard Thorn's son by his first wife, Mark (Lucas Donat). Damien is disliked by his Aunt Marion (Sylvia Sidney), who counsels the Thorns to separate Mark from Damien with whom he is close.
Damien attends a militairy boarding school with his cousin Mark. There, Damien's interests are looked after by Sgt. Neff (Lance Hendricksen), a sort of earthly sentinel. There, Damien begins to flex his satanic muscles, much to the chagrin of a school bully. Meanwhile, Damien's interests in the Thorn family's multi-million dollar empire are being watched over by his uncle's highly placed executive employee, Paul Buher (Robert Foxworth), unbeknownst to his uncle. This is a man about whom Thorn's chief executive, Bill Atherton (Lew Ayres) has some serious misgivings. When several of the people who stand in the way of Damien securing control of the family fortune meet unusual deaths, the viewer knows that Damien's true nature has been unleashed.
William Holden and Lee Grant are terrific. With straightforward, sincere portrayals, they are the linchpins of this movie. Jonathan Scott Taylor is good as Damien but not particularly charismatic. Well nuanced performances are given by Richard Foxworth and Lance Hendriksen, Damien's earthly sentinels. Old timer Lew Ayres is wonderful as the ethical business man, and Sylvia Sidney is terrific as the aunt who knows that there is something wrong with Damien. Lucas Donat is excellent as Damien's cousin Mark.
There is a surprising twist at the end of this film, that is sure to catch the viewer unawares. Still, that is not enough to make this sequel comparable to the original. It lacks the subtlety and deft direction of "The Omen". While the director, Don Taylor, does a competent job of directing this sequel, some of the scenes are heavy handed, giving in to special effects that detract from the film, rather than enhance it.
The opening scene is a prime example of gratuitous excess. Here, the archaeologist, Bugenhagen, played by Leo McKern, reprising his original role in "The Omen", is trapped in a ruin with a friend of his, while showing him a fresco of an Antichrist that looks remarkably like Damien. As the walls come tumbling down about them, the special effects are so hokey as to be laughable. This was unnecessary, as the actors themselves were strong enough to carry the scene, had it been shot with more subtlety. Less is sometimes more, a mechanism that the original director, Richard Donner, employed to great effect.
The DVD has some bonus features, such as a commentary by the producer, but is not a loaded DVD. It has clarity of picture and sound. The DVD is well worth having, however, if one is a fan of the original film upon which this sequel was predicated.
on June 7, 2002
Over-the-top but highly effective sequel to the 1976 horror classic "the Omen." Seven years after the mysterious death of his "parents," Daniem Thorne, the Devil's son, is now twelve and living in Chicago with his adopted aunt and uncle. It is during this time when Damien learns his true identity while attending military academy. Meanwhile, folks are coming out of the woodwork to warn Richard Thorne (William Holden) that he and his wife are in danger, but anyone who so much as hints that Damien is the son of Satan gets offed--quickly and nastily. Some scenes are truly creepy; there's one scene that looks like an outtake of "the Birds," only this time it's more gory. But by far the most intense scene is the "confrontation" between Damian and his cousin Mark, who finds out who he really is. The picture is really good, although the Dolby Surround sound is really little more than glorified mono. Nevertheless, this film is flawed but well done and a must-have for fans of the horror genre.
on August 31, 2001
Now going on thirteen, Damien Thorn (Jonathan Scott-Taylor) is living in Chicago with his uncle Richard (William Holden) and his second wife Ann (Lee Grant). Damien is enrolled in a military academy and leads a charmed life, as Richard is president of Thorn Industries, a multi-national food conglomerate.
The remains of Bugenhagen - and the daggers - are located during an archaeological dig, as well as a box which contains a letter addressed to Richard, warning him about his nephew. Richard initially refuses to believe "the rantings of a senile old man" but reconsiders when those around them start falling victim to "accidents."
Meanwhile, at the urging of his drill sergeant Daniel Neff (Lance Henrikson) Damien reads the Bible - and discovers who he is. Richard's paranoia is heightened when following a small explosion at his plant, everyone is affected by noxious gas - except Damien. After his young son is suddenly stricken by a stroke (while alone with Damien) and he witnesses the horrific death of a friend, Richard retrieves the daggers and declares, "That boy has got to die."
This is an entertaining and competent sequel which continues the story, but it's more of an involving story than a frightening one. Jerry Goldsmith contributes another chilling score. Well done, and it does justice to the original.
on April 10, 2001
In theory, I should not have liked this movie. It was not as suspensful as the first, it had characters that, according to the first, were not supposed to exist (during his birthday party, Damien was described as the "heir to the Thorn millions". As such, his father should have had no brother, ergo the characters played by William Holden, Lee Grant, and Lucas Donat should not have existed!), its ending struck me as too abrupt.
But it was fun! Jonathan Scott Taylor easily stole the show as Damien, the death scenes were good, the music suspensful, the scenery nice (it was filmed, among other places, at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the "homeland" of Dungeons and Dragons), and the film had and "old money" quality to it.
As a result, I wound up liking the film despite its flaws. I must have seen it four times in the theatres, I also got a press release kit the gave bios on the actors and stories about the making of the movie.
It may have been a turkey, but, like all true turkeys, it tasted good!!!!!
on September 18, 2000
Although it lacks the queasy, frightful atmosphere of the original film and is plotted rather loosely, Damien: Omen II is loads of fun. Damien, now a very scary-looking adolescent, begins to understand his destiny while at a military school, while his uncle (William Holden) starts to realize that the chain of crazy deaths surrounding his company and family have a signifigance he doesn't want to face.
Omen II definitely fails in creating a strong narrative thrust: far too much is going on, and there are too many characters simply waiting around to be killed in another grandiose satanic "accident". Dramatically, the film is best when it centers of Damien's experience at the school (Jonathan Scott-Taylor plays Damien's ambivalence extremely well) and William's Holden's growing insecurity. But the subplots about Thorn Industries never go anywhere, and characters and ideas are introduced mere minutes before another death scene brings them to a screeching halt.
But the film does deliver on the clever fright and gore scenes: cracked ice, runaway trains, crazy elevators (eeeeeewwww! you'll see what I mean), and ghastly ravens accompanied by Jerry Goldsmith's score make the flick an unpredictable wild ride. And even if the finale doesn't build up as well as it should, there's a geuninely shocking twist that makes it all worth while. The new DVD transfer shows off the film's impressive cinematography, which will only help you enjoy it more. Ave Satani!
When we took our leave of him at the end of The Omen, Damien, the cherubic-looking Antichrist, come to earth to claim his rights, was 6 years old and in attendance at the state funeral of his father and mother, the recently deceased United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James's and Mrs. Thorn. Holding the hand of the President throughout the ceremony, Damien did not fidget. Apparently fidgets are not something to which a child "born unto a jackal" is subject.
At the start of Damien - Omen II, the inevitable sequel, we leap seven years into the future when Damien, now 13 and played by round-faced Jonathan Scott-Taylor, is living near Chicago with his uncle, Richard Thorn (William Holden), Richard's wife, Ann (Lee Grant), and his cousin Mark (Lucas Donat) in the sort of suburban splendor that only multimillions can buy in the Middle West: a 50-year-old, mock French chateau and more liveried servants than you're likely to find at Buckingham Palace.
To all outward appearances Damien is, if not the Anti-christ, then at least an Antichrist. He rarely smiles, and when he does it's a sneer. He's rude to his ancient aunt. He smokes, and when crossed by a schoolmate, all he has to do is stare to send the other kid into convulsions. Yet nobody recognizes him for what he is, not even Damien himself.
It's left to a sergeant at the military school attended by Damien and Mark to pass the word on to Damien. The sergeant is one of the Devil's helpers who miraculously appear from time to time to help Damien (and the movie's plot) along. "The time is coming," he says sternly, "for you to put away childish things and face up to who you are." Those of us who endured The Omen know what the sergeant means: "You're too old to go around murdering mummies and daddies and nannies. Act your age."
One way or another Damien does, and Omen II is the open-ended record of this particular -what should we call it?-rite of passage. Before Damien is finished this time, there have been approximately a dozen new victims, a couple of whom have succumbed to what appear to be internal disorders while others have been sliced in half, stabbed, burned, impaled, gassed, pecked (by a nasty crow) and, in the film's most inspired moment of cinematic cheese, drowned beneath the clear ice of a lake.
As foolish as it is, Damien - Omen II is fun to watch and rather stylish-looking. Much of the film was shot in and around Chicago, which, in winter, with its extraordinary architecture, must be one of the handsomest of American cities. (Although "Damien" does have trouble getting its seasons straight. While the story covers approximately nine months, the leaves on the trees suggest a perpetual autumn with occasional bouts of winter.) Still, the winter scenes are spectacular, and work subliminally to counter the many comic absurdities of the screenplay.
We'd hate to have anyone watch "Damien" with the idea that it's going to be some sort of transcendental experience. It's a joke, but as such jokes go, it's much funnier than Brian DePalma's The Fury (1978), and just as shrewd in its Grand Guignol special effects.
on December 31, 2005
THE OMEN received tons of praise for its originality and psychological horrifying suspense. But the series was not about to stop there, for the first film was just a warning of what was yet to come. In 1978, DAMIEN: OMEN II came our way and continued to scare us to death.
A week after Robert and Kathy Thorn's suspicious deaths, CARL BUGENHAGEN (again played by Leo McKern) had seen some paintings and statues that gave him definite proof that the Antichrist's existence is true. He had seen pictures of Damien on this wall of paintings from the time of his birth down to his fall. He and and friend visit this wall, where they are killed.
Seven years later, DAMIEN THORN (played by Jonathan Scott-Taylor) is now at the age of twelve, where he has been living with his uncle, RICHARD THORN (played by William Holden) and his wife, ANN (played by LEE GRANT). Richard is Robert Thorn's brother. Richard has a son named MARK (played by Lucas Donat). He and Damien attend a military academy.
Over the course of the winter, mysterious deaths occur, such as the deaths of Richard's co-workers, BILL ATHERTON (played by Lew Ayres) and PARSIAN (played by Allan Arbus) (Richard's co-workers), AUNT MARION (played by Sylvia Sidney), JOAN HART (played by Elizabeth Shephard), and many others. Their deaths were caused since they knew of Damien's true identity and they wanted him destroyed, but Damien had done to them before they could do to him. Damien has no idea of his true identity, but he feels this evil within inside of him and does not know why.
At school, Damien's class was appointed a new leader named SGT. DANIEL NEFF (played by Lance Henriksen). He informs Damien to read chapter 13 of The Book Of Revelations, where Damien learns of The Beast's number: 666. Damien finds the mark under his hair and finds that he is the son of Satan.
A friend of Richard's by the name of DR. CHARLES WARREN (played by Nicholas Pryor) informs Richard of Damien's identity, where Mark overhears. The evil inside Damien takes over, forcing Damien to kill his cousin. After Mark's funeral, Charles takes Richard to the wall, prooving Damien is the Antichrist. But all this causes Charles' demise.
Later that night, Ann and Richard head to the museum, with Damien following, where Richard finds the seven daggers in Charles death. Ann, for some oddball reason, jumps in front of the desk, holding the daggers. Richard beggs Ann to give him the daggers and then she did...by stabbing him and claiming that "...I was always there for him..." Seems as though SGT. Neff, Ann, and PAUL BEHR (played by Robert Foxworth) were all protecting Damien. But at that moment, Ann screams out Damien's name and burns to death. Well, Damien's relatives are dead, where he now seems to own everything in his family name.
This sequel was not as great as its predecessor, but it was one hell of a worthy follow-up. This sequel had a lot of horror and suspense, not as much as the first film, but enough to keep the audience intrigued. A great sequel.
on January 31, 2013
Damien Thorn is placed in the care of his uncle, the owner of Thorn Industries, after the untimely deaths of his parents. As he approaches his thirteenth birthday, the demonic forces at work will stop at nothing to see the Antichrist rise to power, meaning death to all those who oppose him! The next thrilling chapter in THE OMEN series is an excellent continuation of Damien's story. Damien is just coming to understand his own powers, but he has not yet accepted the role of the destructor. As a budding adolescent, he is caught between the innocence of childhood and the unholy destiny that awaits him. Jonathan Scott-Taylor embodies these dual personas beautifully, allowing the audience to relate to the unfortunate circumstances that surround him though they despise the growing evil that dwells within him. This is only achieved through Don Taylor's deliberately slow pace and a character-driven story arch. Academy Award winner William Holden also offers a dignified performance as Richard Thorn, while Jerry Goldsmith returns with another powerful score. The scene is now set for the Antichrist to come to full power in THE OMEN 3: FINAL CONFLICT.
I Like Horror Movies
on October 25, 2001
Seven years after his father tried to kill him, Damien Thorn, now living with his Aunt and Uncle, is fast approaching is thirteenth birthday. Once again evidence is uncovered that points to Damien's satanic origins, this time its a Mad Monk's Mural. While the forces of evil erase those that know, or at least begin to suspect, what Damien is, they also clear the path for him to gain power in the world.
Damien: Omen 2 is a pleasent surprise. While it may lack the doom and gloom of the first film, it makes up for it in having a solid plot and an interesting, if somewhat weak, subplot twist - Damien must learn of and then embrace his true purpose. The scene where Damien learns just what he is a well handled moment, as is his taunting a history teacher, blurting out the correct dates for historic events before the increasingly shaken instructor can even finish asking the questions. Damien obviously enjoys himself. The film is also jammed with the best of the 'accidental'' death sequences that most people went to see the movies for in the first place. Jerry Goldsmith's score is also a joy to hear, as is to be expected. Recommended.
on May 15, 1999
Marvellous sequal to the Omen... I never thought I would hear myself say that I enjoyed a sequal more than an original, but this is the exception.
Jonathan Scott Taylor does an amazingly superior job playing the part of Damien. Thoroughly convincing, no one could have done a better job.
In the beginning of the movie, Damien comes across as a predominantly typical 12-year-old boy, who, since his father's death, is living with his uncle, president of Thorn Industries, a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Damien struggles to both endure and comprehend the truths that were revealed to him, that he is the antiChrist. At the same time, anyone that may be a threat to Damien, or anyone who comes too close to finding out the veracity of his being ultimately meets a horrible fate. Damien: Omen II is filled with unexpected plot twists and surprises, with an particularly shocking turn at the end.
Buy this movie, watch it alone with the lights off, and be prepared for a chilling scare.