The Omen appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. A release from the format’s infancy, this Blu-ray showed its age.
The majority of the concerns related to sharpness. Fine detail seemed somewhat lacking, as many shots often came across as a bit soft.
Close-ups tended to seem reasonably good, but other elements fell short of expectations. This led to an image with acceptable definition but not the kind of clarity I anticipate from Blu-ray.
No jagged edges or shimmering appeared, but I noticed a little light edge enhancement. Source concerns were absent.
As one might expect from this sort of film, Omen featured a generally chilly color palette. The tones occasionally brightened – such as during Damien’s birthday party – but stayed pretty subdued for the most part, with an emphasis on blues.
The movie replicated the color design in a passable manner. However, the hues tended to seem restricted and without much vivacity.
Blacks seemed dark and tight, while low-light shots came across as appropriately opaque but not excessively dense. This dated presentation seemed mediocre.
At least I felt happier with the pretty positive DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of The Omen. Though the mix didn’t suffer from any notable flaws, it lacked great ambition.
For the most part, the soundfield was restrained. Matters opened up occasionally through thunderstorms and a few action sequences, but don’t expect a lot of fireworks.
The elements concentrated on the front channels, where they presented good localization and connection. These speakers melded with the surrounds naturally and formed a nice sense of placement, though they rarely went far beyond general atmosphere.
Audio quality stayed positive. Speech was crisp and concise, with no edginess or other issues.
Music appeared bright and lively, as the score demonstrated good vivacity and range. Finally, effects sounded clean and accurate.
Bass response was full and highs remained taut. This mix failed to present the ambition necessary for anything above a “B”, but it satisfied nonetheless.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The lossless audio seems more robust and fill, while the visuals appear a bit more concise and vivid.
But not radically so. While the Blu-ray comes with a more appealing image, it shows its age and lacks the detail and vivacity I’d expect from the format.
Some – but not all – of the DVD’s extras appear here, and we open with an audio commentary from director John Moore, producer Glenn Williamson, and editor Dan Zimmerman. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific piece.
They get into cast and performances, sets and locations, color schemes and other visual choices, changes from the original movie, the score and costumes, stunts and effects, and various story issues and choices.
At its best, this commentary offers a reasonably insightful view of the film. I like the discussion of alterations from the original movie, as the two are so much alike that I missed a lot of small changes. I also think we get decent information about various decisions and themes.
Unfortunately, the participants just can’t help but tell us how much they love the movie. They constantly prattle about this great performance or that beautiful shot or whatever. This creates a tedious tone to the program, as the frequent praise grows tiresome.
Hey, I kinda like the flick and I’ve been through more than enough commentaries to expect some fluffiness, but I couldn’t take the inordinate amount of happy talk on display. That factor made this a disappointingly erratic commentary.
New to the Blu-ray, The Devil’s Footnotes provides a text commentary. It covers historical/Biblical/Satanic/occult topics as well as some production areas. “Footnotes” comes with a lot of content and works pretty well.
For a look at the score, we go to the 10-minute, 14-second Abbey Road Sessions. It includes comments from Moore, composer Marco Beltrami, 20th Century Fox Music head Robert Kraft, and composer Buck Sanders.
We see Beltrami work on his music and get thoughts about why he chose the selections he used. We also learn about orchestration choices and the recording of the score. Lots of footage from various locations help make this an interesting little featurette.
Revelation 666 lasts 22 minutes, 17 seconds. It presents remarks from Moore, professional poker player Phil Laak, film scholar Sophia Siddique Harvey, USC Professor of Communication Stephen O’Leary, Christian author Tim LaHaye, Church of Satan warlock Brian Moore, LMU Professor of Religion David Sanchez, Rabbi Dan Greyber, conspiracy hobbyist Gene Roth, screenwriter Dan McDermott, music promoter Barry Richards, rock band Society 1, and clinical psychologist Dr. Wayne Aoki.
“666” investigates Satanic topics. It mostly concerns itself with the numerical side of things and interpretations of 666. We also get a few reflections on The Omen and the possible presence of Satan in today’s society.
This all gets pretty goofy, to be honest, and some of it’s just plain wrong; the Rolling Stones never embraced Satanic subjects. Heck, negativity that sometimes accompanied their performances of “Sympathy for the Devil” freaked them out – they definitely weren’t devil-worshipers. “666” is a sporadically interesting show, but it’s too silly and not exactly a rich investigation of its subjects.
Two Extended Scenes appear: “Impaling” (2:07) and “Beheading” (2:05). These simply add a little more gore and violence to the segments seen in the released flick, so don’t expect anything new.
A few extras go missing from the DVD. We lose trailers as well as a documentary called “Omenisms”.
If you go anticipate a creative, fresh experience from the 2006 take on The Omen, you’ll leave disappointed, as it adheres very closely to its predecessor. If you want a fairly tight, spooky horror flick, however, the remake is the one to watch. Despite its lack of creativity, it improves on the original with a more intricate, less florid view of events. The Blu-ray presents good audio and a mix of supplements with mediocre picture. Though I kind of like the movie, the visuals here need an upgrade.
To rate this film, visit the original review of OMEN (2006)