If I were a religious man, I would say that I be leaving for church right now after seeing A&E’s new show Damien which is based off the classic horror franchise, The Omen. I can remember seeing the horror trilogy when I was in my teens and being absolutely terrified by several elements; the demonic theme music, the dark settings, and the supernatural killings that took place. With a strong fan base, this series is a breath of fresh air for a franchise that was feared dead after the bomb of the 2006 remake. Damien completely erases that and is a spinoff of the classic 1976 version directed by Richard Donner and stars Gregory Peck. If you’ve never seen any of the films then here’s a quick summary.
Gregory Peck plays an American ambassador who decides to adopt a son with his wife and they both soon figure out there’s something wrong with the child. Through a series of unfortunate events, they soon find out he has arguably one of the darkest destinies ever prophesized. It’s a saga full of biblical horrors and disturbing scenes that supposedly ended with The Omen 3: The Final Conflict starring Sam Neil in 1981. Like all good things however in Hollywood, someone didn’t have the good sense to leave it alone and tried to reboot the franchise in 1991 with The Omen 4: The Awakening. The film was so bad that instead of reigniting the inferno, it just sent the saga into the 9th circle of Hollywood.
But last night at 10 p.m. eastern time on A&E, The Omen was reborn by bringing back familiar elements from the 1976. The show starts off with introducing Damien Thorn played by Bradley James (IZombie, Homeland), who is now 30 and apparently a simple photographer for a media outlet in New York. Oblivious to his childhood past, he continues to live his life almost in solitude out of fear for the safety of others. When an incident revives his memories; he begins to investigate what he forgot only to realize that some things were best left forgotten, especially numbers. When it becomes clear that Damien has a destiny he doesn’t want a part of, he does everything in his power to deny his throne.
Now the problem that stands out is Damien is thirty and in present day. The film came out in 1976 so the age is off but then again, they never addressed the dates so it slightly passes. The other problem is that the episode is filled with relics that dedicate this series to the classic version so fans will catch them instantly and be excited but would be fans will ignore them completely. The introduction music closely resembles the original opening theme that still gives goosebumps and the ending gave a chilling cliffhanger along with a preview of what to expect this season. The preview promises the first season to be just as terrifying and suspenseful as the first three films with Damien fighting his destiny.
While the series is original, it’s basically a remake of the second film Damien: The Omen 2 and using the same plot to bring it into modern times. It’s more than likely this will be picked up for a second season but will it go on, possible if the show can keep the momentum going. Damien gets a 7 out of 10 for creating an original story around a classic and bringing it into modern times. I may not be a religious man but I am a fan of true horror films like The Omen and this series brings back a feeling that’s almost nostalgic. Much like Bates Motel, Damien is a hit that will attract new fans while bringing back the old ones loyal to the franchise, so hats off to A&E.