So as we continue along with the "Omen" series and on top of that in the wacky order its been. Here we have the second installment, Don Taylor's "Damien: Omen II". This movie comes two years after the original and takes place seven years after the events of "The Omen" Damien has become a young adolescent and now lives with his aunt, uncle and cousin Mark. Now enrolled in military school Damien is on his way through the path that will eventually lead him to the top of both Thorn industries as well as becoming the antichrist he is meant to become. He has slowly started to realize his powers, though yet still struggles to come to terms with who he is.
Jerry Goldsmith returns to do the score for this movie, most of the music being from the first, although there are a few pieces that are brought in new. The arrangement of the music in this film is once again done very well, it definitely helps set the dark evil atmosphere of the movie and much like its predecessor carries a lot of the suspense in the film.
The acting in this movie is not great but its not really bad either. William Holden's character of Richard Thorn is almost exactly like Gregory Peck's character of Robert. Richard is Roberts brother so obviously they do want to draw the similarities together to make it believable, but if you didn't know any better, you'd think they were the same. The characters are very much the same and play a very similar role. Now some might think that it makes Holden's character a bit stock like because there isn't much added but, he performs it very well and like Peck's character, you feel for him and you want him to succeed. Also Damien's cousin Mark is a good addition in this film, Damien's relationship with Mark is very much a strong one. He treats him like a brother and the development between the two is done really well, because it also shows off more of Damien's humanity which is something the first film doesn't really portray as much. Jonathan Scott Taylor the actor who plays Damien himself does a good job as well. Not that trying to play a kid who's evil is all that difficult, but he doesn't ruin it, so that is good.
There are two characters in the film that are a little confusing. One which is Sergeant Neff who is played by a younger looking Lance Henriksen( Alien, Mass Effect) and the other who is Paul Buher who is played by Robert Foxworth(Syriana, Transformers) These 2 characters both play an influential role to Damien but for reasons unknown they seem to already know he's the antichrist. They make reference to his destiny and how he's going to be important in the world but nothing really explains how this is known, so it leaves you scratching your head a little.
The best part I like about this film are the death scenes. This movie for its time displays some pretty graphic scenes and it definitely puts this movie over the edge in terms of horror. I won't go into detail because I don't want to spoil it, but here is a clip of one of such scenes.
Is the movie scary? Not really, but it is pretty hefty with the suspense and horror. For a movie made in 1978 it does a good job.
How does it hold up as a sequel? Well in the horror genre sequels aren't always respected very well, mostly cause a lot of sequels are done by different directors then the originals and lots of alterations with casting and crew. This movie has all of these yet I definitely think this movie deserves respect. William Holden is not Gregory Peck and Don Taylor is not Richard Donner but, this sequel stays true to the story and true to its predecessor. The film style is very much the same and honestly I don't think you'd be able to tell that its not the same crew because I'd say they must have studied the first one very closely.
Is it worth watching? Absolutely! I came into watching this series thinking The first Omen is the only good one out of the batch and that I was just going to spend my time insulting the others. Well if you read the review to "Omen IV" That's partially true, however the original trilogy is quite phenomenal in my mind, so please watch both the second and the third.
What did I rate it?
4 Crows out of 5
Here is the trailer!