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Section Header
The Omen
(2006)
Composed and Co-Arranged by:
Marco Beltrami

Co-Orchestrated and Conducted by:
Pete Anthony

Co-Orchestrated and Co-Arranged by:
Bill Boston

Co-Orchestrated by:
Marcus Trumpp
Dana Niu

Additional Music by:
Jerry Goldsmith

Label:
Varèse Sarabande

Release Date:
June 6th, 2006

Also See:
The Omen
Damien: Omen II
The Final Conflict

Audio Clips:
4. New House/Damien's Deliverance (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

9. More Tantrums (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

15. Drive to Bugenhagen (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

19. Boy Genius (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Availability:
Regular U.S. release.

Awards:
  None.









The Omen

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Buy it... only if you are comfortable enough with Marco Beltrami's own compositional techniques in the horror genre to hear him re-invent the sound of this franchise while carrying over only some of the elements from Jerry Goldsmith's classic.

Avoid it... if you simply cannot accept any film in this franchise without its famous title theme, "Ave Satani," in a primary role or, on top of that, if you expect Beltrami to match his mentor's impressive narrative for the plot's series of realizations.



Beltrami
The Omen (2006): (Marco Beltrami) Collective groans abounded when it was announced that 20th Century Fox had backed a remake of the 1976 horror classic The Omen to coincide with the date of June 6th, 2006. It's difficult to figure that's more obnoxious: studios bankrupt of new ideas attempting to deface an iconic film to make an easy buck or, more generally, the population's ridiculous fear of the number 666, the superstitious fool's number of "The Beast." Like Gus Van Sant's remake of Psycho in the prior decade, John Moore's update of The Omen was always meant to be extremely faithful to the original movie, utilizing the same script and many of the same memorable shots. The tale of Damien Thorn is one of religious stupidity but entertaining horror, postulating that the Antichrist is born and per chance raised in a position poised to be connected to power in the future. As his horrified parents learn the truth about the disobedient little turd, they and their friends act too late to prevent themselves from convenient deaths in gruesome manners (which, unfortunately, do differ somewhat from the original). Therefore, anyone familiar with the 1976 version will find absolutely nothing of significance to be new with the 2006 remake, aside from the modernization of set elements, inferior acting performances, and a less memorable score. Moore had collaborated with composer Marco Beltrami for the remake of Flight of the Phoenix a few years earlier and called upon him again for The Omen, a fitting choice given that the young composer had been a pupil of Jerry Goldsmith at USC. Having passed away in 2004, Goldsmith's career ended with 1976's The Omen representing his only Academy Award win, a highly influential score that shaped the sound of horror music in movies for several decades thereafter. So powerful was his primary, liturgically choral theme for the movie that he was nominated for a separate Oscar for "Ave Satani" in the Academy's song category. Goldsmith's employment of Latin chants and a resoundingly deep rhythmic sense of propulsion yielded most of the praise for his work, though his unconventional application of vocal performances and a deceivingly pastoral theme for the Thorn family were arguably more impressive on a technical level. Beltrami was left in practically a no-win situation with his task in 2006. While initially considering a straight re-orchestration of Goldsmith's score, he finally opted to adapt parts of the classic (and a handful of vintage Goldsmith techniques) into essentially a new work tailored more specifically for its age.

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Reactions to Beltrami's approach to 2006's The Omen were expectedly divergent, some listeners praising him for balancing a tightrope artistically while others dissatisfied with the need to abandon the specific ideas that worked in 1976. It's hard not to sympathize with the latter thinking, because comparisons to Goldsmith's music will be inevitable. What remains from the classic score? The family theme, hints of the "Ave Satani" lyrics and progressions, and tributes to Goldsmith's mannerisms in several places. What's new from Beltrami? A primary, descending, 4-motif motif, a less cohesive narrative arc, and a whole lot of 2000's conventions. The abandonment of the full "Ave Satani" theme is truly disappointing, as is the removal of the overbearing liturgical feeling of the action and death sequences. Beltrami's replacement theme, introduced in the middle of "Ambassador Gets Fired," is extremely generic and made frightening not by its power, but by tired dissonant layers on top of it. Conversely, Goldsmith's family theme does return, gracing the latter half of "Adoption," "New House," and in solemn fragments in "Kate Doubts" and "The Funeral," but Beltrami makes the key mistake of failing to allow the idea to dissolve from bliss early in the movie to dread later on, instead making it somber from the start. Goldsmith's manipulation of the theme's tone was brilliant, while Beltrami only barely re-develops the idea. There's nothing in the 2006 score that competes with the gravity or sense of importance of Goldsmith's work. Take the competing altar cues at the climax. Whereas Goldsmith's "Ave Satani" and associated bass rhythms were resoundingly impactful on a biblical scale, Beltrami's cue contains generic pounding of stock horror motions that one might expect from John Debney on auto-pilot. Suspense sequences use the manipulation of the release of a piano pedal (which has always been an interesting sound to any pianist), several standard stinger techniques, and groaning ambient sound design to inelegantly serve the purpose of fright. The wailing female vocals in "Drive to Bugenhagen" and backwards edits in "More Tantrums" induce eye-rolling. Beltrami's use of the common three-note motif that connects both of Goldsmith's themes during several of these blasting cues is nice, but not enough to truly satisfy. The overall flow of Beltrami's The Omen is not as cleanly expressed, the slow realization of trouble in Goldsmith's score an asset that Beltrami did not emulate. A suite of three Goldsmith cues rearranged for "Omen 76/06" is too little, too late. In the end, Beltrami would have been better off tackling this remake like John Ottman did for Superman Returns the year before. By attempting to re-invent the sound of the franchise and only skirt the edges of Goldsmith's classic, he was destined to dismay listeners and diminish his own impact on the film. **   Amazon.com Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Marco Beltrami reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 2.73 (in 22 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 2.8 (in 15,764 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.





 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  


Regular Average: 2.58 Stars
Smart Average: 2.72 Stars*
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    * Smart Average only includes
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 Track Listings: Total Time: 53:56


• 1. The Omen Main Titles (2:58)
• 2. The Adoption (4:12)
• 3. Ambassador Gets Fired (1:33)
• 4. New House/Damien's Deliverance (2:20)
• 5. The Nanny's Noose (2:04)
• 6. A Cross to Bear (2:48)
• 7. Ms. Baylock (1:49)
• 8. Damien's Tantrum (1:52)
• 9. More Tantrums (2:11)
• 10. Kate Doubts (1:04)
• 11. Scooter (2:43)
• 12. Don't Let Him Kill Me (1:29)
• 13. On the Heels of Spiletto (6:58)
• 14. Dogs in the Cemetery (2:01)
• 15. Drive to Bugenhagen (1:30)
• 16. Dirty Deeds (4:12)
• 17. Altar of Sacrifice (4:10)
• 18. The Funeral (1:40)
• 19. Boy Genius (2:52)
• 20. Omen 76/06 (3:30)




 Notes and Quotes:  


The insert includes notes from both the composer and director about the score and the franchise.





   
  All artwork and sound clips from The Omen are Copyright © 2006, Varèse Sarabande. The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 2/1/12 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2012-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.