Obviously with franchises, especially with horror, there always the first films that are classics, the sequels are from good to decent to bad, and then there are the remakes, which are mostly forgettable. This is definitely the case with the Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist, Friday the 13th (yes, I said it), and A Nightmare On Elm Street franchises. However, if there is one that often gets overlooked, it is The Omen Collection, for better or worse, a worthwhile series that is going to be released as a new deluxe edition this week from the good folks at Shout/Scream Factory, just in time for Halloween.
Richard Donner's original Omen is often considered one of the greatest horror films ever made, and rightly so. With a great cast (Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Billie Whitelaw, and Harvey Stephen as Damien); an iconic Oscar-winning score (by legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith); and classic set-pieces (such as Damien's birthday party, the graveyard sequence, the baboon attack, Warner's decaptiation, and the bleak ending), the film still manages to creep on you with its sophisticated atmosphere and well-directed eerieness.
Damien: Omen II is the 1978 follow-up, which is not as polished nor elegant as its predecessor but still has some gnarly death scenes. Starring William Holden, Lee Grant, Lance Henriksen, and Jonathan Scott-Taylor as 13-year-old Damien, where he discovers his destiny as the Anti-Christ. Notable for another terrific score by Goldsmith.
The Final Conflict, the decent third film from 1981 is where Damien (now played by Sam Neill) fully realizes his full power and is appointed United States ambassador to Britian, where he plans to take over the world and tries to recruit the son of new his girlfriend to follow him. Has another chilling score by Goldsmith.
Omen IV: The Awakening, the fourth movie, is a ridiculous made-for-TV thriller where Damien's daughter Delia (Asia Vieira) is adopted by a couple who are unaware of her evil lineage as she tries to continue her father's quest of world domination.
And there's the much-maligned 2006 remake starring Julia Stiles, Liev Schreiber, David Thewlis, and Mia Farrow in a mostly shot-for-shot reboot that has its fans and definite detractors.
The new box set has hours and hours of new and vintage special features: commentaries, interviews, trailers, tv & radio spots, still galleries, a documentary of franchise's legacy, and much, much more. This obviously should make an amazing addition for horror fanatics and film collectors alike.
Haxan (Criterion) - A new Blu-ray & DVD upgrade of the 1922 silent chiller that centers of a series of creepy vignettes exploring the hypothesis of witchcraft in the Middles Ages.
Twin Peaks: The Television Collection (1990-2017) - A new collection of the groundbreaking David Lynch series about young hotshot FBI agent Dale Cooper investigating the murder of supposedly innocent high schooler Laura Palmer. Contains the original two seasons and the recent third season only. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me isn't included.
The Fearless Vampire Killers - Roman Polanksi's 1967 delightful spoof about a professor and his apprentice who fall prey to vampires, while on the search for a missing damsel-in-distress.
Scarface (4K) - Brian De Palma's classic and sublimely excessive 1983 remake about the bloody rise-and-fall of cuban immigrant Tony Montana.
Killer Nun - Anita Ekberg plays a demented nun who kills patients while having a sexual affair with another nun.
The Queen of Spades - Anton Walbrook stars a Russian army captain who secretly covets the wealth and position of his fellow officers. When he learns that a countess has struck a bargain with the Devil to gain the knowledge he desires of a card game, he worms his way into her home to get that knowledge, which leads to dire consequences.