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Damien: Omen II

Blu Ray

  • Score
    76
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Highly recommended Omen series set with superb extras and a must-have for fans.

    Damien: Omen II Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    76
  • The Omen series sees varied Blu-ray quality; new 4K remasters impress with detail and color, while older transfers show age. Sequels inconsistently updated.

  • Audio
    73
  • Scream & The Omen Collection feature original & improved audio mixes, highlighting clear dialogue & sound effects. Goldsmith's robust score shines, despite some audio mix limitations in the franchise.

  • Extra
    83
  • Scream Factory's bonus features for The Omen series offer a rich mix of new interviews, archival content, and technical insights, from commentary tracks to behind-the-scenes footage and personal anecdotes, all in English without subtitles.

  • Movie
    76
  • Scream Factory releases The Omen Collection: Deluxe Edition, capturing the essence and evolution of the horror series across five films, highlighted by detailed critiques and a rich Blu-ray presentation.

    Video: 76

    Presented in its original theatrical exhibition ratio of 2.35:1, "Damien: Omen II" is encoded on a BD-50 disc using the MPEG-4 AVC format. The transfer, seemingly identical to the one Fox used for its box set release eleven years prior, strikes a balance between preserving the film's original aesthetics and catering to high-definition expectations. The most striking features of this presentation are the intact film grain that contributes to a cinematic texture and the careful calibration of colors. Despite some initial dullness and softness in colors during the film’s opening scenes, there is a notable improvement in vibrancy and detail as the movie progresses. However, there is an inconsistent application of grain and occasional minor speckles, though these do not detract significantly from the viewing experience. The average video bitrate stands at 25994 kbps, optimizing the visual clarity without burdening the playback capacity.

    In comparison to previous releases, this Blu-ray version showcases a sophistication in color correction with more natural flesh tones and a broader, more primary-rich palette. Particularly commendable is the enhanced sharpness and clarity in close-ups and medium shots, which makes textures and details, especially in facial features and scenic views, more pronounced. While "The Omen" has inherently been a soft-looking film due to its intentional cinematography style, this remaster presents a newfound depth in its visuals. The improved black levels contribute to inky depths and more defined shadows, notably enhancing darker sequences for an overall richer cinematic experience.

    The meticulous remastering effort is evident in the reduction of speckling and damageremaining true to the source material while elevating the visual presentation to meet contemporary standards. Even without HDR coloring, this Blu-ray outshines its 4K UHD SDR streaming counterpart, offering vibrant and rich colors that significantly surpass the latter’s rendering. Although other sequels in the series retain their older video transfers, "Damien: Omen II" benefits from a visual enhancement that respects and revitalizes its original atmospheric essence, managing to stand out in both its historical context and among the series' other entries.

    Audio: 73

    The audio presentation of "Damien: Omen II" on Blu Ray delivers a mixed but respectable experience, presenting both the original monaural mix for the first time as a DTS-HD Master Audio Dual Mono (1759 kbps, 24-bit) and a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround remix (2709 kbps, 24-bit) originally repurposed by Fox. The mono mix stands out for its clarity and lack of audio degradation such as hiss or pops, while the 5.1 Surround remix offers a more immersive listening experience, despite dialogue that occasionally comes through as slightly flat. However, neither track introduces distortion in sound effects, maintaining a clear auditory space throughout the film.

    Jerry Goldsmith's scoring for "Damien: Omen II" shines in these audio tracks, leveraging theme-and-variation techniques effectively, particularly with his iconic "Ave Satani." His skilled use of ostinato creates a hauntingly memorable auditory experience, with both existing and cleaned-up cues contributing to the robustness of the score on these lossless tracks. Notably, the surround mix makes room for some decent activity, adding depth to Goldsmith's compositions, although it might not fully satisfy audiophiles seeking a substantial upgrade from prior releases.

    Nevertheless, the inclusion of both audio mixes alongside optional English SDH ensures accessibility and variety in auditory experience for the viewer. While the release doesn't introduce new audio tracks and somewhat recycles content from 2008's set with a lack of significant improvement in dynamic range or surround activity, it adequately serves its purpose. The provided mixes, particularly the original mono, are still considered superior presentations for "Damien: Omen II," even if opportunities for enhancing the franchise's audio legacy were missed.

    Extra: 83

    The Blu-ray release of "Damien: Omen II" showcases an extensive array of extras, striking a perfect balance between contemporary insights and nostalgic retrospectives. The inclusion of new audio commentary by Scott Michael Bosco and the archival piece from producer Harvey Bernhard enrich the disc with deep dives into production complexities and thematic explorations. Notably impressive are the interviews with key cast members Lee Grant, Robert Foxworth, and Elizabeth Shepard, each bringing their unique reflections and behind-the-scenes anecdotes that enhance the viewing experience. Elizabeth Shepard's scrapbook presents a personal touch with its behind-the-scenes photos. The vintage featurette "Power and the Devil: The Making of DAMIEN: OMEN II" along with promotional material such as the theatrical trailer, TV, and radio spots further complement the main content by offering a glimpse into the film's original marketing efforts. This collection epitomizes Scream Factory's commitment to delivering rich, supplementary content that fans of the franchise will find both informative and entertaining.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • NEW Audio Commentary with Scott Michael Bosco: Insights into production anecdotes and thematic connections within the series.
    • Audio Commentary with Producer Harvey Bernhard: Archival commentary revealing the sequel's production journey and challenges.
    • NEW Damien's Guardian: Interview with actress Lee Grant discussing her role and experiences on set.
    • NEW The Devil's CEO: Interview with actor Robert Foxworth sharing his perspective on his character and directorial changes during production.
    • NEW The Harbinger: An extensive interview with actress Elizabeth Shepard on her experiences and character insights.
    • NEW Elizabeth Shepherd's Scrapbook: Behind-the-scenes photos with commentary by Shepherd.
    • Power and the Devil: The Making of Damien: Omen II: A look into the making of the film featuring key cast and crew.
    • Theatrical Trailer: Original promotional trailer for the film.
    • TV Spots: A series of television advertisements used to promote the film.
    • Radio Spots: Audio advertisements featuring promotional content for the film’s theatrical run.
    • Still Gallery: An extensive collection of behind-the-scenes images, press materials, and marketing posters.

    Movie: 76

    Scream Factory's release of 'Damien: Omen II' as part of 'The Omen Collection: Deluxe Edition' plunges us once again into the chilling saga that began with 'The Omen.' While the original film is celebrated for its hauntingly moody atmosphere and a riveting performance by Gregory Peck, wrestling with the agonizing truth about his son, this sequel, directed by Don Taylor and Mike Hodges, unfortunately, does not manage to conjure the same level of dread or narrative ingenuity. Tasked with expanding the sinister lore surrounding Damien, the film resorts to a slew of inventive yet ultimately less impactful killings to maintain momentum. In contrast, its predecessor thrived on a meticulously crafted mood and sophisticated storytelling."

    "The technical presentation of 'Damien: Omen II' within this five-disc set remains a highlight, showcasing Scream Factory's dedication to delivering high-quality horror classics to enthusiasts. Each film of the collection, securely housed in individual Blu-ray cases within a striking slipcover, promises an enhanced viewing experience with crisp visuals and sound that do justice to the franchise's atmospheric tension. However, as we venture through the sequels, including 'The Final Conflict' which intriguingly positions an adult Damien at the center of its narrative and attempts—though not wholly successfully—to render him a complex antagonist, it becomes evident that the series struggles to recapture the brilliant essence of its origin."

    "In summary, while 'Damien: Omen II' offers moments of intrigue and continues the dark journey begun by its formidable predecessor, it falls short of replicating the original's masterful blend of suspense and horror. Despite boasting some creative moments of terror, it languishes in the vast shadow cast by the first film, serving as a reminder of how challenging it can be to sustain the potency of horror across sequels. The effort to delve deeper into Damien's malevolent destiny is commendable but demonstrates that not all attempts to amplify a narrative resonate with the terrifying eloquence of its beginnings.

    Total: 76

    The Blu-ray presentation of "Damien: Omen II" as part of the Scream Factory collection has garnered attention for its comprehensive inclusion of both new and archival materials, solidifying its appeal among fans and collectors alike. With the addition of a brand new audio commentary by über-fan Scott Michael Bosco and enriching interviews with Lee Grant, Elizabeth Shepard, and Robert Foxworth, the disc offers a deep dive into the making and legacy of this sequel. While the uncompressed mono mix is a welcomed upgrade, the lack of a 4K remaster on the older print slightly dampens the enthusiasm for what could have been the definitive version of the film. Nonetheless, the overall presentation by Scream Factory is highly regarded, emphasizing its commitment to enhancing fan experience.

    Scream Factory’s release spans across a 5-disc collection that includes all films in "The Omen" series, with the original film receiving a standout 4K remaster that highlights significant improvements in detail, black levels, and color. While the subsequent sequels—highlighted by "Damien: Omen II"—don’t benefit from the same level of remastering as the original, their inclusion with identical transfers alongside a plethora of new and old special features provides a substantial package. The robust bonus content, alongside improved packaging over previous editions, adds considerable value to this collection, making it an attractive proposition for aficionados of the series despite some continuing reservations regarding audio mixes and visual transfers of the sequels.

    In conclusion, the Blu-ray release of "Damien: Omen II" within the Scream Factory collection merits a solid recommendation due to its exhaustive array of features and notable enhancements in audio quality. Though it falls shy of perfection without a 4K remaster for the sequel itself, it stands as a testament to the enduring allure and significance of "The Omen" series among horror cinephiles. This collection not only pays homage to the legacy of this iconic series but also underscores an unwavering dedication to preserving and celebrating its cinematic impact.