Published Feb 19, 2007It would be stretching things more than somewhat to suggest that this remake of the 1976 devil movie favourite is the desecration of a classic. Still, the original had a certain skeezy integrity that made it compellingly ugly. By contrast, the remake is utterly devoid of even rudimentary shock value. Liev Schreiber takes on the Gregory Peck role as a diplomat whose son Damien (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick) is very likely the only begotten son of Satan. Despite protests by wife Julia Stiles, he refuses to see that something is wrong until people die and certain prophecies are revealed. Where the original seized on the post-60s hangover to drive its vision of guilt and doom, the new film stumbles around trying to link things to 9/11 and the tsunami before settling on some of the least persuasive imagery of a horror movie released this year. In fact, the most frightening thing about this lifeless rip-off is that it manages to take great acting talents like David Thewlis, Pete Postlethwaite and Michael Gambon and waste them on roles they were miscast for in the first place. Schreiber struggles gamely with a difficult role but almost everyone else (including poor Mia Farrow as the devils nanny) seem to either get that its a hopeless case or pretend theyre in another picture. Rent the Peck version and pretend that this movie never happened. Extras include a supremely lame commentary by director John Moore, producer Glenn Williamson and editor Dan Zimmerman, two outstanding featurettes on the production in general and the music in particular, a way cheesy documentary on the significance of 666, and three deleted scenes, including a slightly more violent alternate ending.