If you're one of those people who scratched their heads with bemusement on hearing that Irish director John Moore was going to remake ever dependable 1970s horror 'The Omen', then you'll indulge in even more nails-to-scalp friction after seeing the finished product. There's a strong cast here but, as you probably suspected, no need for this film. And if the attention spans of teen audiences are so short now that they can't be bothered to seek out a horror classic that is only 30-years-old, then we're probably closer to doomsday than we all think.

The set-up is identical to the original. US diplomat Robert Thorn (Schreiber) is based in Rome where his wife Kate (Stiles) develops complications during childbirth and loses the baby. Without telling her, Thorn agrees to a priest's offer to take another newborn at the hospital whose mother died during childbirth. Thorn rises up the political ladder and becomes diplomat to London, but not long after his arrival he and his wife realise that all is not well with their son.

The most inspiring thing about this film was the decision to release it on 6/6/06 and the most galling thing is how few of his own ideas Moore brings to the story, once again written by David Seltzer. From dialogue to set pieces, this is the movie equivalent of a faithful cover version which does nothing for itself and only enhances the credentials of the original. Moore manages to throw a few jumps into the familiar storyline with scary dream sequences, but he's undone by his unwillingness to take more risks and a child star who lacks the aura for the role - chances are you'll spend the film thinking he looks like the singer from Mercury Rev than fearing his character's every move.

Watchable, but completely pointless.

Harry Guerin