Let’s go to Poland.
I realize that with the name of this film and my title I may have implied Poland is a hellhole. Not my intention, but these Polish films do make the country look a little rough.
Anyway, the film opens with the final sequence of the Omen (more or less) and then jumps to thirty years later where we follow Father Marek, who begins working at a spiritual sanitorium. However, he isn’t a priest and is actually a police officer investigating why so many patients are going missing. He must fool those around him as he uncovers a dark conspiracy.
While the ideas present in this film are interesting enough the execution leaves a bit to be desired. We’ve got about 80 minutes of actual film, and a lot of that is spent on empty scenes of doors closing and hallways. Our characters exposition dump rather than converse, and the lighting is simply too dark to appreciate most of the film. I’m all for natural lighting, but be realistic with your settings.
The overall drama of the story just isn’t exciting enough to overcome the technical issues of the film. The acting is fine but everyone seems to be the same overly serious and somber stoic, which makes distinguishing the characters a bit tricky. Further, we can pretty easily predict what the major twists are going to be. Everything is telegraphed too much.
Honestly, the smartest thing for this film to do would be to recut as a PG-13 chiller for younger audiences. I think folks not as familiar with the genre would be surprised and the scares might stick better. It just needed to go further to have a real impact.
Another thing that does annoy me is that we basically have The Omen II retold but Damien is someone else. However, the real interesting moments in the narrative occur in the last few minutes, and then it is over, and that sucks. If you’re going to make a film about the apocalyptic return of the devil why not actually show that? Why do so many horror movies operate in what should ostensibly be called the pre-apocalyptic? Yes, I know budget is a concern here but I think it is also an unwillingness to put all the cards on the table.
The film looks nice enough when the lighting isn’t atrocious. Acting is fine throughout. It is all just a bit boilerplate. You probably won’t hate the movie but you also probably won’t love it.