Sunday, 27 March 2016

TV SERIES REVIEW: DAMIEN (Pilot episode)


31/2/5

Damien Thorn has a strange life. His parents are both dead in accidents and ever since his childhood he feels constant presence of something dark, like a cloud above his head. On the day of his thirties birthday a strange accident throws his life into a turmoil and makes him question everything and everyone. He cannot run away from the truth however, which is that he is a son of Satan - Antichrist.

The new TV series from A+E Networks is a direct sequel to 1976 movie, ignoring all the other films that were subsequently made, it is set in modern day New York.  The pilot reviewed here does not quite manage to capture the dark and paranoid atmosphere of the original, but it is a modern show, focused on giving as much action as possible in its not so lengthy 43 minutes run, so the atmosphere is sacrificed for action.

The pilot introduces a handful of characters, some of them die as quickly as they appear, so one thing is expected – the body count will be high. The characters, unfortunately luck personality, for the exception of Ann Rutledge, masterfully played by Barbara Hershey – a smiling assassin, whose presence oozes as much mother’s warmth as it does menace. She has only a short scene in the pilot, but it is clear we will see more of her. 

Bradley James as Damien Thorn, so far, is no more than a pretty poster boy, however his performance may improve as the series progress.

The original movie is famous for its inventive and gory death scenes. It would be silly to expect the same from a TV show, but while not very clever, the deadly set pieces are satisfying enough, with some extreme gore present during the dog attack scene.

The soundtrack from Bear McCreary is a glorious combination of churchy cords, mixed with choral and served as a modern electronic track – a homage to the original score and a perfect background for a TV series about Antichrist.

It is nice to see the take on OMEN with the characters, who are out of high school (it would be very easy to present DAMIEN series as a teenage soap opera). At this stage it is hard to imagine how the pilot can lead to a multiple season series, however lets hope there are more surprises in store.


Not perfect, Damien is a series the fans of THE OMEN had been waiting for, and one of the new shows that deserves a look.

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