Directed by Thammarak Kamuttmanoch
Produced by Rashane Ilmtrakul & Jantimaleowsirikul Pistuth Praesang-Iem
Written by Danny Pang & Oxide Pang
Director of Photograpy Decha Srimuntra
Music by Payont Permsit
Cast: Apichej Kittikornjaroen, Woravej Danuwong & Kavee Tanjararak

2003/83 mins/Color/DTS 5.1
1.85:1 anamorphic/Thai/Thailand/NTSC Region 1

Review from the Panik House Entertainment DVD

Americans are known for being proud, if not cocky, and consider themselves to be the best at many things. And yet, many in the U.S. are ready to concede to other countries when it comes to art and culture. When many Americans think of a foreign film, they picture a slow, art-house film, as opposed to the loud and violent products which come from Hollywood. But, anyone who knows anything about foreign pop culture knows that other countries have the same crazy, obnoxious things as the U.S. and that includes "Boy Bands". Yes, we weren't the only ones to endure the likes of Nsync and The Backstreet Boys. Thailand had their own "Boy Band" called D2B and they are the stars of a thriller entitled OMEN, which has just hit DVD in Region 1.

The three members of D2B star in OMEN as (essentially) themselves. Big AKA Apichej Kittikornjaroen, Dan AKA Woravej Danuwong, and Beam AKA Kavee Tanjararak work together in the art department of a magazine. While driving home one night, Dan has an accident and is helped by a mysterious old lady (Pisamai Vilaisak) who lives in a secluded house. She is a bit odd, but nice to Dan. When Dan goes to retrieve his car, he stops in to thank her again, and she gives him a cryptic warning to "Don't go into the small room. You don't like it." When this omen proves true, Dan begins to wonder who this old woman is and what her powers are. Meanwhile, through an odd encounter, Beam meets a young woman named Orm (Supatchaya Reunreung) and immediately finds himself drawn to her. When Beam introduces Orm to his two friends, Dan feels as if he's seen her before, but he can't say where. Big encounters the same street peddler over and over, and although the child is annoying, Big looks forward to seeing him on his drive home. As the story progresses, Dan becomes increasingly convinced that the old lady knows more about the future of the trio than she's saying, and that not only Big, Beam, and Dan are rushing towards some destructive fate, but the new friends that they've made as well.

OMEN is a flawed but somewhat interesting film. I start with the second half of that statement. In Western culture, it's not unusual for popular music stars to appear in feature films. The practice started in the earlier part of the 20th century and continues to today with movies like CROSSROADS and FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY. (Note: I'm not endorsing those films. I'm only using them as examples.) However, I don't think that you'd be willing to see many pop stars featured in a film with horror overtones like OMEN. This is a nice example of the difference between cultures. While someone like Rob Zombie can make horror movies in America and no one bats an eye, the public would be quite concerned if Nsync showed up in a supernatural film. But, it should be mentioned that while OMEN has some similarities to a horror film, it is never truly scary and has no gore, so I would lean towards calling it a supernatural thriller.

The culture curiosity aside, I sad to say that there isn't much else to OMEN. The film was written by Danny and Oxide Pang, the creators of THE EYE (which may be my favorite Asian horror's at least in the top 3!) They've brought a nice narrative structure to the film (the three main characters all experience odd occurrences on the same night, and the story starts over again (a la GO) three times to illustrate this) and the film's story is intriguing. However, directorial duties on OMEN were handled by Thammarak Kamuttmanoch and doesn't quite have a handle on pacing, as the film drags at times, and is simply dull in the middle. The film was tailor made for the members of D2B and I can only assume that we are supposed to already know them, as there isn't much character development in the film. I have to say that the film's ending is quite unique, in fact, I've never seen anything like it before -- although, strangely enough, I saw it coming. But, the finale is very culture-specific to the Far East and many American viewers may not wholly understand what has happened. As I haven't seen many films from Thailand, I enjoyed the cultural lessons that I learned from OMEN. But, the film is clunky and wooden and will be a letdown to hardcore Asian horror fans.

I predict that OMEN has come to DVD courtesy of Panik House Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image is clear and fairly sharp, although there is a slight amount of grain on the image at times. Also, the transfer reveals some very minor defects from the source material. The colors are good and the image is never too dark or bright. Some minor ghosting appears at times, but it's not overly distracting. The DVD carries the original Thai language track as a DTS 5.1 audio track, as well as a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Both tracks deliver clear dialogue with no overt distortion. The surround sound and subwoofer effects are very good on both, and this adds a level of ambiance to the film. The DTS track is slightly clearer, but both are fine.  The English subtitles are very clear and easy to read.

The OMEN DVD carries a few extras. "The D2B Story", "D2B Profiles", and "A Tribute to Big" are all text extras which give details about the band and its members. The "Production Notes" read more like a press kit than a look at the making of the film. The disc has three still galleries -- "Posters & Promotional Art", "Production Stills", and "Behind-the-Scenes Stills". The "Original Theatrical Trailer" for OMEN is offered here, letterboxed at 1.85:1 and 16 x 9. I usually don't mention Easter Eggs (typically because I can't find them), but I must inform you that the DVD has a hidden 39-minute "Making of Featurette", which offers interviews with the writers, director, and the cast. Panik House Entertainment is off to a nice start with the work put into this release, but I can't imagine why they hid the best extra.





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Review by Mike Long. All Right Reserved. 2005. ©

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