This is a decent re-make of a first class, gothic chiller. It is not, however, as creepy as the 1976 original, which starred Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, as it lacks Jerry Goldsmith's pulse pounding musical score. It also has a younger cast that lacks the gravitas of the original. Still, the film is still worth viewing, if only to see how it fares in comparison to the original, especially as the screenplay used appears to be the original one.
Katherine (Julia Stiles) and Robert Thorn (Liev Schreiber) are a young, affluent American couple. Katherine is pregnant and, while in Italy, gives birth to an ostensibly stillborn boy, a fact that is kept from her. Knowing how much his wife wanted the baby and the difficulty that she had in conceiving, Robert agrees to have the dead baby supplanted by a living newborn whose mother died in child birth, keeping this information from Katherine. They name this baby Damien.
All goes well for the prosperous Thorn family, until Damien (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick) turns five. A series of dramatic, unusual events begin to occur around the Thorns, all seemingly stemming from Damien. Well guarded by a somewhat creepy nanny (Mia Farrow), there are those who would believe him to be the Antichrist. By the time that Katherine and Robert begin to realize who Damien may truly be, their lives are out of control. With the aid of an inquisitive photographer, a repentant priest, and an mysterious man who holds the key to the destruction of the Antichrist, Robert Thorn becomes a man with a mission. Will Damien let him complete that mission? Watch this movie and find out.
Both Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles give credible performances, though they are no Gregory Peck or Lee Remick. Mia Farrow, as the nanny with a diabolical mission, gives a fine and genuinely creepy performance, aided in part by what appears to be a pair of collagen enhanced lips. The rest of the supporting cast is also excellent. While this re-make pales in comparison to the original, it is still enjoyable and worth watching.