The original Omen may not be one of the best horror films ever made, but it's certainly enduring, largely due to a fine cast (Gregory Peck and Lee Remmick, in particular), solid direction, some impressively gruesome, though not unbearably unpleasant, deaths and, of course, Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar winning score. In a strange twist of fate, Goldsmith's win followed John Williams' win for Jaws, both for horror films (although Jaws is arguably more action/adventure with scary bits than The Omen's darkness) and both musically represent the threat and, in the case of The Omen in particular, carrying the film. Fortunately, nobody has yet thought to remake Jaws as only the effects could really be bettered (and even then, only on a couple of occasions are they seriously flawed, by which point Spielberg has you too enthralled to care), but evidently someone couldn't resist 06-06-06 as a release date and so we have the thirty year anniversary remake.
I'm not sure that Goldsmith would have wanted to score the remake had he been around to see it (in some ways, I'm glad he wasn't) and so who better to ask than his one time pupil, Marco Beltrami. For better or worse, aside from the final track homage to Goldsmith's original, Beltrami takes a distinctly different take on the material; indeed, it's an above average 2000's horror score and not a 1970's masterpiece. The Omen was never really about 'boo' moments and, fortunately, it means there's little of the tedious skittering that besets the genre (some of Beltrami's own work included). The sound is a little more epic, portentous and, just occasionally, hair raising. The Main Titles set out Beltrami's brooding stall, although this is quickly turned around in The Adoption which is largely lighter in tone. Beltrami takes a less swooning approach to the family/romantic material than Goldsmith, but does lean on it slightly. However, underplaying the material is the right approach and it's undeniably lovely.
If underplaying the more upbeat material works, then underplaying the music accompanying Damien's dark deeds somehow stops the score ever taking off. For example, The Nanny's Noose has very little momentum in the buildup and the dramatic payoff of dissonant horn chords doesn't seem all that shocking. Having said that, Damien's Tantrum captures some of the mania of the moment with one of the score's few flirtations with the chorus (presumably a conscious choice to use it sparingly). However, many of the cues contain rather more familiar tracts of low end rumbling, although admittedly they do develop more effectively than in the hands of many of today's young horror composers. In that regard, Beltrami is more of a seasoned pro and at least has a decent amount of development as a composer behind him. Comparisons with the original aside, Beltrami's Omen has enough fine moments to be recommendable, but it just doesn't have the unnerving sense of apocalyptic destiny to it one might expect. Above average for the genre, but rarely much more.