My first impression was something along the lines of: "Oh man, this is sooooo much better than I thought it would be!"
I never really liked the original. I bought it some time ago and was kinda bored with it, but I recognized the potential and understood why people would like it so much. This remake (and I'm sure people will disagree), took everything that was wrong with the original and made it far, far better.
The story and all the plot-points are the same, but things seem to fit better this time around. The look is better, the effects are better, the acting the same (as in very good in both versions) and those dreams were wicked!
I especially loved Liev Schreiber. I've never really cared about him before, but he was just awesome in this. I really felt for him (and he was really hot... but this is not important!). Julia Stiles was good, but I had a hard time buying her being old enough to have a child. That's not her fault though, that's mostly because I just re-watched 10 Things I Hate About You the other week. Pete Postlethwaite played a priest... again. He was incredible and all, but nothing special or different. Mia Farrow freaked the hell outta me, good work Mia.
David Thewlis is my god, 'nuff said.
Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick (Damien) was nothing special. He just kinda looked confused for the whole movie, but one can't except too much from a five-year-old.
Not to give too much away, but the ending of this movie really touched me. It was the same as the original, but Liev Schreiber was absolutely heart-wrenching to watch.
Go see this movie, now, NOW I SAY!!!