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The Omen Collection Main

The Omen Collection: The Final Conflict Blu-ray Review

Written by ZigZag

Blu-ray released by Scream Factory

The Omen Collection Large

Directed by Graham Baker
Written by Andrew Birkin
1981, 108 minutes, Rated R

Starring:
Sam Neill as Damien Thorn
Rossano Brazzi as DeCarlo
Don Gordon as Harvey Dean
Lisa Harrow as Kate Reynolds
Barnaby Holm as Peter Reynolds
Mason Adams as The President

The Omen Collection 13 The Omen Collection 14

Review:

Damien Thorn is a successful businessman with powerful connections within the political arena. He uses his influence to win the position of US Ambassador to the Court of St. James and relocates to London where he prepares to face the biggest challenge of his life. Fun fact: Damien is the Antichrist and is following the astrological signs marking the second coming of Christ the Nazarene. The Vatican has dispatched a team of priests armed with holy daggers to destroy him. When Damien learns the date and location of the holy birth, he sets his followers on a mission to kill all the newborns fitting the profile. Damien is not all work and no play, as he has needs too, and takes a keen interest in Kate Reynolds, a local TV news personality. What are his intentions and who will survive this final conflict? If the endings to the two previous films are any indication – all bets are off!

The Final Conflict (aka Omen III) follows the surprisingly restrained adventures of an adult Antichrist in London. He is politically savvy and maintains control of his enterprise and has quietly built a legion of devoted followers around the world. Damien keeps his true identity secret from mainstream society, instead making calculated moves to advance his position. The poster for this movie implies he will be running for President of the United States, but he does not hold such aspirations in the actual film. Damien is content to keep his head down and use his influence when necessary, but aside from evading the attempts of some armed priests, he is actually pretty dull. He sets the wicked child-murdering plan into action, but doesn’t participate himself as he seems more interested in dating a lovely single mom.

Directed by Graham Baker (Alien Nation), the film steadily advances at a deliberate pace, building tension and a growing sense of dread. One of the highlights is an extended fox hunting sequence that is beautifully photographed and a bit suspenseful. Screenwriter Andrew Birkin (The Name of the Rose) takes his time with the setup before building to an ambitious finale that falls short of the mark. He spends time getting into Damien’s head with a series of reflective monologues, yet somehow never really advances the character beyond the obvious Antichrist equals Evil component. The death scenes are more restrained than in the previous pictures and consequently not as impactful.

Sam Neill (In the Mouth of Madness) stars as Damien Thorn and carries the picture with ease. This film jump-started his career and even in this early phase he displays star quality. Don Gordon (Exorcist III) plays Damien’s assistant Harvey Dean and he is alternately slimy and sympathetic as his master’s evil plan begins to infringe on his own family. Lisa Harrow (The Last Days of Chez Nous) has the thankless part of leading lady Kate Reynolds, who has a delayed entrance into the story and later suffers some indignities during an intimate moment with Damien. Rossano Brazzi (Fear City) co-stars as Father DeCarlo, who is in charge of dispatching some truly incompetent priests to assassinate the Antichrist.

As the concluding chapter in a successful trilogy of films, Omen III is a real letdown. It lacks the suspense and quality of the original and falls short of the over-the-top theatrics of the previous movie. The picture is competently directed and offers some strong performances, but falters when it comes to the script. There are some big ideas and the whole baby-killing spree is novel, but somehow not as powerful as it should be. Sam Neill fans will really enjoy his work here and there is some beautiful cinematography and another winning score from Jerry Goldsmith.

damien the omen ii poster previous omen iv the awakening poster next

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