17 April 2010

Fin's Review: Omen III: The Final Conflict

At the start of this review, I should put my cards on the table. I'm a huge fan of the Omen trilogy and as a result I no doubt overlook some of the weakness of the franchise, particularly in Omen II and III. Despite my fandom, I'm aware that, if Omen II was poorly received by critics, Omen III is absolutely derided and for many people a joke. This film is by no means a great film but it is not as bad as many people make out. It contains an effective story and provides a satisfying conclusion to a solid trilogy including some genuinely creepy set pieces along the way.

In this final instalment of the franchise, Damien Thorne is now an adult who has fully assumed the role of antichrist. Thanks to his devious machinations, Thorne Industries is the world's biggest and most influential multinational corporation, providing him with the power to make his move into politics. Damien, with the help of some demonic powers, secures his father's old position of Ambassador to The Court Of St James and, perhaps most importantly, becomes head of the UN's youth council. It seems that after all of his scheming all of the pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place for Damien and the path to world overlord is clear. 

However, Damien's true nature and his rise to power have not gone completely unnoticed and a small band of monks vow to put a stop to his plans. The priests set out to kill Damien using the Seven Daggers of Megiddo, the same weapons with which Gregory Peck failed to off Damien in the first Omen. If you think seven elderly priests using a knife against the antichrist doesn't sound fair, you would be correct. However, something else is going on. Using some of the most budget scientific equipment I think I have seen in any film, the Vatican Observatory has noticed something strange taking place, something Damien had also noticed and something that scares even the antichrist himself. In the sky, a strange confluence of three stars indicates the second coming of Christ, and with that the titular final conflict begins.

Now I accept that, in a series that in the previous two outings had pretty solid understated stories, the story in Omen III is pretty out there. However, I think that the film gets away with it, as it represents the final battle between the devil and God and therefore needs to be dramatic and full-on. If nothing else, this film is just fun. As much as it is often laughed at, horror reviewers sometimes forget that it contains some genuinely creepy scenes. In one particularly hideous set-up, Damien orders the murder of all newborn boys born on the 24th of March in an attempt to kill the reborn Christ. The results are truly unsettling, as we witness the murder of baby boys in an echo of Herod's killings in the Bible. The hunting scene is also wonderfully effective, seeing Damien take control of a pack of bloodhounds to terrorise one of his would-be assassins. The film also contains the creepiest crucifix since Carrie.

Basically what I'm saying is that this film is not the horror dud it is made out to be. While it is the weakest of the three films, it provides a satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Omen trilogy. Unlike other films which have needless sequels etc I think that this trilogy works really well as a set of films, and they are true to the original.

    Also, you're quite right - this does have some genuinely creepy scenes.

    A film that is criminally overlooked and written off.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.