Omen 3: The Final Conflict is shit.
The Final Conflict (1981) picks up the story of Damien Thorne (played by Sam Neil), now 32 years old and head of Thorne Industries, as he sets himself up to wield some the power he’s been granted as the Antichrist. Deciding that it’s time he followed in his birth father’s footsteps he strong arms the US President into making him the ambassador to Great Britain as well as the head of some UN council for youth.
Once in place in London, Damien takes to the role of ambassador with ease and gets to work building up his media profile as he plans to make a move into mainstream domestic politics back in the US after his term abroad is up. While recording an interview for British TV, Thorne is attacked by the most useless assassin ever who not only ends up killing himself but also inadvertently reveals to Damien that the Church have gotten their hands on the knives that had been discovered in the town of Megiddo all the way back in the first film. The knives are of particular interest to Damien as they are the only weapons on Earth that can be used to kill him.
Realising that he’s in danger is just one of Thorne’s problems as a group of scientists have been tracking an unusual celestial event that heralds the second coming of Christ. The astronomical wonder points to a location in southern England as the birthplace of the saviour which fits with a prophecy Damien was aware of that suggested that the final conflict of the film’s title would occur somewhere in Britain (hence his new found interest in diplomacy).
After a particularly restless night, Thorne realises that Christ has been born again and decides to go all Old Testament in his approach to dealing with the issue by ordering his followers to kill all the male children born between certain times on a certain date. The sudden rise in infant mortality interests the journalist who’d been interviewing Thorne when the first attempt on his life took place after she’s approached by one of the Priests who’d been trying to kill Damien. When she comes to terms with who and what Damien Thorne is she is initially seduced by the power but eventually is forced to take matters into her own hands when she realises that she is in danger of losing her son to the Antichrist.
The Final Conflict is utter shite. The first Omen is a fantastically creepy horror thriller that delivers on every aspect. Even the second film had its moments even if they weren’t what the film-makers had intended. The third film has so much promise and it’s just pissed away. With Damien an adult and with wealth and access to power the story of what he does and how mere mortals try to stop him should be more interesting then it is. Instead we get Sam Neil striding about the place looking not very satanic and sounding silly as he bangs on about ancient history and his naughty plans. The other characters are barely worth a mention at all with the journalist thrown in for the sake of having her, the bunch of Priests who are trying to stop Damien like something out of Monty Python, and an array of hangers-on and Satanists who are just plain unconvincing.
In order to set the film in the year of its release it was necessary to jimmy around with the timeline as in 1981 Damien should have been about eleven years old not 32. This trick was pulled in the second film too and while it doesn’t really bother you too much at the time of viewing it shows the sequels for what the sloppy efforts they were.
Sam Neil turns in a decent enough performance as Damien and he has one or two good scenes. The bit in the room with the odd statue where he’s kind of praying to the Devil is probably the best part of the whole film and actually a little disturbing if you dwell on what’s supposed to be going on. Unfortunately, Neil just couldn’t pull off the Son of The Devil thing very well and was severely hampered by the poor script. There really is no one else worth mentioning in the rest of the flick, they were all pretty bad, though Lisa Harrow as the journalist Kate Reynolds was by far the worst – the poor cow was out of depth from the get go, which is shocking as everything was so bad.
Graham Baker took up the directing job for this pile of muck which is interesting and a little surprising for two reasons; firstly he directed Alien Nation, and secondly, after the premiere of The Final Conflict he didn’t throw himself off a bridge, which is was any self-respecting person would have done.
Two Thumbs Down for Omen 3: The Final Conflict
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was to feature in so many bad movies, click on these links to find out more: