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Omen III: The Final Conflict Reviews

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TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

June 9, 2010
The Final Conflict had the potential to be a very strong, redeeming film over the bad second one, instead it's one of the worst sequel as of yet to the original Omen. I can give him props however to Sam Neil to portray Damien Thorn effectively, but unfortunately his incredible acting ability doesn't even salvage this terrible film. Sam Neil looks like he's struggling to do his best with a poorly written script, and he tries his best to portray an adult Damien, but the film is a failure. I found that the film dragged too long to get to the point of this mess. The Final Conflict could have gone through another two rewrites before being approved by the studio, the concept was good, but the poorly written script ruins the film. The idea behind the plot were great, and it's a shame the filmmakers couldn't create something more memorable. Like I stated earlier, Sam Neil is a great choice, and is perfect for the part. Unfortunately due to a mediocre script, his talent can't redeem such a poor film. The strength of the film is Neil, but the weakness is a script that is heavily flawed. The film doesn't have any remarkable horror moments, and doesn't deliver anything scary. I think this film could have been a great entry in the series, one that had an interesting idea by having Damien Thorn as an adult. However, ideas expressed on film are flat and unimpressive. All in all, The Final Conflict is a bad film that could be so much better, it's a shame that with such an interesting idea, they came up with such a mundane entry in an obviously tired franchise.
AJ V

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2010
An awesome horror movie in the Omen series, one of my favourite movies, I highly recommend it if you liked the other two.
3niR
3niR

Super Reviewer

June 8, 2010
Not scary if that was the intention of making this movie.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

March 8, 2007
The first sequel to the 1976 classic, 'The Omen' was surprisingly decent; and indeed this third part isn't bad either. It is true that Damien has gotten less interesting as he got older, but as with the other two films; this stage of the Antichrist's life has its interesting twists and turns. Rather than simply focusing on the central characters this time round, Andrew Birkin's script takes in ideas of the rebirth of Christ, and given everything on display in this movie; it's clear that putting a script together wasn't an easy task. The film also features a sect that is against Damien, and as the Antichrist's powers have grown; he himself has decided to put together a coven of loyal worshippers, all of whom are more than willing to lay their lives down for his cause. The central plot idea takes form in Damien becoming the American Ambassador in Britain, a placement that allows him to put together his plan to murder all the baby boys born on the day of Christ's second coming; as one of them is said to be the son of God, and Damien's powers grow weaker all the time that he is alive!

Sam Neill takes the lead role of The Antichrist himself, and given the two actors that went before him; he really does look the part. His acting is good too, as Neill convinces the audience that he really is dedicated to the cause as he continually professes that evil is a worthy cause. There isn't really a standout among the supporting cast, but it doesn't matter as Neill is clearly the star of the show. Oddly, given that this film was released in the eighties; a decade of trashy horror, the film features fewer and less graphic murder scenes than those seen in the first two films - and that brought it down for me as the grisly scenes in the first two movies provide many of the best bits. But even so; we've still got a man having his face burnt with an iron, and another smashing through a painted glass window; so all is not lost. The plot becomes a little wayward at times, and the film veers off a few times too often; but it's mostly entertaining and there's some nice religious themes thrown in. The ending is disappointing and doesn't fit with the tone of the series if you ask me; but to be honest I'm just pleased that this isn't a complete dead loss.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 29, 2009
Nowhere close to the first two films quality. The baby killing added a disturbing element to a mainly fright-free 2 hours, which was welcome, but I hated the ending! Still worth watching if you are a fan of the franchise.
Luke B

Super Reviewer

October 9, 2008
A step up from the second outing. Learning from it's predecessors mistakes part 3 throws out the whole investigation. No longer do people spend hours trying to convince others that Damian is the devil. It allows Sam Neil to spread his talented evil wings and show the forceful terror he has become. The downfall comes from the 7 priests whom set out to kill Damian. Their comical ineptness recalls the burglars from Home Alone. Add in some humorous sound effects and you have comedy gold. In contrast to this Damian and his clans murders of innocent babies is excellently shot. It comes off as a montage similar to those in gangster epics such as Godfather and Goodfellas. Each part is creepy, eerie and very unsettling. Still it's tasteful enough to allow us to use our imaginations rather than freaking us out with baby killings. A mixed but interesting selection that rounds off the trilogy pretty nicely, though the climax is sudden and disappointing.
Emily A

Super Reviewer

October 24, 2007
I damn near wet my pants laughing at one scene in this movie. It just killed any chance for it to be scary in any capacity: You know how any enemy of Damien's is magically plagued with preternaturally bad luck? Some guy on a catwalk gets tangled in a cable and swings upside-down by his ankle across a TV soundstage while Damien is being interviewed. Everyone's screaming and freaking out, while Damien is just sitting there staring at him, looking like a badass. The guy then gets somehow wrapped in plastic and set on fire, all while swinging back and forth. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. The rest of the movie wasn't bad, but its credibility just went out the window in that single scene.
Dr Blood  

Super Reviewer

July 3, 2007
It isn't very scary or memorable compared to the first two parts of the Omen trilogy. Sam Neill does a really good job as a fully grown Damien but there's just too much talk and not enough action. The ending, although necessary, really does suck.
Dann M

Super Reviewer

May 16, 2014
The Omen Trilogy comes to its climactic (and inevitable) conclusion in The Final Conflict. As his seven year reign nears its end Damien Thorn becomes obsessed with averting the second coming of Christ; meanwhile a secret order of priests acquires the Daggers of Megiddo in order to kill Damien. This final battle between good and evil is surprisingly tame, yet it maintains the ominous and suspenseful tone that has come to define the series. And, the film's take on Biblical prophecy proves to be quite interesting. Additionally, Sam Neill gives an impressive performance as Damien, providing a commanding villain. A chilling and atmospheric thriller, The Final Conflict provides a fitting end to the series.
iLeo
iLeo

Super Reviewer

December 24, 2007
Fantastic!
Anthony V

Super Reviewer

April 18, 2007
Script please. Although the statue Damien uses to pray to his father is hilarious.
Haley A

Super Reviewer

March 16, 2006
Sam Neill is awesome as Damien.
The80sExpert
April 14, 2009
The perfect ending to the Omen trilogy, exactly the way it will happen. Again there are great actors in this movie as in the first two movies, and the beautiful music score. The only element this horror film lacks is blood and gore, but it doesn't hinder the movie a bit. If you've only seen the first movie, you don't know the whole story, so please watch the second and third (this movie). This movie was really great.
February 27, 2011
Loved the first one, loved the second one...what was this? Sam Neill does his best to chew through all the scenery but nothing can save this pile. And apparently nobody knows what year it is. I think I'll give the fourth one a miss.
jam233
November 24, 2009
As expected, The Omen series of films got progressively worse. This one starts out decent, but midway through it gets downright ridiculous and over the top. I completely lost interest at this point. Fairly well produced at least, but it does not have the quality of the first two.
October 31, 2008
The Omen films struck a chord with me as a youth, probably being one of my first forays into horror before I could completely tolerate it, but not being of the type that thoroughly scared me. I was very interested in them and certainly after I had aged enough that horror stopped scaring me (at eight or nine, I suppose), I recall intentionally noting the showing of the second film on television and I believe eventually renting the third. It stuck with me far less (there's some talking, after all--and I couldn't stand that, not enough supernatural stuff for my young mind), though my curiosity was piqued when digging through my father's theatrical poster collection from his time managing and discovering the poster for The Final Conflict (the sequel status noted on the poster where it says "The final chapter in the Omen trilogy" but not part of the title then) and I discovered that my favourite actor, Sam Neill, had in fact been none other than the adult Damien, the Antichrist. Another mashing of Sam and the supernatural, in a horrific setting, was all I needed and I eventually tracked down the in-and-out-of-print DVD of the third Omen film.

Damien Thorn (Neill) is now 32, head of Thorn Industries and prospective ambassador to England. He reveals the latter to his assistant Dean (Don Gordon), and shows his shrugging disinterest in the fact that there is already an ambassador to England. Those of us (hopefully anyone watching this) who have seen the prior films have some idea what is to follow, and when it does, the President (Mason Adams) appoints Damien to the role he has already claimed. While in England, he stumbles across television reporter Kate Reynolds (Lisa Harrow), who takes some interest in Damien and his philanthropy and power. Meanwhile, the inevitable priests aware of Damien's true nature recover the Megiddo knives that are the only thing capable of killing Damien. The leader of said priests is DeCarlo (Rossano Brazzi), who gravely intones plans to the rest and attempts to warn all of those in danger of Damien's true nature--including, eventually, Kate, as Damien begins a sweeping multiple infanticide to prevent the rebirth of Jesus.

This film is pretty thoroughly disliked by most, in my experience, considered near-"traitorous" to prior films (certainly the element of each priest attempting to take one of the Megiddo knives to Damien, rather than what we were previously told was the required seven--though Damien repeatedly intones that the presence of the reborn Jesus will decrease his power is a pretty simple explanation, though not one given in-film--was rather a departure). Of course, now we have 1991's Omen IV: The Awakening and 2006's ridiculous marketing ploy (released June 6th, 2006) The Omen 666--which continued my "favourite" theme of evil children with dark circles under their eyes (I guess evil children don't get nap time?)--to beat up on, and people can hopefully see what is actually a pretty good film hiding in the third. I have zero interest in seeing either the fourth film or the remake (as many could guess from my opinion of the great majority of horror remakes from the past decade or so). Opinion see-saws between whether the letdown is Neill's performance (occasionally called flat) or the movie's (also often considered flat)--generally one at the expense of the decent or pretty good-to-excellent other. The truth is neither is the letdown, it simply doesn't rise to the heights it could or should--but this comes from a variety of places, most of them relating to Damien's age. It was new and fascinating to see a child as the seemingly unwitting source of evil, and another to see that child realize he was evil (I've never forgotten the image from Damien: The Omen II of him discovering the mark on his head), but to see an evil adult? This is nothing new and so I think this is a good bit of what flattens the film--it's also difficult to leave it open-ended, so a distinct resolution is nearly required or the story will probably feel incomplete. Graham Baker directs more than competently, Andrew Birkin's script works well with the story it's saddled with and Neill and Brazzi especially carry their roles well, as does Gordon. Harrow's is quite good as well, but her strange, passive reaction to the morning after a night of passion with Damien (discussed in an endless IMDb thread that debates whether said passions included anal sex) is a little out of place.

Perhaps most importantly (setting aside the bias of the presence of my favourite actor) is the return of Jerry Goldsmith--always brilliantly scoring, though this is not one of his most exceptional scores. He does, however, come up with excellent themes for both Damien (a fantastic scene of a fox hunt where his dark theme unobtrusively saunters into the score perfectly as Damien rides into the frame highlights this brilliantly) and for God (or Jesus, though depending on who you ask this delineation may be unimportant) that both keep their heads above the water of cliché, which is pretty well done for music that has been written for centuries (Handel's Messiah, anyone?).

What is most fascinating to me about the film, though, is that my personal fascination with the idea of an Antichrist, the idea of a devil and so on has absorbed me in, well, actually pretty surface-level research, but still enough to have my ears attuned to certain common failures to accurately represent things. I was pleased to hear no references to the non-existent book of "Revelations" (it's Revelation, thank you--John was writing about one revelation), and to see other elements carried off professionally enough (such as astronomy) that even 27 years later I did not sneer at attempts to sound technical that would later sound pedestrian and ridiculous. In fact, in no aspects did this film give me such vibes--in terms of claims made, issues discussed or even set-ups or effects. Damien's evil is not portrayed simply and obviously--he doesn't run about killing people, raping and robbing. He is slick and charming, handsome and clever, works through some philanthropy but is cleverly placed in the role of the ever-self-interested corporate CEO (exceptions seeming to be just that--exceptions). He prays in a darkened, ominous chapel with an inverted cross (again impressive--not an upside-down one, which is how Peter was crucified and thus hardly an insult to Christianity, but facing the wall, and the nails even in the wrists and not in the hands where they'd never hold anything up). He seems strange, in Neill's performance, with respect to his philosophy. He certainly makes no bones about worshipping his father, Satan, and does not make sideways claims that the Satan of these films is anything but evil and interested in pain (though I was always amused by the character of the Old Testament Hebrew "Satan"--whose name means the Opposer, and seemed to describe a role rather than a character, and to be an important and positive role, rather than a simplistically evil one*)--yet he seems to act out of a sort of "love" for his father. It's a nice balance, looking realistically motivated as well as still truly evil and unsoftened. It's one of the few instances I can think of where I was actually not sneering at the portrayal of Satan worship and evil in such a context (if one looks back ages to my review of Fallen, I am easily annoyed by ridiculous attempts to connect the Christian mythos with film events, and with strangely banal representations of "ultimate evil"). It was almost like a "real" ultimate evil, which was a pleasing thing to see displayed in film--because it suspends disbelief far more easily.

As a final note, the effects are pretty gruesome, actually, and one image actually creeped me out just a bit--which I'll leave for anyone who's yet to see it to discover on their own.


*I also like the Milton "fallen angel" variety, as well as Mike Carey's purely self-interested Lucifer, and Viggo Mortensen's curious portrayal in The Prophecy, somewhere between the standard devil and the cold calculations of Carey's version.
May 24, 2008
Bored out of my skull, plus horrible effects and less than convincing acting. Don't waste your time.
crashingscooby80
March 7, 2008
This was too politicall for my taste I think the creep factor was not there b/c the guy was alll grown up and we all know kids are creeper.
postmortemstar
October 11, 2007
Good till you get to the end- I mean really is the son of Satan really gonna go out like such a little bitch cause of some sunlight and a stained glass window? I don't think so
roruko
July 14, 2007
Although it still has all the elements of the previous installments, the fact that Damien isn't a child anymore takes slightly from an excellent series.
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