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Omen IV: The Awakening Review

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Damien's prophecy is reborn in Delia who is adopted by a couple of attouneys Gene and Karen. When people around the mysterious little girl begin to die, Karen hires a private detective and discovers the awful truth about her adopted daughter.

★★★★

Given that the last sequel to The Omen was called The Final Conflict and wound up with the Second Coming of Christ, you’d think it would be hard to come up with another instalment. However, that would underestimate severely Hollywood’s power to flog a dead horse, as is demonstrated by this literally incredible attempt to get the series going again, produced for American television and given a theatrical release overseas in the hopes of ripping off people who don’t realise they’re being foisted off with a lousy old TV movie when they expect some of the big name guest stars, panavision gloom and spectacular decapitations of the earlier episodes.

Essentially a remake of The Omen, but cheaper, this has a politically ambitious couple (Grant, Woods) adopting a sinister little girl (Vieira) whose background is shrouded in mystery. The brat grows up creepy, and people around her tend to die in non-18 certificate freak accidents, which prompts Mummy into hiring a private eye to discover what we guessed in reel one, that the kid is the daughter of Anti-Christ Damien Thorn and intends to take over the family business in a new series of films.

This takes some major stretching of Biblical prophecies to account for, but by the time the trendy priest is explaining that “the Bible didn’t mean to be sexist” and it turns out that the eight-year-old has been born pregnant with her equally evil twin brother, you’ll be laughing too hard to care.

Among the conceits offered by the film are a New Age psychic fair that dissolves into chaos when the Anti-Christine calls round, a choir of Satanic carol-singers, a snake-worshipping revival meeting that goes wrong, and the usual throbbing black mass soundtrack. With two credited directors — like Damien : Omen II, funnily enough — and a notably less-than-lavish production, this mainly serves to remind you that, silly though they were, the earlier films were at least quality entertainment.

Further sequels would be as welcome as a plague of locusts.