1981 saw the third installment of the Omen series and perhaps (although a matter of opinion) it is probably the best film of the three. Directed by Graham Baker, the gripping demonic tale takes place years after Damien; the Omen II ended, and begins when a construction worker finds the seven daggers of Megiddo at the cleanup of the old Thorne museum that burned down at the end of part II. The daggers find their way to a pawnshop and then to an auction block where they are purchased and given, one each, to seven priests who are to use them to hunt down and kill the antichrist.
When astrophysicists notice a strange alignment of stars on a collision course, they realize that it is the second Star of Bethlehem, as foretold by Revelations, and the second coming of Christ. They pinpoint the day the child will be born to March 24th, the exact day that Damien’s main disciple and secretary Harvey Dean (Don Gordon) sees the birth of his son.
Damien (Sam Neill) is now thirty two years old and being appointed Ambassador to England, a position, if you’ll remember, his adoptive father held in The Omen I. He is also quite aware of who he is and fully embracing the quest to destroy the holy second coming.
However, in order to accomplish the goal, Damien must go to Great Britain, ground zero for the second coming, and, at the present, the Ambassador position is filled. So, Damien uses his powers that be (the vicious Rottweiler dogs) to convey his wishes, which he does, forcing the current Ambassador to take his own life by pistol in a very graphic scene.
Soon after, in a rare showing of compassion, Damien meets Kate Reynolds (Lisa Harrow) and becomes involved with her. However, his true motive is to take her son Peter (Barnaby Holm) as a disciple.
Throughout the film, each priest attempts to kill Damien, fail and die. One priest remains, a Father DeCarlo (Rossano Brazzi), the one who was at the monastery when Damien’s adoptive father came seeking answers in part I.
Damien can feel the presence of the Holy child and grows weaker the longer the child lives. In one of the most chilling scenes of the film, he calls upon and stands before his many disciples to decree that they are to execute every male child born on March 24th, which they do in various ways. When all is killed, Damien can still feel the presence and realizes that Harvey’s son is the one.
Damien has Peter trail Father DeCarlo, finding that he visited Harvey’s wife Barbara (Leueen Willoughby) at their home. Damien confronts Harvey and commands that he kill his son (the Holy Child). Harvey refuses and hurries home, where Barbara, having already shooed away a threatening Rotweiller before being handed a vision by Damien of her child ashen burnt, falls under his control and kills Harvey.
Father DeCarlo pleads with Kate to speak to him. She isn’t Christian and doesn’t believe everything he explains to her, but wants her son back. The priest tells her that the proof she seeks lies within Damien’s 666 marking on his scalp behind his ear and under his hair. Kate takes Damien up on an offer of dinner, ending up sleeping with him. She awakes to find Damien gone and searches the home for him. She finds him asleep on the floor before a stature of Christ on the cross and looks for and finds the marking. Partly believing, but primarily wanting her son back, she and Father DeCarlo create a plan.
In exchange for Peter, Kate falsely offers the Christ child to Damien and lures him to the priest, who is waiting in the shadows of an abandoned castle. As Kate, Damien and Peter walk by, the priest attempts to stab Damien with the sole remaining dagger. Damien uses Peter as a human shield and is stabbed in the process. Damien leaves Peter lie and attacks the priest, strangling him.
Damien is ruthless in his quest for power and begins seeking and calling out for Christ to appear so he can confront him. Kate, having withdrew the dagger from her son’s body, creeps up behind him and thrusts the dagger into his back. Damien begins howling demonically, stumbles about and collapses. The spirit of Christ appears as Damien dies with Kate hovering over his fallen body. Kate is finally a believer and is praying as Father DeCarlo carries Peter’s body to her.
Revelation chapter 21, verse 4 scripture begins the closing credits…that when Christ returns, peace will reign for the faithful ones who waited.
Overall, the film is fast paced and chilling in numerous scenes, accompanied by a soundtrack that certainly implies evil. Cold and calculating, while the audience may have an idea as to what is about to occur, the film shockingly thrusts it upon the viewer at the right time, making the viewer unable to have seen it coming. While the film may now be a bit dated, it is still worth a look, for reminisce sake.
Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981)