Whilst I can applaud the attempt to take this well trodden franchise into a relatively bold new direction, this French-Canadian made for tv horror, can’t remove the shackles that Damien Thorn had on The Omen. The problem arises in how this franchise can exist without the antichrist himself being integral to the uprise of evil. The fact of the matter is that it can’t. No matter how you try to dress it up, any manifestation of darkness will be secondary in comparison.
In what would be the last instalment, chronologically speaking before the 2006 remake, Omen IV: The Awakening tries to inject the fear again by introducing Delia to the fold. Delia, like Damian before her, was an orphan with an ominous background and brought into the world in a nun-owned orphanage.
There are a lot of similarities to the original 1976 feature, with a powerhouse couple (in this instance, two attorneys) Gene (Michael Woods) and Karen (Faye Grant) who raise Delia, only to discover something more sinister at play. Also the protective nanny, overseeing that no harm should befall the anointed one. Omen IV appears to follow a more female gaze with Karen’s journey as the central theme in juxtaposition to Gregory Peck’s Robert Thorn. It’s a missed opportunity however as if this wasn’t tied down to 90s tv budget territory, there could have been a more poignant message to explore here.
There are some other nice elements, such as the army of New Age spiritualists who deem themselves strong enough to rise up against the forces of evil, but prove to be too weak. I also like the cojines twins macguffin that held the idea of the antichrist reborn. It’s a loose thread but one that I could attach myself too. No pun intended.
Despite these elements, Omen IV was always punching above its weight and restricted to the platform of choice in order to carry out the story. It suffers from poor acting as well, so it was never going to amount to much trying to deliver a paper-thin version of what the original movie was able to achieve.
- Saul Muerte