|Son of Satan: Sam Neill|
"Most people confuse 'evil' with their their own trivial lusts and perversions." -- Damien Thorn
Damien Thorn (Sam Neill), the anti-Christ, is now grown and still causing bloody mischief after the events of The Omen and Damien: Omen 2. Thorn becomes the new ambassador to Britain, then discovers that the Christ child has been born in London. Even as Thorn has his minions murdering male infants in case one of them is his adversary, Father DeCarlo (Rossano Brazzi) and his monks attempt to kill Thorn with special daggers -- only the little devil outwits them every time. Thorn develops a relationship with reporter Kate Reynolds (Lisa Harrow), but seems more interested in indoctrinating her teenage son, Peter (Barnaby Holm), into the ways of evil and lord only knows what else. But Damian's plans may come to nothing despite his best efforts ... The Final Conflict is a highly-enjoyable, slick and well-made horror film if you don't take it seriously, which is impossible to do for all but the sub-literate. On that mindless level the film boasts an excellent performance from Neill [Daybreakers], and a very notable turn from Don Gordon, who is Damien's executive assistant, and unbeknownst to Thorn, the father of a boy born on the wrong day. Brazzi [Summertime] doesn't seem to take anything that seriously, and probably didn't; Harrow and Holm are fine. The set-pieces in the film -- an assassin gets caught in a fiery trap while trying to kill Damien in a TV studio; the assorted suspenseful murders of the infants -- are well-done although a scene with dogs allegedly tearing a monk apart doesn't quite work because the rather cute doggies don't actually seem to be doing anything. The film is tremendously bolstered by a near-operatic score by Jerry Goldsmith, who has delivered an epic and beautiful theme with demonic undertones, and embellishes every scene with a sweeping and majestic backdrop. When Kate is, to all intents and purposes, raped late in the movie, she has virtually no reaction! But then the filmmakers have no more compassion for the assorted victims than Damien does.
NOTE: This was followed by the TV movie Omen IV, and just this year A and E had a series entitled Damien detailing the further adventures of Damien Thorn; it lasted one season.
Verdict: Comparatively empty but engaging and rather clever horror flick. *** out of 4.