Daily Archives: July 18, 2020

Omen IV: The Awakening (1991)

*. By way of its title this is the fourth entry in the Omen franchise, though the title is almost the only connection it has to the preceding trilogy, which had wrapped up ten years previously. Instead, The Awakening is just the story of an adopted baby who turns out to be not a child of the devil but of Damien Thorn, a cursory tie-in to the previous films that is only revealed in the final ten minutes, and which has no role to play in the plot.
*. The only slight twist is that it’s an evil little girl we’re talking about here, named Delia. Technically I guess she’s Satan’s granddaughter, if that means anything. She’s also, by way of some gynecological legerdemain, the mother of Satan’s great-grandson. I think. It’s really not worth working out. I mean, there’s a point at the beginning of the movie, when Delia is born, when a “spontaneous eclipse” is reported. “How many spontaneous eclipses have you seen in your life?” one of the nuns asks. Given all that has to go into making an eclipse, I’m guessing the answer to that is none.
*. More of this and The Awakening might have been a bit of fun. There’s another part that plays with the fact that Delia’s nanny is into New Age spiritualism, which turns out to be more finely tuned to the presence of the Antichrist than traditional religion. It seems that Delia has “the aura of a Borgia, not a little girl.” Great line. The movie needed more like it.
*. Alas, the movie is pretty much straight garbage. It’s a Canadian made-for-TV effort, which pretty much tells you all you need to know about how far the franchise had fallen. A couple of the kills are decently imagined but incompetently executed. One homage to the decapitation scene in The Omen only proves that you shouldn’t attempt an homage if you can’t add something to the original. It’s even worse than the bird attack in Omen II, which was meant to recall The Birds, only done with a single crow.
*. I don’t even know who was in charge. Two directors are credited because one of them apparently quit part of the way through the production. Something that also happened in Omen II, though in that case Mike Hodges had been fired. I also read that producer Harvey Bernhard, the second unit director, did the action scenes here.
*. Well, there’s nothing else to say. I think the plan was to use this to launch more TV movies, or maybe a series, but the negative critical reaction and poor box office scotched that idea. It’s a cheap production without any sense of style or originality. I think you’d have to be a real connoisseur of crap to see anything in it. I tried but didn’t come up with much.