Damien Thorn is progressing up the political ladder by hook or by crook. The methods used are exemplified by the first kill in the film in which The U.S.Ambassador to the UK crosses paths with Thorn’s Rottweiler and then goes back to his office and kills himself by blowing his brains out, completely redecorating his office and ensuring that Thorn can now occupy his now vacant position. Oh and yes, that’s Ruby Wax playing his secretary in an uncredited role.
Thorn’s ascent to the top seems like plain sailing except that Jesus has his second coming shortly after this (I love the sequence in which this happens. Damo’s dog suddenly becomes extremely unsettled and Thorn literally wakes up in a cold sweat. And so he should). If that wasn’t enough, a group of priests who know who Thorn really is, have hold of the daggers that can kill him and are trying to bump him off. The road to the top was never smooth, Damien.
This was another film that I saw on TV in the 80s as a child. I remembered that I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought of it as a very entertaining and satisfying conclusion to the trilogy (this was before Part 4 had been made). I’m pleased to report that I haven’t changed my mind on rewatching the film.
One thing that I didn’t pick up on when I first watched the film was that there’s a devilish (pun not intended) sense of humour at play here. One example is when Damien is being made up for his big TV interview. The make-up artist starts to comb his hair causing Thorn to suddenly grab the comb from her hand (he didn’t want her to see his 666 birthmark) and say ‘Don’t worry, I’ll take care of that!’ I also loved that on walking through Speaker’s Corner (with his Rottweiler!), he comes face to face with someone ranting about the second coming of the anti-Christ. He’s closer than you think!
I also loved the frankly amateurish attempts by the priests to exterminate Thorn. They make the gang in The Ladykillers look like seasoned assassins. These scenes ensure magnificent kills like the man in the TV studio who suddenly finds himself suspended upside down, swinging through the air whilst being on fire. I also loved the guy who tries to kill Thorn when he’s surrounded by the dogs used in the fox hunt he’s participating in. Doesn’t he know that Thorn is like a really evil Dr Doolittle and can get animals to kill on his behalf?
And then there’s the storyline that involves Damien getting his assistant Harvey to kill all the children born on the day Jesus recently reappeared. This is one of the darkest episodes I think I’ve ever seen in a horror film and of course, resembles what Herod ordered in the Bible. This is some dark shit and I’m surprised the censors didn’t have more to say regarding this storyline.
The casting is as fantastic as it is in the other Omen films with the adult Damien being played impeccably by Sam Neill. He’s menacing, sinister but also knows how to highlight the sly humour in the script. I couldn’t think of another actor playing the adult Damien anywhere near as well.
I loved the religious euphoria of the ending with bible passages appearing on the screen and a vision of Christ making an appearance as good triumphs over evil. It really is something to behold.
4 stars out of 5