Gene and Karen York are the living embodiment of The American Dream, Rich, influential attorneys, they have everything a couple could want… except a child.
When the Yorks learn of a beautiful baby girl waiting to adopted, they instantly fall in love with baby Delia and adopt her. But terror and destruction seem to follow Delia wherever she goes.
Soon, Delia’s mother begins to questions the “coincidence” of these catastrophes. Her thoughts can’t help but turn toward the biblical prophesy of Armageddon… the final confrontation between the forces of good and evil, beginning with the birth of Satan in human form.
eyelights: the disquieting twist. the few times that Jerry Goldsmith’s music is ripped-off.
eyesores: just about everything about it.
If you thought that the Antichrist, son of Satan, was sinister, wait until you meet Satan’s granddaughter!
That’s right: ‘Omen IV: The Awakening’ is the story of none other than Delia, the daughter of the son of the one who cast out from the Heavens!
Man, she’s so EVIL: She scratches her mom’s cheek! Oh no! She bites right into a doll’s head! If that doesn’t spell E-V-I-L, I don’t know what does! She even punches a kid who’s been teasing her. Really, she’s a total monster.
And it goes to Hell from there. In that bad way.
Honestly, everything one can imagine going wrong in a movie happens in ‘The Omen IV’:
- The direction sucks @$$: For example, there’s a recreation of the scene in ‘The Omen‘ when the Thorns can’t find Damien as they’re walking by the river. Here, Delia goes running off while she and her mom are walking by a river. But then, presumably because she’s an idiot, Delia runs straight for a highway a few hundred metres away, right in front of a sixteen wheeler. Why? Who knows! Maybe her evil heart couldn’t stand her mom’s righteousness. But, thankfully, a rottweiler comes out of nowhere and saves the day! Hurray! What was the point of this scene? Were we supposed to be afraid that Delia would get run over, because she’s a kid (we know she won’t!), or afraid that she WON’T get run over, because she’s Satan’s grand-daughter (you know she won’t!)? Stupid, stupid, stupid. It’s likely the least effective moment in the whole picture. (nota bene: (two directors are credited because the original one quit midway through production. Neither have made anything truly noteworthy on their own)
- The actors are insipid: Faye Grant overacts like a rank amateur, Michael Woods comes off like a younger, second-rate Powers Boothe, and Asia Vieira isn’t even remotely captivating as Delia – something one would expect from the spawn of the spawn of Satan. Watching her is like watching a home movie featuring a little girl posing for the camera. Except that she EVIIIIIILLL!!!
- The writing is so bad that there isn’t an ounce of tension or originality to the whole thing: Most of the ideas a rehashed from the previous films, or they’re pathetic as all get out. The exception being the doctor’s revelation to Delia’s mom. That was mildly unsettling. Mildly. As for the notion that a spontaneous eclipse took place when Delia was adopted? Well, come on. You can’t have a spontaneous eclipse. You just can’t. And even if you could, why is it that only the nuns noticed? And the dialogues? Forget about it; it’s all retarded. In that bad way. Not in that Black Eyed Peas way. Which is not bad, just evil. EVIIIIIILL!!!
- The production isn’t even of television calibre: It was made as a TV movie, but was somehow released in cinemas in some countries. It’s so cheap that even the most rudimentary effects are poorly done, such as the make-up of a former nun dying of snake bites (which looked like someone has stuck Play-Doh on her face), the stabbing of a doctor’s hand with a pen (the “pen” kept slipping around in the attacker’s palm), and the baby’s “6 6 6” birthmark (which looked like some shriveled up cocktail shrimps stuck to its palm).
- The editing is terrible: For example, the sequence that shows a journalist taking picture of a Congressman indulging in a little motel room hooker (like they all do, right?). We see a close up of a guy taking pictures. he establishes that he’s shooting a politician by uttering to himself something about the congressman. Nice. Thank goodness this guy doesn’t have internal monologues like the rest of us. Phew! We’d be totally lost without him! Next thing, he falls off the fire escape. What happens next is a mystery, but we know that now Delia’s father is primed for running against that Congressman. Wow… what political drama!
- The score is absolutely useless except when Jerry Goldsmith’s compositions are lifted wholesale and plastered over the picture. Good thing, too, because those are the only effective moments in the whole picture – his unforgettable music made even the lame/pathetic seem scary/dramatic.
- The kills are mindbogglingly moronic: For example, when Delia instigates the death of her nanny, she does so by spitting in her face – which obviously makes the nanny recoil in horror… and pain (saliva burns, you know. Especially EVIL saliva!). So the nanny asks Delia “What evil made you do that?”. Say what? Spitting isn’t evil, it’s rude (Oh wait, Lucifer just had me spit on the sidewalk. I take it back). Then the nanny goes to her room and Delia’s dog crashes through the door, propelling her out the window. Firstly, it couldn’t happen: I never met a telekinetic dog in my life (or at least never got on the bad side of one). Secondly, why weren’t there any questions surrounding the incident? I mean, Delia was hardly alone when it happened, and there’s no way to hide the fact that the dog attacked the nanny. So why wasn’t the dog destroyed? And why aren’t the media all over this? Delia is the daughter of a Congressman, for goodness’ sake! WTF!
- The pacing and staging is horrible: The first eight years fly by at light-speed, so we know where things are at, but it feels contrived and awkward. Scenes happen and remain unexplained, moving on to other things immediately thereafter. For example, when Delia’s mom suffers pregnancy pains while at the private investigator’s office: one moment she’s in pain, the other, she’s in bed at home just doing her thing. What just happened? Is there a director’s cut with missing footage out there somewhere? And which director got to cut it? And why do I even care?
This picture doesn’t even follow the series conventions for goodness’ sake!
- How can Delia even go into a Church for her baptism? Damien had a major hissy fit even coming close to a church, let alone having to go in. So why can she go inside? Is it because she’s one generation away from Satan? Does this mean that his grand-grandchild would be able to wear a crucifix or carry a Bible? Or maybe even devote his/her life to Christ? It must suck to be affiliated with Satan if his power is so darned weak…
- Where are all the disciples of Satan setting the stage for the coming of the Antichrist? Here, Delia’s all alone with her dog (her nanny’s new agey, not satanic), and the dog does nothing except save her life and kill the nanny (it probably got scared of her mystical crystals). It doesn’t even serve as an omen of things to come. So what gives? Does Satan not give a crap about his grand-daughter then? Is it pure sexism? Is it because she’s only a grandchild? Or is it because he’s given up after the failure that was Damien? Maybe he’s sulking in Hades somewhere and forgetting about his lineage…
Okay, so bottom line is that, even if one has not seen the original films, this doesn’t create ANY suspense, come up with surprises or is even remotely creepy.
And if you have seen the originals, then this is a major disappointment because it has veritably nothing to do with them; it’s nothing but a hack job trying to ride on the coattails of something vastly superior – even the disappointing ‘The Final Conflict‘ was worlds better than this.
As it stand, ‘Omen IV: The Awakening’ comes off as a p!$$-poor version of ‘The Bad Seed’. Except that, ironically, this is a nightmare that’ll bore you to sleep.
Date of viewing: October 20, 2013