Sam Neill in Omen III: The Final Conflict

Omen III: The Final Conflict

Published on

In my review of “The Omen“, I mentioned that watching a franchise marathon can reveal inconsistencies and plot holes that might be overlooked when watching these films years apart. “Omen III: The Final Conflict” opens with a classic time-jump plot hole, a common occurrence in long-running franchises. The “Friday the 13th” series, for example, has a similar issue with timeline discrepancies. But before we delve into the Omen timeline, let’s first discuss the plot of the third installment.

In “Omen III: The Final Conflict” Damien Thorn (Sam Neill), now an adult and a prominent figure in international business and politics, ascends to the highest echelons of power as he prepares to fulfill his dark destiny as the Antichrist. With the prophecy nearing its climax, a group of monks dedicated to thwarting Damien’s plans emerges, led by the determined Father DeCarlo. As Damien consolidates his power and manipulates world events to bring about the apocalypse, Father DeCarlo and his allies engage in a desperate battle against the forces of darkness in a final showdown that will determine the fate of humanity.

Unless otherwise stated, movies typically take place in the year they are released. “The Omen,” released in 1976, presumably unfolds in that same year. Its direct sequel, “Damien: Omen II“, released in 1978, jumps seven years ahead, implying that the story now occurs in 1983. By the end of that film, Damien is 13 years old. In “The Final Conflict”, Damien is 32, suggesting that the movie should be set around 2003. However, this third installment, released in 1981, is clearly contemporary, with Damien explicitly referring to a position he aims to secure by 1984. This glaring plot hole exemplifies the decline in continuity and overall quality across the Omen sequels, highlighting the challenge of maintaining consistency in long-running franchises.

“The Final Conflict” suffers from diminishing marginal returns, with its quality falling short of the promise it holds on paper. The concept of an adult Damien, fully aware of his power and played by the talented Sam Neill, sounds like an intriguing setup. Although Neill delivers a solid performance, he could have truly sunk his teeth into the role and created a character as memorable as Freddy Krueger or Al Pacino’s portrayal of Satan in “The Devil’s Advocate“. Despite glimpses of enthusiasm, Neill’s portrayal feels too restrained given that he’s playing the Antichrist. His approach lacks the intense charisma and audacious energy that could have elevated the movie, leaving viewers wanting a bit more from a character who is supposed to embody ultimate evil.

Adding to the problem are the various subplots, including one about international diplomacy, which distract from the central focus on Damien. However, the weakest aspect of the movie has to be the monks tasked with killing Damien using the sacred daggers established in the first film. Rather than employing highly trained assassins—or even ninjas, given this was the ’80s—the monks are portrayed as bumbling and incompetent, with some assassination attempts feeling like they belong in a “Naked Gun” movie. Their clumsy approach and poorly executed plans detract from the sense of tension and threat, making the movie feel uneven and less compelling than it could have been.

As the title suggests, “The Final Conflict” marks the end of the Damien trilogy, but without giving away too much, it’s fair to say the conclusion is quite disappointing. The final moments are an unceremonious send-off for one of the most iconic characters in horror history. The “Omen” franchise forever tainted the name Damien, much like the name Adolf was marred by its association with Hitler. And just as Hitler’s story ended in a bunker, Damien’s story wraps up in a similarly uninspiring setting—amid the ruins of something resembling a cathedral.

One would expect a climactic showdown at the end of “The Final Conflict,” pitting Damien against a protagonist, but disappointingly, there isn’t one. The movie also suffers from a lack of the creative deaths that were the highlight of the previous two films. None of the deaths in this third installment come close to the impact of the nanny’s suicide, the glass pane decapitation, or the elevator tragedy. Instead, “The Final Conflict” feels muted, with Damien’s story ending on a whimper rather than the grand finale that an Antichrist of his caliber deserves. This lack of memorable moments and the absence of a compelling climax make the final film in the trilogy a significant letdown, ultimately failing to deliver the thrilling conclusion I was hoping for.

Omen III: The Final Conflict poster
Omen III: The Final Conflict poster
Omen III: The Final Conflict
  • Year:
  • Director:
    • Graham Baker
  • Cast:
    • Sam Neill
    • Rossano Brazzi
    • Don Gordon
  • Genre:
  • Running time:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You might also like: