Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981, Graham Baker)

1982damien

Note: The on-screen title is simply The Final Conflict, and indeed that’s how the film was initially promoted.

Spoiler warning: these reviews reveal plot twists.

Damien Thorn, now 32, arranges it so he can have his stepfather’s old job: American ambassador to the UK. He needs to be on the spot because the Second Coming has been forecast as taking place in England…

Best performance: No one especially stands out. Sam Neill is fine if one-note as Damien. So for a laugh I’ll pick Ruby Wax, who has an uncredited cameo as a secretary at the US embassy. She unknowingly sets off the device that kills the ambassador, therefore freeing up the job for Damien. (The best performance certainly isn’t from Mason Adams, who plays perhaps the least presidential President in cinema. Incidentally, an establishing shot of the White House is stock footage bought from Superman II.)

Best death: The wife of Damien’s second-in-command is tricked into believing her newborn baby is evil. So she burns him to death with an iron. (The close-up of her nightmarish vision was slate 666 – ie, the 666th different camera position used during filming.)

Review: Even more so than the last film, this retcons the timeline. Despite being a child in a movie released five years earlier, Damien is now in his early 30s – approaching the age Jesus was when killed, in fact. Sadly it’s rote, unsubtle storytelling with little momentum.

Five Nazarenes out of 10

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