Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981)

omen iii the final conflict poster 1981 movie sam neill
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 5/10

Sam Neill is a decent Damien

Less shocking than the previous entries

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Omen III:  The Final Conflict

Studio:  20th Century Fox

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  March 20, 1981

MPAA Rating:  R

omen iii the final conflict crucifix damien thorn sam neill

Jesus…It’s on like Donkey Kong!

Damien Thorn (Sam Neill) is rising to power as his mortal enemy is nearing a return to Earth.  With an army of secret followers Damien is out to claim his seat as the Antichrist, and a new and important political post could seal the world’s fate.  Fortunately, a small band have discovered the truth about Damien and are out to stop him…and protect the reborn Christ.  Damien learns that the Savior has been born and will stop at nothing to prevent him from surviving.

Directed by Graham Baker, Omen III:  The Final Conflict is the follow-up to Damien:  Omen II of 1978 and advances the story a number of years.  Originally just released as The Final Conflict, the film received moderate reviews and a strong box office return.

omen iii the final conflict damien thorn hounds of hell sam neill

Damien and his…hounds of Hell?

The Omen and Damien:  The Omen II always felt like the meatier of the two movies while The Final Chapter always felt like a less interesting but more plot driven film.  Gone are most of the crazy deaths, but the film does still do some scary stuff.

The story of Omen III:  The Final Conflict is pretty much as the title says, an endgame.  Damien is making his power play but the forces of God are also making their move.  The movie’s odd plot leads to some kind of horrific storylines like the murders of a bunch of infants, and Damien outright challenging God to battle…which of course doesn’t go well.

The movie decided to age Damien to thirty-two which doesn’t really work with the previous entries, but a fudged timeline meant a break for Sam Neill (there had been ideas to make the character older with someone like Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, or Gene Hackman).  Neill does a good job with this, but he doesn’t have much help from the rest of the cast who really don’t stand out.

omen iii the final conflict ending christ wins

Kind of like ultimate deus ex machina…which isn’t a deus ex machina

The Omen films were always known for the shocking and complex death sequences (kind of a pre-Final Destination style Rube Goldberg Machine), but Omen III really doesn’t have that going for it.  The death of the ambassador with the rigged gun is probably the bloodiest death of the film, but nothing compares to scenes like the beheading in the first Omen or even the elevator severing scene in Damien:  Omen II.  The deaths might be kind of complex, but they aren’t very thrilling.

Omen III:  The Final Conflict isn’t very a very exciting entry into the series, but it is a conclusion.  The years of almost deaths for Damien end, but not as you might expect them to end.  The movie’s ending is probably different than many other films (how many movies have the Holy Ghost show up to win the day?)  Omen III:  The Final Conflict (despite the title) was followed by the made-for-TV film Omen IV:  The Awakening which remembered that Damien was dead but seemed to forget the idea that Christ had been reborn…apparently he did not issue peace across the land.

Related Links:

The Omen (1976)

Damien:  Omen II (1978)

Omen IV:  The Awakening (1991)

The Omen (2006)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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