Ed. note– I wrote this review for Icons of Fright, and it pissed off my editor there. He pointed me out to his buddy’s positive review of the film. I automatically threw out every opinion that reviewer had in all his reviews. As for my review, I stand by every word in it. OMEN IV: THE AWAKENING is an insult to: Fox studios, the horror genre, horror fans, the memories of Gregory Peck, William Holden and Lee Remick, the directing career of Richard Donner, network television, movies in general, a classic first film and the classiest horror trilogy of all time, the concept of damnation, and Satan himself. I won’t post the usual link to buy at Amazon, because I absolutely will not partake in you purchasing this flick. You have been warned.– P.F.
The other day, I walked into my apartment to a rancid odor. Guessing that a moose had not died and rapidly decomposed under my bed, I surmised that the terrible stench came from my kitchen garbage. Earlier in the week, I had cooked something, I don’t even remember what, and the cooking scraps I’d tossed out had begun to work their dark magic. Immediately, I took out the trash and lit a vanilla scented candle. As I left my kitchen, I looked at my DVD rack and instantly associated this foulness with OMEN IV: THE AWAKENING.
The first OMEN movie is a classic, and the other two entries in the trilogy are classy, respectable additions to the genre. I equated these films with the meal I’d cooked earlier in the week; after all, even if I couldn’t remember what I’d prepared, I know I’m one Hell of a chef. OMEN IV, however, is a putrid abortion, which leaves a stink upon the series that threatens to erase the tasteful memories of the first three films, and is best placed in the garbage, which should be removed from the house immediately thereafter.
A quick history: having recently launched its own television network in 1990, Fox Studios, the company responsible for such high end fare such as Cops and Married with Children, was searching for new programming. Forgoing any concept of fresh ideas, Fox decided to revive some of its older movies and convert them to two hour television movies (Give the studio credit; Fox was enamored with lack of creativity long before all the studios caught on with the current remake craze). The first of these was to be a new OMEN flick, also to be one of the most incompetently made films I’ve ever witnessed.
A quick plot synopsis: THE OMEN with a girl. A girl whose acting technique is to look really bored. The plot is note for note exactly the same, but gone terribly wrong. It’s as if the Sistine Chapel were repainted in the local church by a 3 year old, and the Roman Catholic Church sponsored the painting. I could go into how atrocious everything across the board is in this film, but it’s better to use one example that sums the mess up: as a private eye passes a choir on the street, they transform into hideous demons who chant the Latin chorus from THE OMEN. Jerry Goldsmith should have been rolling in his grave over this, and he hadn’t even died at that point. Fox obviously didn’t give a damn about their fans, but worse, they didn’t give a damn about THE OMEN’s legacy either.
They didn’t give a damn enough to put any extras besides trailers on this disc. Trust me. You wouldn’t watch extras if they were there.
Long before OMEN IV reaches its twist ending, you’ll have shut it off to save yourself from the stench of this misguided example of How a Horror Franchise Goes Hideously Wrong. But then, if you’re reading this review, hopefully you’ll avoid the film. After all, I wouldn’t want you to spend your money on trash.