Saturday, 7 November 2015

Review of "Omen IV: The Awakening"

The film "Omen IV: The Awakening" (1991) is the fourth of the Omen series. The previous three films were made by Twentieth Century Fox and its main character was Damien Thorn, son of Satan. The first film, "Omen" (1976), centred around a small child Damien Thorn with supernatural powers and then "Damien: Omen II" (1978) as an adolescent. "Omen III: The Final Conflict" (1981) starring Sam Neil as the adult Damien Thorn. Ten years later a television production made the fourth "Omen IV: The Awakening".
This is about a girl named Delia, who's the daughter of Damien Thorn.
The film starts off when a childless couple adopt a baby girl from an orphanage managed by nuns. Things start to go wrong when a crucifix falls upside down, witnessed by a scared nun. The baby scratches her adopted mother's face, infecting her with poison and cries hysterically during the church baptism.
A few years later, Delia grows into a small toddler playing with her adopted mum in the woods. When they play hide-n-seek, Delia runs off and is almost killed by a truck when a large dog saves her life. The dog soon becomes Delia's close friend and the adopted parents agree to take it in.
A few more years when Delia reaches 8 years old, developes a violent trait and has no friends with other children. She starts menstruating already, with the signs showing on horseback, which threw her off. Delia is introduced to a psychic crystal healer but things turn very dark. Delia doesn't like crystals. She doesn't like being photographed in order to check her aura. The incident at a psychic fair disturbs Delia and a fire breaks out. Her adopted mother finds out she's expecting a baby and her love for Delia fades. She already doesn't like her adopted daughter anymore. When the psychic is killed, Delia becomes more dangerous and her adopted mother is frightened of her. She is no longer considered a loner child with a violent streak, but something sinister, and her adopted mother doesn't want her near the new baby.
I don't want to spoil the rest of the film but there is a few twists and the ending is tragic, also frightening. In some ways the viewer could sympathise with Delia for getting bullied by a boy in school and when Delia fights back, oh she's the mean one, according to the adults. It plays on past childhood memories and those who were bullied in school might think it's unfair to punish Delia for getting her own back.
Then you could also understand Delia for not liking New Age "crap"! The psychic (there was more than one) conspiring against Delia and harassing the girl into exposing her aura without her consent. In a way the psychics came across as very pushy and unlikeable. Delia was protected by her loyal dog from the psychic anyway who barked and growled when she persued Delia in the house.
Apart from Delia is the attitude of her adopted mother. She started off as very loving, but years later she turned cold and unloving towards Delia. The mother didn't have much knowledge of children or babies, as she reacted surprised whenever the baby was in a big tantrum. Later as things go even darker and darker, you could almost interprate the adopted mother as experiencing Post Natal Psychosis.
The real father of Delia was Damien Thorn, son of Satan and Maria Sciana who was a female jackal. Jackals have been associated with the afterlife. The Serer believe the Jackal is the first animal of creation. One of the most famous jackal gods is Anubis, Egyptian god of the dead. According to the Bible, the jackal is a sign of evil. Some ancient writers considered them the wild dog or wolf of the desert. Ancient Indians regarded jackals as good companions to their mates.
The story of the Omen was remade in 2006.  

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