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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How do you get 3 Sixes from a Set of Films Worth 3 'Fives'?, 16 Nov. 2002
This review is from: The Omen Trilogy Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
There had once been a time when some people (most likely Britons who'd been deprived of 'The Exorcist' because of the ban) believed 'The Omen' to be slightly less than the best kind of horror film. A perennial favorite on television, 'The Omen' sired three sequels (we'll include number four here just to be diplomatic). At a time when the theme of demonic possession had set the new order for the Horror Film, 'The Omen' came along and proved that it could be done by going one better. Instead of having a devil playing with someone's mind, what better than to have the Devil himself (or at least His Son)?

Possessing (if you'll excuse the pun) a killer soundtrack, effectively oppressive atmosphere and agonizingly delicious suspense mechanisms, the first film is also the best. Peck, Remick, Troughton, Warner and Whitelaw create a superb centrifuge in which the unholiness of the AntiChrist is spun into diabolical amplification. Richard Donner (director of, oddly enough, such wholesome fare as 'Superman') creates a movie that enthralls visually as much as it assaults spiritually. Yes, the 'accidents' become more comical with increased familiarity but what they stand for as symbols is never lost to the viewer. Not in the least bit derived from anything but itself, 'The Omen' has achieved a justly grand status in the genre.
Functioning at a little below par than its predecessor is 'Damien - Omen II'. It seems inevitable that it could only pale by comparison. Because the AntiChrist in the first film came across more strongly as an intangible entity (how could anyone have read such evil into a five year old boy - famous last words, incidentally), the teenaged Doomchild has too hard an act to follow. Tucked neatly away in the family-frequented military academy, he finds himself. Sadly, this is where the film loses a little of its bottom end. The psychological exploration of Damien had to happen, certainly, but it shows a gap in his armor. Still, a triumphant and worthy entry in the catalog.
Last but maybe not necessarily least is 'The Final Conflict - Omen III'. All grown up and high-flying in the family business, Damien Thorn has a problem. The ceremonial knives that are his bane have been discovered and are in the hands of a sect of monks who wish to eliminate him. To make matters worse, a New Star of Bethlehem suddenly signals that a New Savior has been born unto the world. What could be more stressful for a successful, happening AntiChrist? Damien reacts with Herodesque tactics through his many minions (incorporating Boy Scouts, Nurses, Vicars; you name it ...) in the hope he can keep his grip on the world and climb from simple famine-relief marketeering to President of the United States.
But he forgets that he's won twice before at the end of a film. The third time must therefore be a charm for the other side.
This is a superior box set. Extras galore appear on all discs, rising to a zenith on 'The Omen'. The cruciform inlay system is cute and the in-depth discussions from Donner and the other directors provide the box set with an authority that will never be matched by any future release format. At the risk of sounding predictable now, it must be said that this is a must - a purchase the buyer must simply undertake without a second thought. There will be plenty to think about later once the films have been watched once ... twice ... three times and on. Highly addictive. Give Number Four a look too, if for no other reason than to keep from wondering how good a sequel to 'The Final Conflict' might have been. It never happened, so you have all you want here in this box set.
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