Jorge Montesi, Dominique Othenin-Girard
Starring: Faye Grant, Michael Woods, Asia Vieira, Michael Lerner
A couple, Gene and Karen York, adopt a girl, Delia. They are at first excited to be parents, but Delia’s nanny, who claims to have psychic powers, begins to be suspicious of the child. Jo, the nanny, takes Delia to a psychic faire and has her worst suspicions confirmed with such ridiculous things as crystals turning black, the Devil Tarot card showing up, and other kinds of New Age bad omens. Delia, angered and upset by all of this meddling, proceeds to set the place on fire with pyrokinesis.
Later, Jo tries to help Delia, but begins to suspect her heritage. In revenge, Delia’s Rottweiler pushes the nanny out of a window to her death. Karen, Delia’s adoptive mother, also becomes suspicious and hires a private detective to learn more about the child’s origins. More deaths and accidents occur and Karen becomes paranoid. Eventually she learns that Delia is really the daughter of Damien Thorn, the Antichrist. Karen becomes pregnant and turns to her doctor for help, but is she in the midst of a satanic conspiracy?
There is absolutely nothing good I can say about this movie. There is no reason on Earth that someone should have made a fourth film in The Omen series. Even worse, this was supposedly intended to kick of a string of made-for-TV sequels of popular films. Obviously that went very well. This has all the ear-marks of a bad made-for-TV movie: a lousy script, bad acting, cheap effects or effects-worthy scenes taking place off screen, etc. Much of the “horror” here is really outrageous comedy, but the script is even too dull for this to be a “so bad it’s good” kind of movie. The detective is killed by a wrecking ball, Delia scowls a lot and angrily rips up a pamphlet from a Jehovah’s Witness, among many other absurd things. And there are a lot of upside down crosses.
With The Omen and Damien: The Omen II, the main issue was whether or not Damien was actually the Antichrist and what would happen to him. Here it is blindingly obvious that Delia is evil, but the script could have been a lot more clever and insidious about it, instead of introducing ridiculous scenes like the one where she sets the psychic faire on fire.
The performances are lackluster and none of the actors are capable of overcoming the awful script. Faye Grant, as Karen York, was mostly known for sci-fi TV series V and its follow up series. Her husband was played by Michael Woods, who appeared in soap operas like All My Children and Guiding Light. Asia Vieira (Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark, A Home at the End of the World) is a pretty run of the mill evil child. At least we have a brief performance from Michael Lerner (Maniac Cop 2, Newsies, A Serious Man) though he does little more than add to the comedy.
Though this was released as a TV movie in the U.S., it had a brief theatrical run in Europe but otherwise went right to video. Dominique Othenin-Girard (Halloween 5, another great horror sequel) began directing, but quit and was replaced by Jorge Montesi (Andromeda and a number TV series). This theoretically could have been a better film, as there was already a novel (a number of them, actually) and in the original script, Delia was the daughter of Kate, Damien’s girlfriend from The Final Conflict. That would have made a lot more sense than the script gymnastics attempted here, where Delia has a secret twin (the real Antichrist, version 2.0) whose embryo is impregnated in Karen by her doctor.
I can’t recommend Omen IV, not even for the many laughs that occur throughout the film. Omen IV is available as part of The Omen Collection. This was preceded by The Omen, Damien: The Omen II, and Omen III: The Final Conflict. Thankfully this was the last.