Omen IV: The Awakening (1991)

omenivO,While it can be a tad silly at times, I think “Omen IV” is very underrated. What you think is just a goofy reboot with a switching of genders for the anti-Christ ends up being something so much cleverer. Asia Veira plays the cute but deadly Delia, a young girl adopted by Gene and Karen York, two attorneys that have had a tough time conceiving. While Karen begins focusing on motherhood, Gene finds himself being pushed by his coworkers toward a political career that could become very beneficial to the family.

Faye Grant is very good as protagonist Karen who is anxious to become a mother, but figures out what Delia is as Delia begins disrupting the household, and acting very strangely. What begins as a series of incidents surrounding schoolyard bullying, and near fatal accidents, transforms in to a very deadly battle of wits that revolve around the mother and daughter. Things especially become tense when Karen finally manages to get pregnant, giving her a larger incentive to keep Delia at arm’s length and investigate the child’s odd behavior. Much like the previous “Omen” movies, everyone and anyone that crosses Delia experiences “freak accidents,” except they’re not as disturbing or violent as previous films. That’s likely because “The Awakening” is a TV movie that played during primetime so much of the brutality is implied, or off screen.

The only incident that borders near vicious is when Michael Lerner’s character begins his investigation in Delia’s origins which ends up in a disturbing rattle snake attack. That said, Veira compensates for the lack of violence, playing the menacing Delia perfectly. Her gleams and sly smiles undercut a lot of the goofy plot devices, including her battle with a new age nanny who senses Delia’s evil almost immediately. Mid-way Delia lays siege to a convention of psychics and fortune tellers in a fiery inferno. It’s a silly bit of carnage, if only for the narrative’s failure to compose worthy adversaries for the young girl. In either case, Faye Grant’s turn as the tortured Karen is top notch, and I enjoyed the big twist in the finale that really implies another epic battle. I’m glad we never received parts five and six, because the book end of the film is sufficient for a sly reminder that the war between good and evil is never ending.