Yes, there’s an Omen IV. Ten years after the last theatrical release, the fledgling Fox Network attempted to jumpstart the franchise with this made-for-TV offering. Unfortunately, the effort turned out to be bloodless, pedestrian, and decidedly non-scary.
But also kind of hilarious. Just try not to laugh during the scene in which a guy runs into an alley and bumps into a small choir wearing blue zombie makeup and belting out Jerry Goldsmith’s Ave Santani chant from the previous films. Can’t be done. And don’t even bother trying to suppress the giggles whenever little Delia torments her new age nanny, Josephine. Irritated by Jo’s belief in “stupid stuff”, the girl turns all of the poor woman’s crystals black, frightens off her pony-tailed aura-photographing boyfriend, and finally just burns down the entire new age psychic faire. (Is it a sin to be cheering on Satan’s granddaughter during this part of the movie?)
But figuring out whether or not the filmmakers were being intentionally funny comes afterwards. Long before pushing play, most folks will find themselves asking, “Didn’t a big glowing Jesus show up and kill off the antichrist at the end of the last movie? How can there even be a sequel?” Well, apparently there was a backup plan. It seems that Damien’s tryst with that reporter in Part III spawned a little girl (Delia) who then carried her twin inside herself in zygote form. At the proper time, that cell became infused with Damien’s soul and was implanted in the womb of Delia’s adoptive mother by a devil worshiping obstetrician so that Damien could be reborn. So, basically, Damien became his own father, which would make his daughter also his sister AND surrogate mother. Confused? Forget it, Jake, it’s Satantown.
Still, convoluted as this scheme is, it has some truth in it. In the very last line of this week’s gospel we read: “When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.” FOR A TIME. You see, even though Jesus himself (not big and glowing this time around) had just smacked down Satan in an exegetical cage match and sent the Old Serpent crawling off with his tail between where his legs used to be, Scripture lets us know he’s gonna keep slithering back again and again and again. Kind of like in a bad movie.
We are meant to recognize our own ongoing battle with temptation in Jesus’ time spent in the desert. Pope St. Leo put it this way, “He fought then, therefore, that we too might fight thereafter… For there are no works of power, dearly-beloved, without the trials of temptations, there is no faith without proof, no contest without a foe, no victory without conflict. This life of ours is in the midst of snares, in the midst of battles; if we do not wish to be deceived, we must watch: if we want to overcome, we must fight.”