Children of the Corn Reviews
The film follows a bickering couple (David Anders and Kandyse McClure) whose marriage is at an end. They're still together but you can tell all of the love is gone and they are constantly bickering. While driving near the two of Gatlin, they hit and kill a young boy running away from a cornfield. While attempting to find help and discover what happened to him, they stumble upon a cult of children who have taken over Gatlin and murder anyone over 18 as an offering to "He Who Walks Behind the Rows".
I mean it when I say that our heroes are hard to sympathize with. Burt (Anders) and Vicky (McClure) are always bickering. They go out of their way to be nasty to each other and it gets irritating quickly. Once the characters encounter some real peril there is never a scene where they start working together or get over their differences and in fact they seem to prioritize their distaste for each other over self-preservation. You'll find it hard to care if they live or die.
This is a movie about dumb people. There are 3 scenes where Burt fights off assailants and has the chance to arm himself with a weapon (and not something like a plank of wood or a stick, we're talking about something substantial). Despite being a seasoned war veteran he never takes this opportunity. Upon witnessing creepy sights or bizarre events he seems reluctant to believe that something might be wrong. I don't know about you, but the second I stumble upon a ghost town and I notice that the church has strange messages written all over the walls and several pages of the bible pulled out, I'm never looking back. Not our hero though, he stops to read several passages to himself (out loud) while his wife is outside waiting for him.
It's ambiguous for a long time what this God the children are worshipping, but one thing's for sure. This movie is set in some kind of science fiction universe where the laws of physics do not apply. Apparently although you can't hear a dozen people banging on a car with weapons from inside a neighboring building, you can hear a single shotgun blast. Lest you think the picture is sexist, there's equal opportunity idiocy present. Vicki has the same self-preservation skills (and terrible peripheral vision) as her husband and her dialogue is non-stop exposition about her childhood and general hatred of religious organizations. It's almost as if she believes that the man she's married to has somehow never heard this before. It's either that or we're treated to her nagging and being completely impossible to stand. When she gets attacked you'll want her to die just so she can shut up.
Unlike the first film adaptation and the short story, this version is oriented a lot more towards a realistic story with horrific elements but it seems like the writer/director couldn't quite make up his mind as to whether the supernatural direction should have been dropped or not. Because of this the ending comes out of nowhere and isn't satisfying. The movie does have some interesting themes about blind dogmatism, with the children following passages from the old testament to the letter, without regard to it's proper context or real meaning and there are several scenes that follow this theme that are quite good. You won't really care about the main characters though and the dialogue is often very bad. The acting is decent (although some of the young children aren't very convincing) and for a low-budget production, it is competently put together.
This "Children of the Corn" is a decent adaptation of the story, for what it's worth. There are a few shining moments and some creepy stuff too but it doesn't quite hit the mark. (On DVD, February 18, 2013)
No human being is as venomous as either of the two bickering leads presented here. If they weren't such terrible people (impossibly awful as they may be), maybe we'd actually give a hoot whether they got turned into scarecrows or not.
It's too bad that a pretty clever Vietnam allegory is wasted here.