Children of the Corn - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Children of the Corn Reviews

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½ February 28, 2018
As an enormous fan of the original which was (relative to the modest budget and laughable SFX) well done, as a remake this version left much to be desired. Surprisingly, this was co-written by Stephen King himself. I'm reflecting comparisons to the original, and thus not meant for first timers. Burt and Vicky constantly bicker. It's obvious they don't like each other, in spite of being married. In the original, they were unmarried and the only ongoing major disagreement they had was about him making a full commitment. Regarding casting, I was confused. Burt is a white ex-marine with signs of PTSD, and Vicky a too often whiny and obnoxious black woman. The race change made no sense, save for attempting to be more "P.C." which is completely out of place here.

I may have missed it but it was unclear to me exactly what they were doing driving in the middle of nowhere, whereas it was briefly explained in the original. The original Isaac was a tough act to follow, but this young "actor" just doesn't fit the bill. There's nothing creepy about him for starters. His lines are rushed and lacking any sense of fear or authority through his inflections. As an actor he didn't seem to have a full understanding of what he was saying! Perhaps not his fault, as his intentions/motivations were seemingly explained poorly to him.

The story begins "twelve years ago" (1963) and takes place in "present day" (1975), however Isaac, among others, hadn't aged during this long period. One may recall that in the original the year was ambiguous, mentioning only "present day" and "about three years ago". Much of the music is the same with several minor changes. The ultra eerie child chanting music is there but not nearly as loud or significant. The 1984 film can be a fine example of how score can make or break the overall feel.

The Malachai character often overacts, as if he's trying hard to live up to the bizarre nature of the original role played by Courtney Gains. The rest of the children speak in unison so often that it loses its creepy nature after awhile and just seems contrived. One thing I did like was more interaction of the children with each other. They verbally communicate, eat together, and so on. The aforementioned elements left an unresolved curiosity in the 1984 version. It hardly saves the film, though. The majority of the acting is stale and lifeless. Job and Sara are taken out of this one altogether. Essentially it's Burt against this world.

An interesting church scene shows two of the older kids fornicating on the pulpit in front of Isaac and the rest of the kids. Pretty gutsy for made-for-TV to have nudity, sex movements and noises while kids cheered on excitedly. I thought it superfluous to have Burt running from the children through the corn experiencing Vietnam flashbacks. The running alone would have sufficed, especially since it was shot almost to the letter to the description in the short story. The kids stop cold when they get to the foot of the cornfield, obvious that they have a learned fear of entering the corn without the presence of their leaders.

Another element that brought this down as a horror film is that these murderous children are just simply too normal. They have more personal dialogue here, but it was too often and too "every day". With the exception of children acting in unison, holding weapons, and wearing dated clothes, there wasn't much else strikingly unusual.

The cinematography was halfway decent. Many shots paid tribute to the original, like the corn "coming alive" around Burt. It's difficult to swallow the relationship between Isaac and Malachai because without Isaac's creepiness there's no intimidation factor. Being that Malachai is a bigger and older presence, it doesn't work. Burt and Vicky's actors have zero screen chemistry. Also because of Vicky's annoying nature, I never cared about what happened to her. The end result of her fate was disturbing to see, not because it was her, but rather because it was anyone. This yarn creates very little sense of mandatory chills, fear and scares. It missed that special ingredient that makes great horror.

Vicky's scene towards the end was notably disturbing and well done. I at appreciated their staying loyal to the original story. Like many M. Night Shyamalan films, we wait and hope that something big and exciting and grand will happen, but it runs out of gas early. It had potential but just did not hit the mark. The last fifteen minutes is worth watching for true fans.

Marc I. Daniels
November 23, 2017
I would have like to see the actual monster
August 26, 2017
Kandyse is so overly annoying! I would've killed her at the start of the movie... Her acting was worse than the kids...
½ March 11, 2017
One of the worst-written movies I've ever seen. It opens with an attractive couple driving through rural Nebraska. Unfortunately things in their marriage don't seems to be going so well. The wife is deranged and verbally and emotionally abusive, even irrationally taunting her husband about his service in Vietnam and gloating that he's going to jail moments after he accidentally runs down a child. The husband, a pathetic domineered loser who also happens to be a wife-beater, actually seems like the more appealing of the two. We're never given a reason to empathize with either of these despicable idiots, or frankly why the husband would care when the wife's apparently kidnapped by the a bunch of murderous children. Said children are laughably campy and unfrightening, with evil prophet Isaac (too young for the role) delivering diabolical pronouncements he clearly doesn't understand in an adorable lisp and second banana Malachi failing to give any menace to such gem lines as "we are your destiny." This movie isn't even 'fun bad,' just an unappealing mix of nasty mean-spiritedness, boredom, and eye-rollingly bad child acting.
½ August 21, 2016
This was a very bad movie
½ February 13, 2016
A bit boring for a remake. Isn't this is suppose to be a horror movie?!
October 14, 2015
The 2009 version of "Children of the Corn" is a fairly close adaptation to the original short story. That should please fans of the original story, but it means that the protagonists are unlikable and ultimately the movie doesn't really know in what direction it wants to go.

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)
September 15, 2015
Absolutely the worst movie I have seen, bad writing, bad actors, they changed the storyline so so much this remake sucks, the original movie 1984 Linda Hamilton and Peter Horton so much better!!!
½ April 15, 2015
A far more inferior version of the original for several reasons. The story takes place in 1975 and the main protagonists look remarkably current in attire. They are also interracial which while did start happening more in the 1970s, really was a total rarity for a White man and Black woman. Then, they act like they can't stand each other which hurt the story. The original was more dated, had a more believable couple who got along. The original was also done in a better storytelling form.
½ January 24, 2015
The first motion picture to feature zero protagonists?

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.
½ November 25, 2014
The last half hour is just running through cornfields.
½ October 26, 2014
Wow. I can easily say that Sci-Fi has done it again and they can't fucking do horror to save their lives. This was one of the worst remakes ever. The female protagonist from the original was so much better and proactive than the bitchy and ungrateful one that we couldn't wait to see dead. What the fuck was the deal with the military or was it imagined up? The other hero did absolutely nothing to solve the problems of the town, the town acted even stupider and more blind than the kids of the original film. The acting was bad. The remake may have been faithful or more so to the book but not the original film. Everything was God awful, terrible and forgettable. The entire Sci-Fi channel needs to be nailed to the cross along with this film.
½ October 5, 2014
Not a big fan of the movie. Would have liked a little more suspense.
Super Reviewer
½ September 20, 2014
Delivering a new vision of Stephen King's short story, Children of the Corn is a chilling and horrific tale that's much darker than the '84 original. When a bickering married couple run over a child in the middle of the road, but find that his throat was slit, they find themselves drawn into a devil's trap with no way out. David Anders and Kandyse McClure lead the cast, and Anders gives an especially compelling and provocative performance as a Vietnam vet haunted by his past. McClure, on the other hand, plays a pretty spiteful and reprehensible character, which makes her presence rather grading and a detriment to the film. Still, the directing is pretty good and brings a lot of suspense and tense to the scenes. Though truer to the source matter, this adaptation of Children of the Corn has a cynical tone that sucks some of the entertainment out of it.
½ July 21, 2014
Sticks more to King's short story. But that leaves us with two truly unlikable leads. Once the couple gets separated, the male lead starts going through a series of odd 'Nam flashbacks. In the cornfields. Yup. At this point the film becomes Children of the Cong. Still, it's better than any of the sequels to the original, and not too awful as far as made-for-SyFy Channel movies go.
½ October 8, 2013
Slow start and at times dragged. Too bad it was originally a short story because it was a challenge to extend to a full length movie. But this storyline was better than the original, definitely more "horror" than the original, and a few of the dramatic scenes were enough to make this decent. Throw in some f***ed up stuff too!
½ October 7, 2013
This was an absolutely horrible remake. The acting is worse than a lifetime movie. The characters are boring and have no depth. Don't waste your time.
½ October 5, 2013
way better than the original
September 27, 2013
excuse my language...PIECE OF S*** MOVIE...After watching this film you will want to call everyone involved in making it and ask for 90 minutes of your life back and maybe a couple bucks for the pain you went through. JUST AWFUL.
½ September 21, 2013
Though it is more true to the story from the mind of Stephen King, more than half of this movie spends its time introducing us to the endless amounts of problems this couple has. Plus, the story works better with a happy ending.
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