Friday, March 3, 2023

Children of the Corn

Never reaches the heights of great King adaptations, but never tries to either, but definitely one of the better. Made for King fans looking for a decent adaptation while we await 'The Boogeyman' to be unleashed.

Rated R for violence and bloody images.

Children of the Corn

Writer/director Kurt Wimmer’s Children of the Corn is now the 11th feature film adaptation of Stephen King’s classic short story. Who knew this would be such a relied upon franchise, but we horror nuts love getting our kicks—regardless of quality. Thankfully, Wimmer brings an almost-theatrical feeling to what ultimately seems like another direct-to-video, err, streaming outing. It’s ironic considering this most recent version is getting a theatrical release with streaming options—including Shudder—available in a couple weeks. Wimmer breaks away from his niché action films to bring a slow burn prequel that manages to stand on its own. The franchise has come a long way since the Linda Hamilton original, but “He Who Walks Behind the Rows” is obviously a force who can’t be stopped, so why not take another stalk through the fields and shuck another entry on the pile?

The town of Rylstone has seen better days. After a young boy comes back from days in a cornfield, he slaughters all of the adults at the children’s home. The police accidentally manage to kill everyone else in the facility aside from young Eden (Kate Moyer). Eden is taken in by Pastor Penny (Bruce Spence), but they’re about to learn that there’s more to Eden than meets the eye. Slowly, the children turn against the adults after “He Who Walks” starts to take over the minds of the innocent. “Bo” (Elena Kampouris) is about to head off for college, and sees through the evil youngsters shenanigans, but not before Eden starts making sacrifices. Now, Bo must find a way to stop Eden, but not if “He Who Walks” can find a way to stop her first.

I’m not quite sure this Children of the Corn is entirely worth a trip to a theater—especially when you take into account some of the less-than-stellar visual effects work. But considering how bad a lot of King adaptations can be—including the glutton of entries this series has alone—it’s actually one of the better King offerings, even if on the smaller side. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and watch the chaos ensue. At least here we get tons of blood and kids doing some pretty heinous acts of violence upon their elders. The cast give better-than-average performances, especially considering it started filming in March 2020 in Australia, and it flies by at a nice pace. It might not quite be up to theatrical standards, but let’s face it, you could say that about most horror movies. But for those interested—especially viewers with a Shudder subscription—should find plenty to keep them entertained.

3 1/2 out of 5

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