It’s summer time, we’re all sipping drinks made with dark liquor and little umbrellas (Clear liquor is for rich women on diets), and Final Girl Film Club is ba-ya-ya-yack! I’m so excited that I made a comic to commemorate the event.
Final Girl has Corn Fever so this month’s selection is the 2009 remake of Children of the Corn.
Remakes are such a contentious issue in the horror community. Some people think they’re at least as blasphemous as adding new chapters about Sweet Valley High to the Bible. Some people are all “Bring it on! Give me more CGI!” I fall somewhere in the middle. Sometimes a classic movie can benefit from an increased budget, better publicity, and new technology. Sometimes, a remake can be egregious, stupid, and egregiously stupid. Just like the Children of the Corn remake!
I’m really attached to the original Children of the Corn but I don’t think that’s enough to make me hate the remake the way that I do. I mean, I’m really attached to the original Evil Dead but I also like the remake. I think that I saw the original Children of the Corn at a young enough age that it imprinted on me like a momma duck to its ducklings. Plus, the original has Linda Hamilton. The remake has Kandyse McClure who was in Battlestar Galactica but I’ve never seen that so it means pretty much nothing to me.The movie is technically proficient but that doesn’t help that the acting is just really, really, really bad.
The movie opens in 1963 with child-preacher. A drought has hit the town of Gatlin, Nebraska and he blames the sins of adults as the cause of the drought. He incites the other children to make a sacrifice to “He Who Walks Behind the Rows.”
Fast forward twelve years into the present. The movie follows Burt Stanton (David Anders) and his wife, Vicky (Kandyse McClure).
Their marriage is in a rough patch and they’re hoping to fix things by driving to California for a second honeymoon. They’re currently driving through Nebraska when they hit a child. Most of the action is them trying to find someone in authority to report the child’s death. They bicker so much that they should change their last name to Bickers and instead of going to California they should go to Bickeropolis in the state of Bickerton in the United States of Bicker. They’re so thoroughly unlikable that I was pretty much counting down the minutes until they’d be off screen. It doesn’t help that their performances are so awful. Vicky pretty much has one note–shrill. It’s hard to go somewhere or grow as a character when you’re always playing one emotion or action. Burt is stuck on the tough Vietnam vet trying to hold it together.
They end up in the town of Gatlin and find it empty. Instead of driving straight out like any sane person, Burt sticks around to explore while Vicky is attacked by the cult of children. The movie then becomes about Burt’s survival as he breaks children’s arms (?!) and shouts things like “Put that in your god and smoke it!” This sounds way more interesting than anything that happens in the movie. Mostly, its endless shots of people running through corn. Oh, and there’s a sex scene between teenagers (Technically, they call it a fertilizing which I guess it is) interspersed with footage of Burt running through corn and screaming. There’s lots of porn-y moans and all the kids are watching. Thanks, movie, I wanted to feel like a sex-offender.
The movie ends with Burt finding Vicky crucified on farm equipment and He Who Walks Among the Rows disemboweling Burt. Also, the age of sacrifice, when the children give themselves to He Who Walks Behind the Rows has been lowered to eighteen and we see Malachai (Daniel Newman) preparing to go into the corn.
How does this movie suck? Let me count the ways.
It’s filmed in that stupid yellow-vision that one in three horror movies made in the twenty-first century is filmed in. It relies on jump scares with children to deliver any scares instead of having actually scary stuff happening. The heroes are unlikable but so are the children so all I could root for was He Who Walks Behind the Rows and we barely see him. It’s been hinted in Stephen King lore that He Who Walks Behind the Rows is actually Randall Flagg, especially if you’ve read The Stand and focus on the chapters with Mother Abagail when she’s in Hemingford Home. Gatlin, Nebraska is actually close to Hemingford Home in the Stephen King-verse The filmmakers could have explained or expanded this mythos, maybe connected to other works. But, nope, it’s just another missed opportunity with this movie.
If you want to see a Stephen King movie, watch just about any other adaptation and ignore this one. It’s neither scary nor interesting.
Past Film Club Entries
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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