Monday, February 15, 2016

Children of the Corn - 1984

I did feel a touch obligated to at least watch Children of the Corn (CotC) after seeing several of the sequels, 3 and 4, followed by 5 and 6.  And of course, at number 6 I decided to give up and that I wasn't going to watch Genesis and Revelations, or whatever the next ones were called.  6, also known as Children of the Corn 666, is about as bad as the title suggests it would be.

CotC was one of those movies I saw when I was heavily into reading Stephen King back in my early teens.  His style of writing was accessible enough and high paced enough to keep a young me interested, and I read many of his books, but then I also got really into the movie adaptations.  A whole lot of Stephen King book adaptations have been bad, but a lot of the bad ones also dwell in that so-bad-they're-good area.  Also, a lot of them are in my opinion very good, and this was one of the middle of the road interpretations.  I wonder if I could do a Roger Corman-like list of things to watch for in Stephen King adaptations......

1) Children:  virtually all of Stephen King's books contain child main characters.  Often imbued with special knowledge or powers, these kids have a precognizance of things to come.  They are the true symbols of innocence and must contend with the evil surrounding them.  That or they are the evil ones, and that's the root of the story.
2) Innocent women:  I don't think any Stephen King book/movie has a single evil female.  They hardly have complete female characters at all number one, and usually they are just "set dressing" that exist only because to exclude them would be unrealistic.
3) Monsters both in mind and form:  the biggest link, these monsters have an ability to stalk both your dreams and your day to day life.  They get inside your head, they make you see stuff, they dig into your subconscious and find your deepest and darkest secrets, and they use it to their advantage.  The only way to beat them is...
4) Strength of will:  the end fight is not so much a physical one.  In fact, pretty much never is.  It's about finding that inner strength, fighting it off, and realizing there's a strong "inner you" that you never had to rely on until now.

There are more, but let's move on.  This movie contains 1-3, and it's a rare children are evil one.  Seeing it made me think of several other Stephen King movies, as watching his films normally do.  I recently have watched Pet Semetary and The Mist, not as recently watched Cujo, Thinner, and Maximum Overdrive.  Specifically I want to see the Tommyknockers movie again.  Don't ask me why, it wasn't good.  It was a pretty shitty one if memory serves me right.

CotC is your average evil kids cult religion hybrid film.  Something infests the kids of Gaskin, Nebraska, which is a middle of nowhere religious community that is surrounded by corn fields.  The kids kill all the adults, and are led by preachy and raspy voiced Isaac.  Two of the kids are not evil, the prophetic girl Sarah and her brother Job.  While driving down the highway, adults Burt and Vicky hit a kid with their car.  They take the kid to Gaskin trying to get help.  Soon enough, Vicky is kidnapped by the evil children and Burt connects with Sarah and Job, and they launch a mission to save Vicky.

The kids in it are okay actors, I never trust kid actors in movies, but these ones are decent enough.  Isaac and Malachi are the two main ones, Isaac being the speaker for the demon that has infested the kids, named He Who Walks Behind the Rows, and Malachi is his destructive and disobedient military chief.  Vicky is played by Linda Hamilton, looking way more attractive than anything else I've seen her in, and making me feel strange about wanting to see her naked.  I did NOT like her in The Terminator, that's what's weird.

It's a relatively by-the-numbers horror film, not entirely remarkable or necessary, but some people might enjoy it more than me.  For me, it's neither very atmospheric or high paced enough to make it one of the best.  I give it a average 3 stars.

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