A young couple tries to free an imprisoned child with catastrophic results.
I’m really not much of a “Children of the Corn” fan. I did really like the first film, but the sequels were pretty forgettable. In fact, I have only watched maybe the first two, after that I just gave up. I didn’t even realize that “Children of the Corn: Genesis” was the 8th film in the seemingly never ending killer kid series. I think we all know that Dimension hasn’t really given these (or the “Hellraiser”) films much care when preparing sequels. If I remember right, Dimension Extreme rushed this, along with a “Hellraiser” sequel in order to retain rights. The new film still boasts the “based on a story by Stephen King”, which is something I really would like to go back and read. My memory is pretty foggy on the details but I think I remember the basic idea. The new film, directed by Joel Soisson, isn’t anything to get excited over, nor is it a complete waste of time. It’s decent.
Allie (Kelen Coleman) and Tim (Tim Rock) are on a bit of a vacation when their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Instead of waiting around, they decide to walk to try and find some help. They come to the home of Preacher (Billy Drago) and his mail order love Helen (Barbara Nedeljakova “Hostel”). Preacher agrees to let them stay there till morning under the condition that they don’t go snooping. So naturally, they go snooping and what they discover is something so horrifying that it could cost them their lives.
Lets’ make it clear, not much actually happens in the film. Hell, there is only about a half dozen kids in the film and they are only shown for a few minutes. Soisson is a seasoned professional and though his budget constraints are apparent, he tries his best to draw us in with character drama. It really does work. Tim and Allie are such a normal, likable couple that you really do feel for them and want them to survive. Billy Drago is always fun to watch and his nasty little turn here sells the drama. He tries to pit the young couple against each other. He manipulates each of them into untrusting the other. This makes the film feel more like a thriller than anything else. There is one little boy that is kept locked up in the shed who has some sort of psychic ability and uses it to keep the couple in the home, literally. That was a nice touch, helped to keep the threat very real to them.
Where the film could have hit a homerun, the climax, they mess it up, big time. I’m not really sure how or what actually happens but it was just so blah that it might piss you off. Something happens in the films’ final act that could have sent the story into an interesting direction, instead it just ends. Tim Rock and Kelen Coleman do such a terrific job breathing life into these characters that some can be forgiven.
I’m not sure that I really recommend “Children of the Corn: Genesis”, but I wouldn’t discourage anyone from seeing it as long as they know what to expect. It really doesn’t have much in common with its predecessors (to an extent, that is a good thing), or much action. The casting was perfect and the actors really deliver the goods. Budget may have been a factor as to why it was more drama than action and Soisson made the right choice by sticking to the strong drama rather than trying to put together cheesy action with some chump change. My main complaint was the lackluster ending. It really did feel way too rushed. I’m giving “Children of the Corn: Genesis ** out of 5 stars. It wasn’t all that it could have been, though it was still a successful enough attempt to save a franchise from crashing and burning.