Film: Children of the Corn (1984) Reviewed by: Freekz80
Children. Sharp objects. Corn fields. Combine those three with a hatred for adults and you’ve got Children of the Corn! Directed by Fritz Kiersch, this great 80s horror flick combines a strange and unconventional premise with the good ol’ creepiness of children.
Burt (Peter Horton) and girlfriend Vicky (Linda Hamilton) are travelling across the country to Seattle, Washington, for Burt’s new job. On the way, they accidentally hit a boy on the highway in Nebraska, who happens to be from the nearby town of Gatlin. They end up travelling through Gatlin, which turns out to be mysteriously devoid of adults. There, they encounter the local population of children, who don’t seem very welcoming. Burt and Vicky soon learn that the children worship a deity called “He Who Walks Behind The Rows”, a demonic deity inhabiting the corn fields surrounding Gatlin. But unfortunately for Burt and Vicky, He Who Walks Behind The Rows requires that the children of Gatlin sacrifice all adults passing through…
Personally, I felt that most of the child actors were surprisingly decent. Though, its hard to believe that giving children the opportunity to run around brandishing sharp weapons wouldn’t make them pretty enthusiastic. In addition, the overall atmosphere of the film is pretty alien and captivating. A town completely devoid of adults? Interesting. What motivates so many children to kill innocent people? It definitely provided that creepy cult feeling, even if it was a little cheesy.
I didn’t feel like there was a particular moment in the movie that made me say “Wow!”. While I remained interested, I was expecting the climax to deliver a far more interesting motive for the children’s blood lust. Also, in general I felt there were decent performances across the board, but some of the choreography in the fight scenes looked a bit awkward and hard to follow. However, if one can accept the film’s cheesier scenes, this shouldn’t drain much from the film’s entertainment value.
Final Score: 7/10
While straining a bit on the believability level, Children of the Corn remains one of the more disturbing films from the 80s. Cultist Children? Evisceration? Human Sacrifice? This controversial and creepy horror flick should definitely be watched at least once.
Starring: Nancy Travis, Kimberly J. Brown and Matt Ross
Reviewed by: Brendan Graham (Phantomhour)
“Come in Sir, you’ve been expected.” Stephen King doesn’t have a very good reputation when it comes to miniseries based on his stories. They usually start off strong, and end awfully. So to our surprise, Rose Red stays pretty consistent through out the whole thing. Yes, I am aware it’s a TV series, but I consider it a film when it’s put together.
High school sucks. It’s a fact. Cliques, peer pressure, and bullying surround you, as well as dealing with your hormones, puberty, and trying to differentiate from your parents. No one knows this better than Carrie White. The poor girl is forced to not only deal with the above, but a psychotic, overly zealous mother and the development of some extremely powerful telekinesis. Hell, one could say that high school has gotten worse since we left it, with the advent of social media nearing an all-time high, and Kimberly Pierce’s interpretation of Stephen King’s classic novel proves that, with Carrie being bullied in nearly every possible way, new or old. Likely, if you’re a fan of this site and/or have been following our HorrorAthon, you likely know this little tale doesn’t end prettily for anyone involved in Carrie’s life….
We are introduced first, to Margaret White (Played by Julianne Moore), who thinks she’s dying, but actually she is giving birth, which I’ve been told feels quite similar. Shoot ahead 17 years, and the little girl has blossomed into a young woman. Carrie White (Played by Chloe Moretz) is having a hard time fitting in at school, and even fitting into her own body, as the beginning of her menstrual cycle occurs after gym class, and it frightens her. Instead of her fellow female classmates assisting her with this biological change, they make fun of her, throw tampons at her and film the whole shebang, one of whom posts the video online (Damn you, Youtube! Daaaaaaamn yoooooou!) After a teacher played by the fantastic Judy Greer stumbles upon the situation and suspends the student responsible (a vicious gal named Chris, played by Portia Doubleday), leading Chris to seek revenge…
Mostly, the acting and the cast. Once again, Chloe Grace Moretz steals the show, a continuing trend that has been going since her big break in Kick-Ass. She brings a sincerity to the role, making you believe and empathize with everything Carrie is going through. Julianne Moore seems to give her all to playing Carrie’s demented, borderline sociopathic mother. Probably the biggest surprise of the film is the casting, however. Going against the traditional Hollywood norm of casting obvious 20-30 something’s as high-schoolers, the entire cast at least appears to be around traditional high school age. Props to the casting director for that!
Another serious strength of the film was the creative modernization of the nearly 40 year old novel, something that especially in high-school set stories tend to get easily bastardized, be it by either being grossly outdated or changed to the point there’s very little recognition of the source material. Prime examples include the use of cyberbullying, texting, and YouTube in the plot.
While the cast is mostly fantastic, there are some bad eggs that need to be replaced. Chris’ boyfriend, Billy, is one of the most guilty of horrid character acting. Sue Snell, for being such an important part to this story, is rather quiet and doesn’t emote to the level one would expect her to for this role. This may not entirely be their fault, because the screenplay can take a good chunk of the blame for the rather dull dialogue and character dynamics that collect over the course of the film. Another major issue was the overdependence on copying many of the scenes and shots from the original Brian DePalma version. For horror buffs like us, we spotted many of these right off the bat, and they took us out of the experience.
The films greatest sins, however, were its effects. For being a major studio remake of one of King’s most iconic stories, there were some pretty low-grade visuals throughout, especially in the CGI department. While the occasional blunder in CGI is forgivable considering it’s still an un-perfected medium, Carrie contained far too many to be let off easy. Some key examples of the crap quality include the pigs, the blood, and a good chunk of the finale. After such a lengthy and well-set buildup, Carrie’s big blowup in the finale should be something that makes the audience gasp and go, “Holy crap…”, while they’re on the edge of their seats…Instead, we get a few cool revenge sequences surrounded by mediocrity, leading us to go “Meh.” instead.
Final Score: Honestly, we had a little bit of difficulty scoring this. Chris was a little more dissatisfied with the result, wanting to give it a solid 6, Brendan felt a little more generous and gave it a 6.5, either way it still merits an Okay. While the effects and screenplay are quite the downer, the performances by Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore make this modern telling of a classic Stephen King story, worth a viewing.