Hello everyone, and welcome to 111 Archer Avenue. What started as a film review blog has become my online judgment forum. I will review the occasional movie or DVD, post an interesting trailer, critique a newly-read book, talk about sports, and share my thoughts and opinions on random issues. You can also follow me on Twitter (@OlieCoen) or check out my work on DVDTalk.com. Thank you and enjoy!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Movie Review - Children of the Corn

Director: Fritz Kiersch
Year: 1984

First off, I'm a big Stephen King fan.  I've read almost every one of his books, and there are a ton.  But what I especially love are his novellas and short stories.  He has an amazing talent for setting up a story quickly, painting a perfect picture, and making it terrifying.  His weakness has always been his endings, sometimes failing to finish books as well as he started them.  Well, with shorter fiction it's easier to end it.  We're not as invested, you can cut it off pretty abruptly, and there's not as much riding on the perfect climax.  With Night Shift, a collection of great short stories, many of them were made into movies.  Jerusalem's Lot became Salem's Lot, Night Surf was a short version of The Stand, Trucks became Maximum Overdrive, and Children of the Corn led to this movie.

The setting for the film is the creepy Nebraska town of Gatlin, where a strange religion has taken hold.  All of the children have begun to worship He Who Walks Behind The Rows, a terrible god who lives in the corn.  When Burt and Vicky, a young couple who are just driving through, accidentally hit a boy with their car, they are swept up in the horror of the village.  They look for help, only to find a ghost town where children with religious mania try to sacrifice them to their new deity.  With the help of two frightened but helpful siblings, Burt and Vicky attempt to survive the day, defeat the evil in the corn, and get out of Gatlin alive.

The movie was actually pretty similar to the book.  The set up, the locale, the corn, those were all the same.  The only major difference was the ending, one being a little more happy than the other.  But all in all, a pretty accurate retelling.  They even showed a Stephen King novel on the dashboard in one scene, which I thought was kind of cool.  However, the plot was basically the only similarity between the two.  The movie was missing something; terror, creepiness, believability, something.  I just felt like laughing most of the time, not covering my face with a blanket, which is what most Stephen King stories make me want to do.  And it's not like this was a b-movie; it wasn't trying to be stupid.  It was trying to scare us in the way the book does, and it failed miserable.  The acting was pretty awful, although it was cool to see Linda Hamilton in an old role.  But if you're not gonna go over the top you gotta deliver in some other way, and this film didn't, making it a big dud.

My rating: ✰ ✰

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