Sunday, February 5, 2012
It Came From Netflix:Children of the Corn(1984)
Adaptations of Stephen King's stories have been a mixed bag. You have the sublime of movies such as Carrie, The Shining, The Dead Zone, and the tv mini-series version of The Stand.The inanity of Graveyard Shift, Thinner, and Silver Bullet. Then you have 1984's Children of the Corn based on a King short story.
Unlike the story, the movie deals more with the characters of Burt and Vicky and depicted more backstory on the uprising of the children in Gatlin in a very cool opening scene.
Several years later, Burt and his girlfriend Vicky pass through Nebraska while driving cross-country to Burt's new job as a physician in Seattle, Washington. They are traveling in their car and hit a small boy out on the highway. This boy was one of the Gatlin children who tried to escape the iron hand of the death cult. The couple place his body in the trunk. They encounter an old mechanic, who is little to no help, as the children of Gatlin have employed him to lead all adults passing through to the town, but they betray him and kill him anyway. Burt and
Vicky finally end up in Gatlin, after searching for several hours for a phone.
A struggle ensues between the couple, "He Who Walks Behind the Rows" and the children as the couple are violently chase them through the city. Burt and Vicky rescue Job and his little sister Sarah, who do not wish to be part of the cult. Vicky is captured by Malachai, and she is prepared as a sacrifice before they track down and capture Burt and the children.
Meanwhile, Malachai and the others have grown tired of Isaac's arrogance. Assuming command over the children, Malachai orders Isaac to be sacrificed in Vicky's place. Night soon falls and Burt enters the cornfield to rescue Vicky. The sacrifice soon begins and Isaac is devoured by He Who Walks Behind The Rows. Burt arrives and battles Malachai, convincing the children that their minds have been poisoned and their humanity sacrificed in the name of their false god. As Malachai tries to regain control of the children, Isaac's re-animated corpse (apparently possessed by He Who Walks Behind The Rows) appears and kills Malachai, breaking his neck.
There are flaws such as the cheezy-even-for-the-80s SFX. The character of Issac is more poor man's Joker than anything truly scary but the movie overcomes these things to present a rather ghoulish film that begs the question, "What if the children led?" It has good acting from the adult leads and a few moments made me intentionally laugh(the adults mocking the preacher on the radio for one).