Horror Movie Review: Children of the Corn (2009 – Remake)


Seriously…who was asking for a Children of the Corn remake? The original was hardly a classic & the many poor sequels that have come over the years have turned the franchise into a joke. Yet, regardless in 2009 a remake is what we got.

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Check out all our reviews of the series so far below.

1984 – Children of the Corn
1992 – Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice
1995 – Children of the Corn III – Urban Harvest
1996 – Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering
1998 – Children Of The Corn V: Fields Of Terror
1999 – Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return
2001 – Children of the Corn: Revelation
2011 – Children of the Corn: Genesis

Made for TV (SyFy) Children of the Corn was directed, written and produced by Donald P. Borchers. It is based on the 1977 by Stephen King & aims to be a truer adaption of the original story.

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Set in the fictional town of Gatlin, Nebraska, the movie opens in 1963 as we see the boy preacher Isaac (Robert Gerdisch) delivering a brimstone & fire sermon to the town’s children. Gatlin has been suffering a severe drought & Isaac claims to have been visited by an ancient god in his dreams. He Who Walks Behind the Rows has instructed Isaac to lead the children in killing everyone over the age of nineteen (all adults, basically) as their sins has been deemed the reason for the drought.

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Naturally all the kids tell Isaac to ‘bugger off’. Oh wait, no they don’t. Those hoping for a modern & violent take on the adult slaughter are in for a shock as we get nothing. Absolutely nothing. It’s more in keeping with the book but hardly useful for what is a ‘visual medium’.

Instead the movie jumps 12 years forward to introduce the couple, Vietnam veteran Burt (David Anders) and his wife Vicky (Kandyse McClure). Two of the most unlikable characters ever.

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I hope you enjoy listening to the two leads argue because that is all we get with Burt & Vicky! They are travelling down the backroads of Nebraska near Gatlin supposedly to celebrate their second anniversary but the way they treat each other suggest they should probably call time on it.

15 minutes of the pair arguing when finally, a kid staggers out of the cornfields & is run down by Bert. When the pair investigate (after much arguing again) they discover that the child’s throat had already been slashed. They agree to take the body to the nearest town which just happens to be Gatlin. On the drive there, Vicky looks inside a suitcase he was carrying & discovers a pagan-like corn doll.

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Once in Gatlin, the pair discover the place is deserted. Buildings are thrashed, there is no electricity & all the dates read 1963 as if time just stopped. Vicky is freaked out & Burt can’t get his head around it that is until he hears the sound of children’s laughter.

The pair then end up coming under attack from the children of Gatlin.

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This remake fails miserably at improving on the original, something that really shouldn’t have been that difficult. What we get here is a horrible flick that lacks entertainment. Its biggest flaws lie with its characters & actors. The only one who comes out with any semblance of respect is David Anders even if his character is just terrible. Kandyse McClure is unwatchable, shifting between hysterical behaviour & non-stop brow-beating sarcasm. There is no in between. One scene she will be screaming & shouting, the next she is quietly & sarcastically referencing Burt’s time in Vietnam.

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One of the highlights of the original was Isaac, played by John Franklin. He was cheesy but commanded the screen. Helped by that fact that he was an adult suffering from a growth hormone deficiency. This movies Isaac is a kid & has zero screen presence. It’s impossible to take him seriously as he is far too young & the ‘fire and brimstone’ dialogue sounds so scripted.

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Clearly understanding this would be an issue, the film makers have him take a more reserved role & push Malachi (Daniel Newman) front & centre instead. While an important character within the story, this much focus does the film no good. For starters he looks like he is in his mid-20s towering over most of the kids when he is supposed to be 18. Secondly Daniel Newman stinks up the screen here. A lot of it may not be directly his fault as the dialogue throughout is poorly written but his facial expressions & reactions come across so forced. He is impossible to take seriously as a threat but compared to the army of kids behind him he deserves an Oscar.

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A lacklustre ending caps off an extremely poor film, one that might stay true to the King short story but fails to understand how to make it entertaining.

Children of the Corn - Remake
  • 3/10
    The Final Score - 3/10
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