Oct 051993
one reel

The cult-following, parent-killing children of Gatlin, Nebraska have been relocated to a nearby farm town.  Tabloid reporter John Garrett (Terence Knox) and his son, Danny (Paul Scherrer), arrive in town to investigate the killings, not suspecting that Micah (Ryan Bollman) is possessed and is re-starting the cult of the One Who Walks Beyond the Rows.

The basics are here for an unsettling horror movie.  There is something unnerving about cornfields, particularly if you live in suburban Atlanta (as I do).  Evil children, a cult, and an unknown that “walks beyond the rows” are all the things of nightmares.  But this retread of 1984’s Children of the Corn is as frightening as agitated kittens.  The trick is to bring the audience into those fields, so that we are looking over our shoulders for what might be moving just beyond sight, and the best way to do that is to create a character the audience can empathize with.  Instead, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (which it isn’t as five more films followed) has two characters no one could feel for.  John has no redeeming qualities, in no way acts like an actual human, and unfortunately is not an early victim of cornicide.  Danny is his bratty kid who looks to be around twenty-five (quite distracting when he joins up with the children who are killing everyone over eighteen).  There’s also a Native American stereotype.  As the original film, based on a  Stephen King short story, had enough plot for a thirty minute short, Children of the Corn II adds in a subplot about poisoned corn to take up time.  That’s all it does.

It was followed by Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering, Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror, Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return, Children of the Corn: Revelation.

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