Children of the Corn Is a Remake Worth Watching

I’m not going to lie, I was a bit trepidatious going into Children of the Corn. Not only are horror remakes notoriously bad, but the Children of the Corn franchise is especially infamous for continuing way too long after its prime, so I had ample reason to be skeptical about this new iteration of the story. Nevertheless, I thought the trailer looked pretty good, and the film’s distributor, RLJE, is one of the more reliable indie horror distributors out there, so I decided to give it a shot anyway. I crossed my fingers and requested a screener, and after getting the chance to watch it, I’m happy to report that it’s pretty damn good.

Children of the Corn was written and directed by Kurt Wimmer, and it stars Elena Kampouris, Kate Moyer, Callan Mulvey, and Bruce Spence. It’s loosely based on the Stephen King short story of the same name, and it’s set in a small town in Nebraska that makes most of its money from corn. However, the community’s cornfields have been going bad for some time now. In fact, the majority of the residents there eventually decide to do away with the crop entirely and try something else, but before they can make the transition, the town’s children stop them dead in their tracks…quite literally.

The kids are led by a young girl named Eden, and they’re on a mission to save the corn by killing all the adults and feeding them to He Who Walks, a monstrous creature that lives in the cornfields. However, Eden doesn’t get all the town’s children on board with her evil plan. There’s one kid, a high school girl named Bo, who’s dead set against Eden and her cult, and she soon becomes the town’s only hope for survival.

Children of the Corn poster

Even though I liked the movie overall, the first half of Children of the Corn is a real slog to get through. It slowly sets up the story and the characters, and to be frank, I really didn’t like anything in it. To be fair, the acting is pretty good, but despite that, I still couldn’t get into the characters. I just didn’t find them interesting at all, so I couldn’t form any sort of emotional connection with them.

Even worse, the story in this part of the movie is really uninspiring. The film commits the cardinal cinematic sin of merely telling us about the dying cornfields and their impact on the town rather than letting us see for ourselves how bad things have gotten, so I simply couldn’t care about these people’s plight.

Most notably, there’s a scene where some of the residents passionately defend the cornfields and try to get the others to see how important they are to the town, but it falls completely flat. Again, because Children of the Corn never actually shows us what this crop means to these people, I simply couldn’t bring myself to feel anything but total apathy towards the whole issue, so the story had absolutely no impact on me whatsoever.

But then, at about the midway point, that all changed, and Children of the Corn instantly became the film I wanted it to be. The second half eschews all the boring small-town drama and focuses entirely on the kids terrorizing the adults and taking over the place, and I had a really good time watching it all play out.

A girl looking intense

For starters, actress Kate Moyer is fantastic as Eden, and she really makes you believe that her character is an evil, murderous cult leader. She’s especially good when she has to seem nonchalant and almost apathetic towards the shockingly horrific acts her minions are performing, but she’s also super convincing when the character lets her emotions show a bit more. Simply put, this kid is one of the best child villains I’ve seen in a long time, so I have no doubt that she has what it takes to be a star, both inside and outside the horror genre.

What’s more, the rest of Eden’s cult is really cool too. Granted, none of the other kids really stand out as individuals, but seeing the group as a whole carry out her orders without showing even a hint of remorse is pretty fun. They make for a whole boatload of creepy and exciting horror, and together with Eden, they save this movie from its underwhelming first half.

All that being said, I do have to admit that even the second half of Children of the Corn has a few problems. As always, there are a handful of things I could nitpick here and there, but there’s also one big issue that really stood out to me: I wanted to know more about He Who Walks. I understand that too much explanation and backstory can ruin a monster, but in this case, I think the filmmakers went to the other extreme. Some of the things Eden and her cult do would’ve made more sense if we knew a bit more about the creature, so as good as the horror in this film is, it’s not quite as impactful as it could’ve been.

But thankfully, that’s not nearly enough to ruin the entire experience, so on the whole, I had a really good time with this new Children of the Corn remake. Sure, the first half is pretty bad, but the second half features enough excellent horror that it more than makes up for the movie’s weaknesses. It ends up being a pretty fun ride, so if you’re looking for something good to watch, I’d recommend checking this film out.

Children of the Corn hits theaters on March 3 and VOD on March 21.

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Written by JP Nunez

JP Nunez is a lifelong horror fan. From a very early age, he learned to love monsters, ghosts, and all things spooky, and it's still his favorite genre today.

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