FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Jul 15, 2013

Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering

Now, I've seen Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996) before. Heck, I even gave it a positive review right here on this very site! As I popped in the DVD, though, I kept feeling fascination trepidation: I haven't seen it since I reviewed it in 2007, and I didn't remember much beyond "Naomi Watts and Karen Black are in that one". What if it actually stinks?

This is not totally outside the realm of possibility. You see, I also gave a positive review to The Ring 2 once upon a time, and I'm pretty sure that was because I was blinded by my love for Naomi Watts. She's just so good and she's one of my favorite actresses and therefore she gets my patented Free Pass (see also: everyone who was ever on Battlestar Galactica, Melrose Place, and Dallas). The worst movie of all time becomes "not that bad" if she's in it. Movies that are not that bad become "actually pretty good" if she's in them. In other words, I cannot be trusted at all when it comes to films starring Naomi Watts.

Except this time, I swear! The Gathering is actually pretty good, I mean it. For real.

Okay, maybe I can't tell if it's actually pretty good or if it's just not as bad as you'd expect. Either way, though, it's solid and enjoyable, if more than a bit staid after the bonzo fuckery of Part III. That was a wise decision on the part of the filmmakers, however, because how could anyone live up to Urban Harvest? Answer: impossible. Better to go in this direction, which has nothing to do with any of the films that precede it. Well, I suppose there are children and corn and a child preacher, but honestly those are tenuous ties at best. The mythology of the series continues to evolve, though whether for better or worse is yet to be determined. He Who Walks Behind the Rows is now He Who Walks in Heaven or Hell or Wherever, which makes me wonder how I can only have just surpassed the halfway point in the series.

Hey, I just surpassed the halfway point in the series! It's been painless so far. I will cling to the hope I find in that statement, for surely the worst is yet to come. Right?

Oh, and it's time for another reminder: today is the Corn-ening-a-thon. If you haven't pitched in to the Alex and Jo fund, please consider it!

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