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 30, 2013

Film Club: Children of the Corn (2009)

Brothers, sisters, fellow behind-the-rows-walkers, I am so pleased to have experienced The Corn-ening 2: The Re-Corn-ening with you all. For while you were all incredibly supportive throughout that long and mildly traumatic day, there really is nothing quite like joining hands and jumping into that giant cornhole together. And so,

I went into Children of the Corn '09 with an open mind and a heart free of doubt. Okay, that's not true. I had plenty of doubts! Of course I did. I don't think I heard one good thing about this movie in the days leading up to this Film Club gathering. Still, as has happened plenty of times in the past, I gave a shrug, said "How bad can it be?"- after all, the original version is enjoyable but could undoubtedly be improved upon- and gave it a go.

Oh my goodness, IT'S SO BAD.

If you haven't seen it, I will quickly sum it up for you so you never have to subject yourself.

For 45 minutes, these two people argue:

For 30 minutes, people run through corn:

Besides some assorted fuckery that takes up the rest of the run time, that's pretty much it for this crapfest of a flick. Mind, said assorted fuckery is really something to behold! Behold:
  • Burt goes on a kid-killing spree during 'Nam flashbacks! I guess he spent a sizable amount of time crawling around cornfields whilst battling the Viet Cong.
  • "The time for fertilization is come." You guys. YOU GUYS. Two of the older kids strip down and do it- AND YES I MEAN "IT"- right there in the Corn Church in front of the rest of the Corn Children, who get really excited as the humping goes on. I am unsure why the filmmakers decided to subject us to this extended scene, but let me just say: there is life before you watch a bunch of kids watch other kids have sex, and there is life after. STAY IN THE LIFE BEFORE.
  • There are little crucified corn cobs, and the crucified corn cobs have faces. That's actually one for the 'plus' column, can't lie.
Given that in the original film, Vicky (Linda Hamilton) was only in the film to harass Burt about getting married and, later, to be rescued, I thought the character would be improved in the remake. Or, at the least, evolved a bit, much as Barbra in the remake of Night of the Living Dead (although you know I loves me some OG Barbra, haters to the left)., I don't know what the hell they were thinking with New Vicky. Actually, "I don't know what the hell they were thinking" entered my thoughts a shit ton during this movie, but Vicky is just THE END. All she does is bitch and yell at Burt- and I do mean that's all she does. I don't think there's ever been a less sympathetic character in a film before, and I've seen movies featuring all kinds of monsters, ghouls, and the occasional Hitler. She has no redeeming qualities. You do not care if she dies- in fact, you'll likely spend the first 45 minutes of the movie wishing that she would, horribly and painfully. Burt doesn't fare any better, but it seems that the director gave him a few notes beyond "Okay, unrelentingly shrill!" There is no one to root for in Children of the Corn, and so what's the point?

As I said, there are plenty of other head-scratchers throughout. One of the greatest strengths of the original film is the opening, wherein the children of Gatlin quietly murder all of the adults in town. We don't know their motivations; we only know that they are silent and deadly. You know, like...ninjas. In the remake, a child preacher is all "We have to kill the adults because God said so!" and the kids are all "Yeah!" and then it's 12 years later. Why excise such a powerful scene? I guess the people behind the remake are jerks.

Speaking of jerks, what of the HJIC (Head Jerk in Charge), Isaac?

Terrible. Terrible! And I don't mean that in a JR Ewing gee, I love to hate him kind of way. I mean it in a he's not at all threatening, and how could he be the leader of these jerk corn children when he's not at all charismatic or powerful, and couldn't they have found a better actor because this kid is the total pits and monotonously mumbles through all of his lines, and also what is up with his hair he's got a frosted blow out going on under that oversized novelty hat kind of way.

We can take solace in the fact that the last bit, about the hair, can be explained. As the credits scrolled by, I saw that the styles come courtesy of Jose Eber. Jose Eber! If you don't know who that is, then first, feast your eyes:

And second, this blurb from his Wiki page tells you all you need to know:
...José created a sexy, carefree unstructured look that was easier to maintain and which instantly became "de rigueur" for an entire generation. His first celebrity client was Farrah Fawcett, followed by Cher, Jaclyn Smith, Elizabeth Taylor,and the Who's Who of Hollywood.
Why Jose Eber was called upon to style the Coifs of the Corn, I have no idea, but bless the heart of the person who signed that check.

Why I'm supposed be scared to find Isaac directing the Children with some rooftop YMCA bullshit, we may never know.

All in all, the best thing I can say about Children of the Corn 2009 is that I'm glad I didn't watch it during the original Corn-ening, because I would have watched it last and it would have ruined my day. Watching it on its own, sure, it ruined my day (it's really really really bad), but it certainly didn't sully my memories of, you know, remote-controlled electric wheelchairs or stop motion He Who Walks Behind the Rowseses. It was a self-contained misery that others got to suffer through as well, hooray!

Show these Film Club Coolies some love!
Nilbog Milk
Modern Superior
Vegan Voorhees
The Deadly Doll's House of Horror Nonsense
Life Between Frames
Zombie Cupcake
Scarina's Scary Vault of Scariness

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