By Chris Hammond
Elena Kampouris, Kate Moyer, Sebastian Alanis Alvarez
Directed and Written by Kurt Wimmer
Stephen King’s short story “Children of the Corn” is a story that many directors have told since its release in 1977. Kurt Wimmer’s film predates the original story and acts as a prequel reboot leading up to the events that take place in King’s version. This film also marks the twelfth entry into the Children of the Corn franchise (including the 1983 short film Disciples of the Crow).
A cornfield that is slowly dying in small town Nebraska possesses twelve-year-old Eden Edwards (Kate Moyer). She recruits all the other children and goes on a bloody rampage, killing corrupt adults (whose lack of responsibility has ruined the cornfield and made its corn unsellable) and any opposition to her rules. An intelligent high schooler, Boleyn Williams (Elena Kampouris) who won’t go along with the plan, is the town’s only hope of survival. Williams is unaware of the supernatural forces known as “He who Walks Behind the Rows” that are aiding Eden in her rule of the small town.
The film takes most of what is in King’s version of the story and throws it out the window to give the franchise a fresh new feel. This, in theory, is a good idea, but only if the story itself is engaging enough to draw audiences in.
Kurt Wimmer is best known for his action films, which include Salt, Equilibrium and Law Abiding Citizen. He’s also no stranger to tackling re-images, writing the screenplays for Point Break (2015) and Total Recall (2012).
Wimmer’s Children of the Corn has a few surprises to it, the biggest being the corn creature that is known as “He who walks Behind the Rows”. This “alien like creature” is solely created out of corn and husks, is a great addition to the mystique of the cornfield, although the CGI on it is very lacking.
There is some decent acting in the film by stars Elena Kampouris and Kate Moyer. The story is driven by their polar opposite views on how to save the small town. On screen, both shine brightly and help to engage the audience, especially in the third act of the film.
Sadly, Children of the Corn is very generic in its execution. The story is interesting, but what we see on the screen is something audiences have seen many times before. I recommend the film as it isn’t terrible at all, it just doesn’t stand out like it should.
RLJE Films will release the horror film CHILDREN OF THE CORN in Theaters on March 3, 2023 and On Demand and Digital March 21, 2023.