"Paranormal Activity" by Mike Smith
Children of the Corn (2009) by ED Tucker
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Released By: Anchor Bay The Fanboy Factor: The Product: The Bottom Line:
"Children of the Corn (2009)"
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Number of Discs: 1
Approximate Running Time: 92 Minutes
Special Features: Interviews, Behind the Scenes Footage
Suggested Price: $26.97
Stephen King’s 1977 short story about a rural town where children kill the adults and build a society around the worship of a bizarre entity provides the basis for this modern remake. A young couple at the end of a failing marriage stumbles upon the isolated town of Gatlin during a cross country road trip that will change their lives forever. In this new version, which follows the original story more closely than any of its predecessors, protagonist Burt has recently returned from the war in Vietnam and the children are in for a few surprises of their own when they realize their latest victim isn’t as helpless as he might seem.
Burt knows better than to go into the corn without a gun.
In the current culture of remakes, re-imaginings, and sequels, it is refreshing to see a producer revisit his work with a sincere desire to improve it. The major reinstatements include the disposition of the lead characters and the mid 70’s setting that makes it much easier to believe this town could have dropped off the map unnoticed. To Borchers’ credit, the short story did not give him a lot to work with originally. The massacre of the town’s adults that was only hinted at in the story is almost a requirement in a film version and was used to great effect in the original. For the new version, this is almost ignored in favor of only a few brief scenes showing the town’s previous religious zeal.
The children are in deep kim chee when Burt starts having ' Nam flashbacks!
The major changes between the original short story and the 2009 film lie in the character of Burt, who has recently returned to the United States after a difficult tour of duty in Vietnam. When the corn hits the fan and the gravity of the situation finally becomes clear, Burt not only rises to the occasion but has some unhealthy flashbacks to keep him going. It is a refreshing twist to see the look of fear on the children’s faces when they realize that having their victim outnumbered may not be enough to bring him down. The final act where Burt uses the corn field as a substitute for the rice paddies of Vietnam is both clever and well played but the film returns to King’s story for an ending that is less satisfying here than it would have been in the 1984 original.
Fans of Stephen King’s short story will find more to like here than in the previous film version or any of its inferior sequels. Fans of the series, or at least the first film, will find that there were some elements that worked and should have been carried over. The 2009 version of Children of the Corn is not a classic but it does manage to give viewers more than the same old corn.
Released By: Anchor Bay
The Fanboy Factor: The Product: The Bottom Line:
The Product: The Bottom Line: