Reel Advice from the Video Store Guy
By Steve Anderson
March 1st, 2012

Children of the Corn: Genesis

Children of the Corn: Genesis
Directed by Joel Soisson
Written by Joel Soisson
Starring Billy Drago, Kelen Coleman, Barbara Nedeljakova, Tim Rock
90 mins

You know, I was actually pretty excited to hear about a new Children of the Corn title. But you can imagine my disappointment when I got an eyeful of Children of the Corn: Genesis and discovered that there was one fundamental problem with it. What was that problem? Oh, you'll find out.

First, though, the basic plot. This time around, we're not going to Gatlin, at least, not for long. No sir, or ma'am as the case may be, we're joining up with a couple of crazy kids who are driving through the extreme desert areas of California, of which there are surprisingly some. Said crazy kids find their car breaking down, and with only one house in the immediate vicinity able to help them, they stop in to try and get a ride to the nearest inhabited place. And, as you might have already seen coming from the host of titles that have used this exact same premise previously, what they find at that one little house is going to be a whole lot more than they ever counted on. But the question is, can they keep themselves alive in the face of the latest threat from the mysterious figure known only as He Who Walks Behind The Rows?

See, like I said, I'm usually always game for a new round of Children of the Corn. While they're seldom anything great, they usually can be counted on to put in at least a few good scares. Why? Because at least for me, they present a paradigm that's very exciting for horror movies. Basically, we all have a certain set of principles ingrained in our way of life. At least, most of us do. Tops on the list probably has to be "keep yourself alive", followed fairly close behind by "protect children and help them grow up". Well, what happens when you're facing children...who want to kill you? Now those two imperatives are battering away at each other, and the total concept becomes very unnerving. And that's the big problem with Children of the Corn: Genesis...specifically, the fundamental lack of children.

Oh, sure, a couple of them will show up from time to time, but we're not going to get a whole lot of children involved in this one, and that's a huge loss. The whole point of Children of the Corn is crazy children try to murder grownups in the name of some kind of religious hyper-zealotry. And when you pull out the kids, as this one tries to do, the end result just doesn't work near as well. Sure, there are some children in here, and they'll even get a couple sequences of mayhem. But their absence is noticeable, entirely too much so for a Children of the Corn title. There's also a decided lack of corn here, which is just as strange. I had thought that He Who Walks Behind The Rows was pretty dependent on the corn to, you know, exist, and for there to be so little of it around didn't make much sense.

This one didn't work out near as well as I would have liked, and it shows regularly. The ending, for example, is a pretty low-rent interpretation of the kind of thing that regularly happens in horror films.

The special features include English and Spanish subtitles and an interview with the director. It's odd that there are no trailers to be had on this disc, because that's generally the kind of thing you expect on a DVD.

All in all, this one is a pretty dull spectacle indeed. It's certainly not worthy of the original King, and while we've had some fine adaptations throughout the series Children of the Corn: Genesis is easily one of the weakest installments in the entire series.