Children of the Corn (2009)

Like many people, I thoroughly ignored the Children of the Corn remake once the label “SyFy original” was slapped on it, but when I finally got around to watching it, I almost dropped my hot wings: Holy Halle Berry! There’s a black chick playing the Linda Hamilton role! Indeed, there she was: Kandyse McClure of Battlestar Galactica semi-fame, playing Vicky, the romantic lead in a horror movie. Yes we can!

My enthusiasm quickly waned, however, as she launched into an unnecessarily bitchy tirade against her white husband Burt (David Anders from Heroes and Alias) and got a full-on slap ‘cross the face within her first three minutes of screen time. Stay classy, SyFy.

The reason Vicky is so upset is that Burt (quite squishingly) has run over a boy who darted out in front of their car. “Congratulations, Tiger,” she says sarcastically, as if he could’ve done anything to prevent it. As she stands over the body, she yells to him, “Don’t you wanna come see so you can tell all your NRA buddies what you bagged in Nebraska?” Normally, I don’t advocate hitting women, but holy Hell…

The joke’s on Vicky, though: the boy’s throat had already been cut before he was run over, so Burt at worst just finished the kid off. Burt can tell this because he served in Viet Nam. (The story takes place in 1975, making their interracial marriage all the more intriguing in concept and all the more disappointing in execution.) How he ended up married to not only a black woman, but a pacifistic black woman is beyond the scope of even Hollywood reason.

Anyway, the couple decides to take the body to the nearest authorities. They drive to the small town of Gatlin and discover that it’s run by pint-sized kid preacher Isaac, who somehow hasn’t aged in 12 years and is able to hit his target with a girlish flick of his switchblade from a good 30 yards away. He’s convinced the other children in town that everyone over 18 is a sinner and should thus be put to death. Frankly, I’ve heard worse solutions…

As Burt fights back, the film threatens to devolve into Rambo vs. Children of the Corn — a concept that would’ve been infinitely more entertaining. Instead, Burt spends almost 20 MINUTES OF SCREEN TIME wandering through the corn, fleeing from the kids. Bipolar Vicky, meanwhile, acts alternately apologetic-helpless and bitchy-provocative, virtually ensuring a fate worse than Linda Hamilton’s. (This version’s plot is actually closer to the original story than the 1984 version, but that doesn’t make it better.) Somehow we’re supposed to believe that Burt still cares for Vicky, even though he more than once leaves her to fend for herself, ignoring her blaring the car’s horn as the C.O.C. surround her. (How do 40 kids sneak up on you anyway?)

It figures that on one of the rare occasions that Hollywood decides to cast a black leading lady in a non-“urban” horror pic, the character turns out to be Shrewy McBallbreaker, the Emasculating Queen. This is actually McClure’s second stab at a previously white Stephen King role; she played the Amy Irving role in the 2002 remake of Carrie — meaning she actually survived! Do yourself a favor and rent that instead of this stinker.

A scene from the horror movie remake Children of the Corn
“Do I hear ‘Dueling Banjos’?”
A scene from the horror movie remake Children of the Corn
“So…what are the chances that a deer might be wearing overalls?”
A scene from the horror movie remake Children of the Corn
“And now for the puppet show.”
A scene from the horror movie remake Children of the Corn
“Stabbing minors in the neck: that’s what I do.”
A scene from the horror movie remake Children of the Corn
Seriously, don’t fuck with the Amish.
A scene from the horror movie remake Children of the Corn
Midnight Cowboy 2: Nebraska

What do you think?