Children Of The Corn: Genesis (2011)

DVD Cover (Dimension Extreme)
Genres: Horror, Religious Horror, Supernatural Horror
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Joel Soisson Joel Soisson
J.J. Banicki J.J. Banicki
Diane Peterson Diane Peterson
Kai Caster Kai Caster
Kelen Coleman Kelen Coleman
Tim Rock Tim Rock
Movie Connections:
Children Of The Corn
> Disciples Of The Crow (1983)
> Children Of The Corn (1984)
> Children Of The Corn II: The Final... (1992)
> Children Of The Corn III: Urban... (1995)
> Children Of The Corn IV: The... (1996)
> Children Of The Corn V: Fields Of... (1998)
> Children Of The Corn 666: Isaac's... (1999)
> Children Of The Corn: Revelation (2001)
> Children Of The Corn (2009)
> Children Of The Corn: Genesis (2011)
> Children Of The Corn: Runaway (2018)

3.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: April 17, 2012
After mercifully lying dormant for the better part of a decade, Syfy had to go and take a crack at Stephen King's Children of the Corn. It seems that this crappy remake has inspired Dimension to resurrect their own crappy series, and Genesis was released. Who'd have guessed it'd be one of the better entries in the series?

Poor Tim and Ali. After he decided to take the side roads through the California desert, the pair end up stranded when the water hose in his car breaks. Realizing that help isn't going to drive down this deserted highway anytime soon, they hike up the road a ways and find a run down shack of a house. An equally run down man, a preacher, answers the door, and initially sends the kids on their way before an angry outburst from Ali prompts him to let the pair inside. Seems the local tow company is closed on Sundays, so it's decided the couple can stay the night in his house, provided they follow a few simple rules: respect his privacy and don't go snooping around uninvited. Naturally, snooping is number one on the agenda, and Ali discovers a young boy locked in a shed outside. After confronting the preacher, he tells him that the child is a vessel for He Who Walks Behind the Rows, and the couple suddenly find themselves under a psychic attack by an unseen force. Locked in their rooms by some unknown malevolence, they realize that they're about to face pure evil.

As has become the norm with this series, this doesn't exactly line up with the previous movies. In fact, the plot is actually borrowed from an old Twilight Zone episode. Still, if you're willing to spend a few minutes making connections, it's not completely off the grid. For example, several movies (parts 2, 3 and 7 in particular) have alluded to He Who Walks Behind the Rows possessing one of the kids, so this is nothing new. Still, there were some definite incongruities that needed to be addressed; the roles of Preacher and Pritchett among the most prominent. Truth is, there's no reason besides laziness they couldn't have taken the time to iron out some of the wrinkles. Also, I'm not sure why they couldn't come up with a better subtitle than the irrelevant Genesis. Hell, if anything I'd rather them just get all uncreative with themselves and call it Children of the Corn VIII.

With all that said, I actually find myself enjoying this sequel. Never mind its place in the franchise, as a stand-alone film, it stands nicely on its own. The movie plays tension from the unknown perfectly, and the combination of these strange telekinetic assaults and the ambiguity of Preacher's true intentions and the subtle way he plays the couple against each other are more than enough to keep things moving. It has absolutely nothing to do with Children of the Corn, but that's OK. Also, I initially had been floored by the random high-budget climax, but it turns out it was blatant stock footage taken from Bad Boys II. It's random, but the scene was spliced with Tim and Ali decently enough.

I absolutely loved Billy Drago in this. The man just excels at packing maximum creepiness into doing absolutely nothing; my favorite scenes of his were just him ignoring his guests while absentmindedly fingering a small corn doll. He's a big part of the reason why I enjoyed the film at all. Sadly, said guests couldn't quite reach that same level. Tim Rock and Kelen Coleman certainly left quite a bit to be desired, especially Coleman, although to be fair that's a direct result of the hysteria they put her character through. Still, she manages to garner an insane amount of empathy towards one particular moment in the climax, but by that point it was just too late in the game.

I don't find it coincidental at all that the weakest point of the strongest Children of the Corn is in fact the Children of the Corn connections. While a bit of after-the-fact fan wankery puts some happenings in line with the rest of the franchise easily enough, others just don't make any sense at all, and knocking these pieces out altogether and releasing it as a completely unrelated movie would have been nothing but beneficial. As it stands, I'd go a strong six, low seven. Here's hoping that Dimension will decide to go out on that relative high note; I don't think I could take anymore.
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