Children of the Corn: Genesis (2011) Dimension/Horror RT: 80 minutes Rated R (horror violence, language, some sexual content) Director: Joel Soisson Screenplay: Joel Soisson Music: Jacob Yoffee Cinematography: Alexandre Lehmann Release date: August 30, 2011 (US, DTV) Cast: Kelen Coleman, Tim Rock, Billy Drago, Barbara Nedeljakova, Duane Whitaker, Dusty Burwell.
Genesis means “a beginning”. It’s also the first book of the Bible. It’s also the name of the device in the early Star Trek movies that creates life on lifeless planets. The Children of the Corn movies have gone so far off-track that somebody may as well tie them into the Star Trek franchise. It makes as much sense as anything else that’s happened in the last several installments. At least Children of the Corn: Genesis has Billy Drago, one of my favorite character actors, doing what he does best. He plays a character named Preacher who has some connection with He Who Walks Behind the Rows. Here’s where it gets confusing. In the original movie, He Who Walks Behind the Rows, through Isaac, ordered the children of Gatlin to kill all the adults. Also, his followers are expected to sacrifice themselves once they reach the age of 19. Drago is obviously older than that. Why is he still around? Have the rules been changed or relaxed? What gives?
Anyway, his character plays host to a couple of stranded motorists, Tim (Rock) and Allie (Coleman), who knock on his door asking to use the phone. Only when Allie reveals she’s pregnant does he invite them in. Preacher’s wife is a Ukrainian woman named Helen (Nedeljakova, Hostel) who hits on Tim while he tries to arrange for a tow truck. Help won’t arrive until the next morning so Preacher agrees to put the young married couple up for the night provided they don’t wander where they’re not invited. Naturally, Allie does just that and hears the cries of a child coming from a locked barn. She also finds that the garage has been converted into a cult-worshipping church. Things get weirder from there. They struggle to keep it together until morning comes and they can leave. Will they survive that long?
It’s NOT a plot spoiler to say that Drago’s character turns out to be the evil leader of a cult. It’s Billy Drago; of course he’ll turn out to be evil or a villain. That’s the kind of actor he is and I love him for it. He’s the main reason to watch Children of the Corn: Genesis, an otherwise mediocre sequel that doesn’t even serve up any gore or cool kill scenes. Okay, the bit with the nosy cop is okay but it’s treated as a punchline. As far as storylines go, this one isn’t too bad. It’s just that we’ve seen it before and know how it usually turns out.
There aren’t any surprises in Children of the Corn: Genesis. The acting by the rest of the cast is about what you’d expect. But here’s the thing, it’s still kind of fun. I kind of like horror sequels. There’s something very entertaining, for me anyway, about their inherent badness. I can see why the last few Children of the Corn movies didn’t get released theatrically. With the price of tickets these days, who wants to pay that much money for a movie that sucks? They’re perfect for the DTV market though. Although I tend to avoid those movies, I made an exception with this series. I’m kind of glad I did; even the bad ones are fun (sort of). Children of the Corn: Genesis is unexceptional on every level but a completist like me has to see all of them. It’s not the worst horror sequel I’ve seen but I won’t remember too much of it once I finish writing this review which I just have. Fading from memory already.