I’ve never seen a Children of the Corn movie before, nor have I read the story upon which they’re based. Consequently, I can’t really judge this film against the seven other ones in the series. For that matter, I don’t know if the parts of the story I found confusing are things that fans of the series would get, or if they’re problems inherent with this instalment.
I take it that the titular ‘Children of Corn’ have telekinetic powers, and use said powers to kill people; the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of this is not explained in ‘Genesis.’ The young couple, Allie and Tim, soon find that the child of the corn doesn’t want them to leave, and communicates that desire by tossing random objects languidly around the room. We’re supposed to think that this is a horrific and terrifying experience; but with the exception of an unlucky police officer, the threats posed by the child seem to be wildly overblown.
The mail-order bride, Oksana, is an interesting character. I’m not sure if that’s because she’s nuanced and multi-faceted, or because the writers couldn’t decide what to do with her; either way, she’s constantly surprising throughout the film. From her odd attempt to seduce Tim, to her quiet confidence, to her inexplicable relationship with the child of corn.
Perhaps if I had seen other films in the series, I’d find the child more threatening; but as it is, I don’t. He spends the movie locked up in a barn, and doesn’t do all that much until the very end. It reminds me of an episode of Doctor Who, where the Doctor and Rose find a Dalek chained up in an underground bunker. The Doctor panics and insists it be destroyed because he has a long history with the villains and knows the threat they pose, but to everyone else, it’s just a robot thing on a leash. I guess if you have a history with the Children of the Corn, you can interpret the child in the barn as being a great threat; but if you don’t, he’s just a kid sitting in the dark.
‘Genesis’ has a twist ending, but it really doesn’t fit in with the plot. It’s severely tacked on, and doesn’t honor the character development that we’ve seen up to that point. When a twist is executed well, you should be able to look back at the rest of the movie and say, ‘of course, that’s what was happening all along!’ not ‘hmm, am I suddenly watching a different movie where the actors all play different characters?’
Will fans of the series like it? I have no idea. For me, Children of the Corn: Genesis lacked impact. It didn’t build any real tension, or any of the sense of dread that is so important in a horror film. It is well produced, though; the acting is fine and the visuals look nice. But beyond that, it’s kind of dull.