Kurt Wimmer’s Remake Feels Like A Knife Through A Corn Cob Brain

Mar 3, 2023

Not every horror film needs to be produced by A24 or made by Jordan Peele to be of elevated quality. There are more grindhouse offerings like “Terrifier 2” that skip arthouse sensibilities and still deliver a heaping helping of blood, guts, and frights. But typically, for a horror film to succeed, you need scares, first and foremost, followed by great visuals, quality acting, and a little social commentary as the cherry on top. Kurt Wimmer’s “Children of the Corn” remake misses the mark in nearly every category, so it’s no surprise the film has been sitting on the shelf for years before finally landing a release. This is the type of film that will be used by horror fans, for years to come, to explain why remakes are a black cloud (or toxic corn dust, as shown in the film) over the entire genre. It’s that bad.
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Inspired by a short story written by horror legend Stephen King, the new “Children of the Corn” (the 11th in the ‘Corn’ franchise) is a reimagining of the tale and tells the story of a small town plagued by haunted corn fields and children who want to kill all of the adults. It’s a story that, on a very basic level, would seem to be frightening and easy to adapt. Cornfields are creepy. Demons are scary. And a million other films have shown that evil children are always a welcome addition to a horror movie. Alas, Wimmer took King’s story, carved out a lot of the best bits, saved the worst parts, and then hired a bunch of actors to deliver some of the worst dialogue heard in a film in quite some time. 
Honestly, it’s difficult to know if the acting is terrible or if these performers (quite a few of which are children and young adults) are just doing the best they can with what they’re given. Sadly, as it’s no fun to criticize young actors, the answer is a bit of both, most likely, as it’s impossible to name one actor who stands above the rest. “Children of the Corn” is led by two actresses: Elena Kampouris as the protagonist Bo, a smart, motivated young woman desperate to leave her godforsaken town, and Kate Moyer as the evil, maybe-possessed Eden, a child who leads a gang of other traumatized youths in a revolt against the adults, all in the name of He Who Walks (a literal corn monster). Both actresses are given some horrifically cringe lines to say, but they also don’t do any of the dialogue favors by staying incredibly one-note in their performances. Kampouris’ Bo is perpetually frightened, lip quivering, and on the verge of tears, while Moyer’s Eden is nearly reaching Robert Englund levels of scene-chewing villainy but without any of the charm. 
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But again, most of the blame for this failed remake must fall at the feet of Wimmer, whose subtle way of showing how evil the adults are is to have a scene where they are all gathered in the community hall and literally laugh at the young children for recommending a more eco-friendly solution to the town’s failing corn economy. If the laughing wasn’t enough, during the same scene one of the adults literally threatens to physically abuse his own son in a room filled with dozens of other people. Now, if you were too dense to read between the lines there, Wimmer presents another scene not long after where a young boy walks through his neighborhood and literally every single home he passes features the sounds of parents yelling at children. There’s driving a point home to make sure everyone is on the same page, and then there’s insulting the intelligence of your audience. In nearly every scene, the filmmaker chooses the latter. 
To get back to the Stephen King of it all, the author is known for really dropping the ball on his endings. He comes up with a great premise and then fumbles the execution at the end in some way or another. Another glaring issue with “Children of the Corn” is the fact there is a corn monster (seriously) living in the corn fields. To make matters worse, there’s a scene when Wimmer teases the idea of going in a different direction with the story. The defiant Bo doesn’t believe in He Who Walks and calls out Eden as a fearmonger, who just wanted to kill and maim adults for being terrible people (and when you see how terrible the adults are, as presented by Wimmer, you can almost justify the mass killing). This would have been a nice twist and a welcome change from the source material. But that’s definitely not what happens. The idea of a monster made out of corn sounds ridiculous on its own, but when you add low-budget CGI to the mix, He Who Walks is incredibly silly and doesn’t inspire even an ounce of fear, especially when he can be so easily dispatched with a knife through his head. Are we to believe he has a corn cob brain? 
There’s a moment about 40-ish minutes into “Children of the Corn” when any sensible viewer will likely understand how bad this film is. It’s the scene when you are led to believe that about 8 or 10 young children could dig a 10-foot-by-20-foot hole about 8 feet deep in one overnight excavation session. This is followed shortly by about four young children driving tractors to push mounds of dirt on a large group of adults who are in the hole. Apparently, it only takes four or five tractors pushing one or two piles of dirt on top of adults for it to fill this massive hole and kill all of the adults inside. How did those tractors move enough dirt? How did the children dig that hole to begin with? And why didn’t the adults climb out as the dirt began to fill the hole and create hills for their escape? Wimmer doesn’t feel the need to do any sort of explaining. This is how little he cares about logic and the audience’s intelligence. Sorry, if a filmmaker can’t be bothered to try, then audiences shouldn’t be asked to care. [F] 
“Children of the Corn” is in theaters now.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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