From Ivan Reitman comes the extraordinarily compelling sports drama… MoreFrom Ivan Reitman comes the extraordinarily compelling sports drama Draft Day. The story follows Cleveland Browns general manager Sonny Weaver Jr. who makes a deal to get the opening draft pick of the NFL, but in doing so he has to re-evaluate everything that he thinks he knows about the players and his team so that he makes to right choice. With a powerhouse cast that includes Kevin Costner, Denis Leary, Jennifer Garner, and Frank Langella, the performances are incredibly good. And, there are dozens of cameos from past and present NFL players and commentators (which gives an authentic feel to the film). Reitman's directing style is also quite impressive, giving an immersive and engaging look at the NFL Draft. Yet despite the pro-football setting, at its core Draft Day is a captivating character drama.
Intense and atmospheric, Oculus is a chilling horror film. After… MoreIntense and atmospheric, Oculus is a chilling horror film. After getting out of a mental ward, Tim Russell is confronted by the demons of his past when his sister reminds him of the pledge he made as a child to destroy an antique mirror that drove their parents insane and killed them. The script is incredibly well plotted in the way that it parallels past and present, and sets up the sister's intricate plan to expose the mirror's powers and destroy it. And, Karen Gillan gives an excellent performance that really sells the danger and urgency of the situation. A disturbing psychologically thriller, Oculus delivers some chilling horrors.
Delivering a new vision of Stephen King's short story, Children of the… MoreDelivering a new vision of Stephen King's short story, Children of the Corn is a chilling and horrific tale that's much darker than the '84 original. When a bickering married couple run over a child in the middle of the road, but find that his throat was slit, they find themselves drawn into a devil's trap with no way out. David Anders and Kandyse McClure lead the cast, and Anders gives an especially compelling and provocative performance as a Vietnam vet haunted by his past. McClure, on the other hand, plays a pretty spiteful and reprehensible character, which makes her presence rather grading and a detriment to the film. Still, the directing is pretty good and brings a lot of suspense and tense to the scenes. Though truer to the source matter, this adaptation of Children of the Corn has a cynical tone that sucks some of the entertainment out of it.
The last desperate gasp of a dead series, Children of the Corn:… MoreThe last desperate gasp of a dead series, Children of the Corn: Genesis has little to offer. The story follows a married couple that breaks down on the back roads of the California countryside and fall into the hands of a preacher who claims that his son is the vessel of a great evil. The film is extremely light on blood and gore, as there are only four principle characters. And the script really stretches to find a story, and only tangentially relates it to Gatlin and He Who Walks Behind the Rows. Children of the Corn: Genesis is an unsatisfying and lazy return to one of the longest running franchises in horror cinema.
Bereft of ideas, Children of the Corn: Revelation is a slow, boring… MoreBereft of ideas, Children of the Corn: Revelation is a slow, boring piece of tripe with no scares. After her grandmother goes missing, Jamie stakes out her apartment and looks for clues, eventually learning that her grandmother was once part of a child cult that has been resurrected and is attempting to reclaim their home. There's some atmosphere and suspense to Jamie's search, but it's ultimately pointless and the characters aren't that interesting. But the worst part of the film is the children, who are rather lame and aren't the least bit frightening. A dreary and lifeless entry into the franchise, Children of the Corn: Revelation is barely a shadow of the original.
A bland and stereotypical horror film, Children of the Corn 666:… MoreA bland and stereotypical horror film, Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return is an ill-conceived revisiting of one of the series' definitive characters. The story follows a young girl named Hannah who returns to Gatlin in order to find her birth mother, but unknown to her she's a child of prophecy whose coming resurrects the cult leader Isaac from a coma. The cast is pretty decent, but the script is poorly written and doesn't give the actors much to work with. The storytelling is also rather bad, with inexplicable visions, random time jumps, and ambiguous subplots. Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return is a shoddy piece of filmmaking that has part of an idea but doesn't know what to do with it.
Returning to form, Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror attempts… MoreReturning to form, Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror attempts to get back to the series' origins. A group of teenagers who are on their way to spread the ashes of a friend end up stranded in a rural town that has a commune of children who worship He Who Walks Behind the Rows. Starring Alexis Arquette, Eva Mendes, Fred Williamson, and David Carradine, the film has an impressive cast. And, there are some frightening kill scenes with a good amount of gore. Still, the writing isn't particularly good and fails to make the characters or the story that compelling. Yet overall, Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror is a fairly solid B-grade horror film and one of the better entries in the series.
Taking the series in a new direction, Children of the Corn: The… MoreTaking the series in a new direction, Children of the Corn: The Gathering attempts to tell a different kind of horror story. Breaking away from the corn cult theme, this chapter follows the spirit of a child preacher who possesses the children of the town of Grand Island, Nebraska, in order to exact revenge for his death and find a new host body. Naomi Watts and William Windom lead the cast and give fairly decent performances, but there's not much talent among the child actors. The script is also rather weak and does a poor job of storytelling. There are a lot of problems with Children of the Corn: The Gathering, but it's a breath of fresh air in this series and delivers some entertaining horror scenes.
Rotten to the core, Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest is… MoreRotten to the core, Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest is festering garbage. Fundamentally flawed, the film tries to completely rework the series mythology while also keeping to the core themes. But it just ends up being a mess of half-baked ideas that don't work together; especially the switch to an urban Chicago setting. And the acting is atrocious, yet not nearly as awful as the special effects (which are cartoonishly bad). Attempting to rebrand the series as slasher horror, Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest betrays He Who Walks Behind the Rows.
"What is all this shit about the corn?" Uninspired schlock, Children… More"What is all this shit about the corn?" Uninspired schlock, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice is a convoluted sequel that only serves to muddle up the series. After the events of the last film the surviving children of Gatlin are taken to the next town over and placed in foster care, but the call of the corn raises up another prophet to carry on the cleansing of the adult impurity. The story is poorly written and the characters aren't very interesting. Additionally, some reconning is done in order to make this plot work (to the extent that it does), but in the end it just creates a bunch of inconsistences and over explains what's best left ambiguous. Poorly made and horribly executed, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice is a desperate attempt to turn a one-off B-horror film into a series.