This is part of the Horrorathon for the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO).
Coming two years after the 2009 Syfy channel remake, Children of the Corn: Genesis follows a couple who get stranded on a desolate desert road in California. When they seek help at the nearest house, they get entangled with a strange polygamist sect of the good old corn cult of He Who Walks Behind the Rows.
Almost the entire movie (aside from a Final Destination 2 opening ripoff at the end…we’ll get there) takes place in and around this desolate house. That’s right – we are doing a bottle episode!
The movie begins with a flashback that is too ridiculous not to mention. Twenty miles outside Gatlin in 1973, a young soldier returns from war. He returns home to find a plethora of creepy children playing with corn near the house but no sign of his family.
The lurker in the corner is his mom who has seemingly killed by a gross overuse of aging makeup effects.
He encounters a child who accuses of him of being a “baby killer”, alluding to the fact he shot a child in Vietnam. We’re still doing this Vietnam War thing I guess? Then something happens that continues to baffle me. A child appears to throw a corn VooDoo doll at him, and he somehow falls down the stairs AND through a window?
After a title sequence, we are in present day with a married couple, Tim and Ally.
Their car has broken down, and in a hint of what’s to come in terms of quality of dialogue, Ally’s first words are “I’m so hot and not in the good way.”
They see a farmhouse in the distance, and go there for help. They are greeted by a gentleman who goes by “Preacher” and his Ukrainian Mail Order Bride Helen who is immediately framed as a captive.
He refuses to help, but upon learning Ally is pregnant he lets them in to use the phone he pretended not to have despite Ally pointing at the power lines hung up around the farm. Helen makes Tim give her a $100 bribe for using the phone, and then asks if he has any weed on top of it. When he says no, she grabs his crotch and tries to seduce him.
Tim and Ally can’t get a tow on account of it being such a remote location and on a Sunday. They reluctantly agree to spend the night till the next morning when a delivery man will be coming who can presumably give them a ride into the nearest town.
Preacher gives them some very normal instructions to only leave their room to use the outhouse and to absolutely promise not to wander around the farm otherwise.
After Tim tells Ally about Helen trying to seduce him, Ally goes to use the outhouse and IMMEDIATELY starts wandering around for no reason. And this isn’t just a step or two in the wrong direction, it’s a whole journey. She find a small building repurposed into a church with floggers and handcuffs before finding a child who appears to be locked in a shed. She reports this to Tim, and at first he doesn’t believe her. She finally convinces him they need to act, and Tim decides to stare at a home video he finds instead of calling 911 – literally the only thing Ally asked him to do.
The locked up child is psychokinetic (we know this because Ally says out loud “someone in this house is psychokinetic”), and imprisons Preacher, Helen, Tim, and Ally in the house because it wants Ally’s unborn baby.
The rest of the movie is basically like this meme in narrative form:
The Preacher tells Ally that Tim has cheated on her, implying he hooked up with Helen.
He tells Tim Ally didn’t have a miscarriage previously, she aborted their first child because she had doubts about him. This leads to a metaphorical hanger of tension between them:
Preacher insists the child is evil like all the kids from Gatlin and that is why the child is locked up. Maybe the Preacher is supposed to be the soldier from the beginning? I don’t even think the screenwriters are sure at this point.
Helen says the Preacher is evil and that she locked the child up to protect the child from him.
At some point, the movie remembers its name and Ally has nightmare of children attacking and crucifying her in a corn field.
Finally a police officer shows up because after Tim fumbled his one job, Ally managed to call the police before the psychokinetic child broke the phone. But he seems unable to see or hear Tim and Ally as they scream for help. Instead, he is the first victim of the CHILDREN OF CORN IN SPACE:
Okay the children aren’t really in space but this is probably the closest we are going to get unless the next movie proves me wrong (psst please do).
The next morning, the delivery man finally comes. Although he seems like an exceedingly normal man, Tim and Ally become convinced he is going to kill them and decide it makes more sense to steal the cop car instead.
They race down the highway, but then become trapped in a Final Destination 2 ripoff, complete with the most ridiculous backseat driver argument I’ve ever heard and a Howard Dean yell:
Tim dies in the crash, and the delivery man randomly shows up and silently drives a catatonic Ally back to the farm.
At the farm, the still catatonic Ally encounters all of Preacher’s secret wives and their children.
Still completely out of it, she silently goes to the psychokinetic child and hums a lullaby – eventually breaking the fourth wall and making eye contact with the camera.
This is a pretty unnerving final scene, but the movie decides to have it’s cake and eat it too by tacking on this stinger, complete with a patent 2000s generic alt rock kicking in for the rest of the credits:
- I love the IMDb summary which says so much yet so little: A young couple try to free an imprisoned child with catastrophic results.
- Billy Drago (Preacher) chews every scene he is in like its corn on a cob. The way he plays Preacher is easily the best part of the movie aside from the police officer space drop
- Tim is like the Wish.com version of Ryan Reynolds, and that actually salvaged some of the movie for me
- In general, Ally and Tim were actually pretty endearing. I also appreciated how frank they were about how creepy the situation was, and the way they strategized together when trying to figure out what to do
- So if I’m understanding correctly Preacher is the soldier from the beginning who moved away from the Gatlin area but his child still ended up being evil because reasons. The child basically killed any men that came to the farm after one of the women would seduce them so they could produce more evil children at the behest of the main evil child. The women presumably were passerbys too? Whatever this isn’t even worth this much thought.
- What was the point of Helen being a Ukrainian Mail Order Bride?
- What was the point of the weird home video of closeups of a baby? Were we supposed to understand why the video was ominous?
- This is the first Children of the Corn that barely features children. The main child doesn’t even have a name in the film, nor does he ever talk
Is It Worth It?
No. No one deserves Children of the Corn: Genesis. Or maybe we collectively do as a society. But no one should watch this movie.
One more left! Children of the Corn: Runaway. Will they run to space? Will this get “Runaway Train” stuck in my head? Only one way to find out (except for the song…it is already too late and now it’s stuck in my head).