Last month the folks at Dimension pictures gave us HELLRAISER: JUDGEMENT. So it should come as no surprise that they’re following it up with another installment in another well past its prime franchise, CHILDREN OF THE CORN: RUNAWAY. Is the ninth try the charm for turning this saga around?
Ruth (Marci Miller DEATH RACE 2050, MOST LIKELY TO DIE) is one of the original followers of He Who Walks Behind The Rows. After her friends and the father of her unborn child are taken however she turns on the cult and flees. Now the mother of thirteen-year-old Aaron (Jake Ryan Scott BUNNYMAN VENGEANCE) she’s living in a small Oklahoma town and working in a garage. But she’s still haunted by memories of her past. And ghosts. Or maybe they’re all in her head like the memories. But now Aaron is hearing whispering from the fields…
There’s an interesting idea here. Ruth having to deal with what she did as a child while avoiding the same thing happening to her son. Sadly the makers of CHILDREN OF THE CORN: RUNAWAY aren’t up to developing it. Writer Joel Soisson wrote the script for TRICK OR TREAT back in 1986. But since then his writing credits are mostly direct to video sequels. Films like HELLRAISER: HELLWORLD, CHILDREN OF THE CORN: GENESIS and PULSE 2 and 3. He delivers a story that’s never sure if it’s a horror film or a drama about a woman having a breakdown.
Director John Gulager was hyped as the next big thing after FEAST. However, a pair of so so sequels derailed his career and here he is. His direction is flat and lifeless. Combine that with his reliance on using a handheld camera and it’s a recipe for a headache. We do however get another cameo from his father Clu Gulager (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, I’M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA).
I really don’t see the point of films like this. I understand they’re made to hold onto the rights to the franchise. But they end up making those rights damn close to worthless by association. I suppose they must keep turning a profit somehow, but by this point I can’t imagine how. At least the HELLRAISER films seem to be be making at least an effort to improve. This film should be the final stake through the heart of the franchise. And the careers of its writer and director.
CHILDREN OF THE CORN: RUNAWAY is available from Dimension Films and Lionsgate March 13, 2018.