Children of the Corn: Genesis (2011)
Complaints leveled against Children of the Corn: Genesis largely amount to “It hardly has any kids!” Well, good! God forbid a moribund franchise based on a Stephen King story tries to do something different, especially for one as far up as its eighth entry.
After a 1973 prologue pretty much unrelated to the remainder of the movie, married-and-expectant California couple Tim and Allie (Tim Rock and Kelen Coleman) are stranded in the middle of nowhere, thanks to car troubles. A brief walk puts them on the doorstep of rickety farmhouse occupied by the unfriendly Preacher (Billy Drago, The Untouchables‘ Frank Nitti) and his hot, young, European wife (Barbara Nedeljakova of both Hostels).
You know they’re in for the worst night of their middle-class lives because of the “rickety farmhouse” and “Billy Drago.” Soon enough and sure enough, a busted radiator and being unwelcome are the least of their worries. Finding that Preacher keeps a kid captive in a barn out back makes Tim and Allie need to figure out an escape not only for them, but that malnourished tot.
Pay no mind that this is not a prequel as the title suggests, nor that it bears little resemblance to the King tale. Genesis stands on its own quite well, heading into angles of poltergeists and possessions, leading me to believe it would be better-liked if not branded/burdened with the Corn name. However, without it, far fewer would see it. Ah, the Catch-22s of straight-to-video movies, which writer/director Joel Soisson (Mimic 2) can turn out better than most, right down to a cruel-for-a-laugh final shot. —Rod Lott