Children of the corn five – right off the bat i’m pretty sure in trouble when I see the title is “fields of terror “and see that Alexis Arquette is starring. The director is confident to, his name is first on the billing. Seeing Fred Williamson and David Carridine billed towards the end give me a little bit more hope and I actually do usually enjoy Eva Mendez, but not getting my hopes up considering how uninspired the opening is. Perhaps I’m being overly critical considering my love for the previous entry but man, Ethan Wiley has his work cut out for him here and I don’t think this little Elliot-from-ET looking kid walking towards the green screen is gonna pull it off. I want blood to kick this thing off, not lasers and lightning and adobe after affects. The kids look too non-descript, and I’m only 10 minutes out. Our corn children this time around dress and very contemporary clothing – and this detracts from the creepiness. It’s not just enough to have a shadowy kid pick up a scythe to make it scary. Thankfully we do seem to be at the tail end of the 90s, so the embargo on blood and gore seems to be lifting. The kills aren’t particularly original, but they are visceral.
The clothes are only part of it – our protagonists talk about how bad the town smells, they try and make a point of describing how boring the place is. That’s funny, considering it’s a farming community, and everything looks so clean and crisp. The clothing is too nice and trendy – it just doesn’t fit the narrative. Equally out of place is David Carridine’s cameo as the leader of this cult – it’s the first time we seen an adult that seems to be the head of our corn children and it feels very out of place.
I have to admit though, it passes the watch test. It moves right along at a good steady pace and never really drops my interest. I don’t know if there was some mandate that directed them to keep all of these films under 90 minutes, but really is to their benefit at this things are so short. There is a clumsy attempt to expand on the mythology of he who walks behind the rows. But it seems more thrown in for styles sake rather than story and is gone too quickly, failing to impact the mythology at all.
I got to admit, I wonder if I’m being too hard on this – it’s not necessarily a bad film, indeed it’s better than number three but that’s setting the bar pretty low and leaves this one pretty mediocre. At the end of the day, this is a very by the numbers sequel. A group of strangers blunder into the town – discover corn children, and murder ensues. It might be alright if you’re just looking for more of the same with a snazzier wardrobe, and I probably won’t change the channel if they were running this on the Syfy channel.
Here’s a suggestion if you’re not inclined to skip this one (and I don’t necessarily think you should – especially if you dig some blood and gore); don’t go and order. Put this one on after three – but before you go to four. You’ll better appreciate the Hammer’s solid performance and Eva Mendez charms as you watch the series gradual rebound from three.