This time around it sure seems like somebody is trying to redeem the franchise. Now I’m not sure who it is, because the year is 1996 and that places this firmly as a dimension films sequel, when they started cranking out franchise entries to any and every property that they owned, regardless of quality or logic. The end result was they started trying to drive the Hellraiser franchise into the ground, and the Prophecy franchise was getting the same treatment.
The good thing about this era though, is even though the producer shouldn’t care, and there was no money – if you are working on these films you were doing it because you loved these films and these franchises. That’s something that really shows here as we get a very cinematic entry into this series. This time around, we have kids that seem to be possessed by the old children of the corn – and the movement is growing. It’s not so much a religious conversion (although that is the most heinous baptism I’ve ever seen…and I watched Rawhead Rex at 12 Hours of Terror last year!) like we’ve seen in the other films, but more of a spectral ghost story with exorcism elements to it. It feels different, with quick cuts of terror and flashes of peril. Like I said, somebody is trying to redeem the series – not the least of which was shown by pulling in Karen Black for a cameo! There’s a blue filter to the colour palette here that we never seen before – and sort of dread that I haven’t felt in the rest of the series.
Even with the back to basics approach – cornfields and lots of children. I feel like the gore level has been capped but I found myself really enjoying this as a return to form. The children of the corn haunt this film – they don’t just threaten. They don’t just kill. The presence is felt even when they’re not on screen.
All this is good, because the story feels fairly insubstantial, but what it lacks in substance it makes up for in atmosphere. Perhaps it’s the supernatural possession aspect that’s really appealing to me here – he who walks behind the rows has always been a little bit of a paranormal creature, but this is the one where we really ramp up the the the ethereal threat. Of all the sequel so far, this is by far my favorite – I think I may even enjoy this more than the original. I lost track of how many times watching this I delightedly explain to myself “I love this!”
It makes me wonder what we have in store next.