CHILDREN OF THE CORN
This remake of the story comes from Donald P. Borchers who was producer on the original Children of the Corn. Borchers had worked as a producer on a number of genre films, including everything from Vamp (1986), Two Moon Junction (1988), Highlander II: The Quickening (1991), Doppelganger (1993), Leprechaun 2 (1994), Number One Fan (1995), Voodoo (1995), The Demolitionist (1996), Little Witches (1996), Moonbase (1997) and Ligeia (2009). Borchers had previously directed the supernatural horror Grave Secrets (1997) and the non-genre Perfect Fit (1999).
This time Stephen King is credited as the co-writer of the screenplay and, as a result, the film returns far more closely to the original short story. In the 1984 film, the married couple were rewritten as something generic and bland but the remake returns to the storys conception of them bickering and arguing as they drive to sort their marriage out. The film faithfully recreates incidents from the story such as their venture through the town, noting how things have not changed since the 1960s; the scene where Burt snatches Vickys keys and leaves her in the car while he goes to investigate the church; the birth ledger where the names in it have been changed; the ending where Burt finds the slaughtered bodies; and the epilogue where it is announced that the date of death has been lowered to eighteen. All the extraneous material that was added in the first film R.G. Armstrongs old timer, the clairvoyant children that Burt and Vicky find have been eliminated. The film even keeps the setting in the time period when the story was written. It is perhaps one of the most reverential and faithful adaptations of a source work that one has seen in some time.
Children of the Corn 2009 accrued mostly negative reviews but I would be one voice to the contrary. It is extremely faithful in its adaptation of the original and far better than the 1984 film. The major negative point is the bickering couple whose dramas and mutual abhorrence become so strongly emphasised that it makes them unlikeable as lead characters. What the film needed was a scene where they suddenly come together in the face of the menace but the film is too faithful to the story for this and has her abducted fairly soon after arriving in the town. Certainly, David Anders, who one has only seen sporting a British accent up to this point and is surprised to find he is actually an American, does quite reasonably playing the role of the redneck Vietnam Veteran.
Donald P. Borchers directs with a general competence. During the early scenes, he gets off one good shock with a kid momentarily appearing behind David Anders in the cornfield so much so that he plays the same shock three times in as many minutes. In fact, shots where people constantly creep up behind others unseen seem for a time to be all that Borchers has in his arsenal, although he does eventually acquit himself. Maybe we didnt need David Anders to be having Vietnam flashbacks in the cornfields but Borchers builds the body of the film out reasonably well. More time is spent on exploring the childrens religion than the original film even their fertility rites which adds colour and depth to the film. The roles of the children are also much better cast than in the first film with Daniel Newman in particular standing out as Malachi.
Other Stephen King genre adaptations include:- Carrie (1976), Salems Lot (1979), The Shining (1980), Christine (1983), Cujo (1983), The Dead Zone (1983), Children of the Corn (1984), Firestarter (1984), Cats Eye (1985), Silver Bullet (1985), The Running Man (1987), Pet Semetary (1989), Graveyard Shift (1990), It (tv mini-series, 1990), Misery (1990), a segment of Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990), Sometimes They Come Back (1991), The Lawnmower Man (1992), The Dark Half (1993), Needful Things (1993), The Tommyknockers (tv mini-series, 1993), The Stand (tv mini-series, 1994), The Langoliers (tv mini-series, 1995), The Mangler (1995), Thinner (1996), The Night Flier (1997), Quicksilver Highway (1997), The Shining (tv mini-series, 1997), Trucks (1997), Apt Pupil (1998), The Green Mile (1999), The Dead Zone (tv series, 2001-2), Hearts in Atlantis (2001), Carrie (tv mini-series, 2002), Dreamcatcher (2003), Riding the Bullet (2004), Salems Lot (tv mini-series, 2004), Secret Window (2004), Desperation (tv mini-series, 2006), Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King (tv mini-series, 2006), 1408 (2007), The Mist (2007), Everythings Eventual (2009), the tv series Haven (2010-5), Bag of Bones (tv mini-series, 2011), Carrie (2013), Under the Dome (tv series, 2013-5), Big Driver (2014), A Good Marriage (2014), Mercy (2014), Cell (2016), 11.22.63 (tv mini-series, 2016), The Dark Tower (2017), Geralds Game (2017), It (2017), The Mist (tv series, 2017), Mr. Mercedes (tv series, 2017 ) and 1922 (2017). Stephen King had also written a number of original screen works with Creepshow (1982), Golden Years (tv mini-series, 1991), Sleepwalkers (1992), Storm of the Century (tv mini-series, 1999), Rose Red (tv mini-series, 2002) and the tv series Kingdom Hospital (2004), as well as adapted his own works with the screenplays for Cats Eye, Silver Bullet, Pet Semetary, The Stand, The Shining, Desperation, A Good Marriage and Cell. King also directed one film with Maximum Overdrive (1986).