SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK
Unlike Children of the Corn, Sometimes They Come Back is a short story that is much more readily suited to being expanded to feature-length than the film version of Children of the Corn succeeded in being. While it is not a particularly great film, Sometimes They Come Back is modestly effective. The budget edges occasionally show through like the poor model train effects. However, some of the scenes like the appearances of the bullies in the classroom and their smilingly sinister threat are effective (even if their sinister high-pitched giggles start to quickly grate on ones nerves).
One of the more annoying aspects of the film is its substitution of the climax of the short story with an alternate ending. Earlier the film creates an elaborate set-up involving a train creaming the bullies in the car. One soon realises that the reason for this is to avoid the climax that Stephen King had in the short story, which involved the hero conjuring up Satanic aid to despatch the ghostly revenants. It feels as if the film is taking a conservative line, as though in being originally made for tv, Satanism was too taboo a topic for it to discuss. It is not as though Satanic rituals have not been portrayed on tv before, or that the film would be crossing any standards and practices taboo line in doing so and here you can only accuse it of conceptual cowardice.
There were two sequels with Sometimes They Come Back ... Again (1996) and Sometimes They Come Back ... For More (1998). While this film was originally made for tv, both of the sequels were shot for video and are a little more edgier than this version. Sometimes They Come Back ... Again is more faithful to the basic elements of the Stephen King short story, particularly the ending, although plays everything for campy splatter effects. Sometimes They Come Back ... For More abandons all resemblance to Stephen King and concerns itself with Satanic forces taking over an Antarctic base and is the best of the three films.
Director Tom McLoughlin first appeared with the ghost story Rest in Peace/One Dark Night (1982) and has made several other genre entries including Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986), the angel romance Date with an Angel (1987), The Haunting of Helen Walker (1996) an tv movie adaptation of Henry Jamess oft-filmed The Turn of the Screw (1898), and the psycho-thriller The Unsaid (2001), as well as wrote the screenplay for FairyTale: A True Story (1997) concerning the true life Cottingley Fairies Hoax.
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), 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), Children of the Corn (2009), 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, Children of the Corn 2009 and Cell. King also directed one film with Maximum Overdrive (1986).
Full film available online here:-