Notable Cast: Marci Miller, Jake Ryan Scott, Sara Moore, Mary Kathryn Bryant, Lynn Andrews III, Kevin Harvey, Diane Ayala Goldner, Eric Starkey
After Children of the Corn: Genesis and the truly abysmal made-for-TV remake of the original, I was ready for the Children of the Corn series to be laid to rest and buried behind the rows of sweet corn. It was obvious that this series had grown, was harvested and left the soil unfit for further cultivation. When it announced that the ninth entry into the series (yeah, nine entries) would finally get a release after being stuck in developmental hell for a handful of years, my excitement could be measured in a long and drawn out sigh. Even worse, Children of the Corn: Runaway was directed by John Gulager who managed to kill his own Feast franchise and make Piranha 3DD too stupid to survive. Imagine my surprise that this ninth entry to a series (that didn’t really deserve four entries) came out as not only decent, but one of the best that the franchise had to offer - not that it means much. It simultaneously reboots the series in a clever way while at the same time delivering a modernized spin on the intellectual property that matches the current trends in horror. Yeah, Runaway is not just another hackneyed slasher, it’s actually a horror film that expands on the mythology and pushes it into some new territory. It’s a mixed effort ultimately, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t pleasantly surprised.
|"It's okay, it's only up for the franchise."|
Beyond that, the execution of Runaway is a bit more mixed than expected. The performances range from subtly impressive to awkwardly over the top, the special effects and kill sequences try to be classic horror on a budget but occasionally fall into being predictable, and the more dreamlike elements that increasingly take hold as the film progresses can fringe on cheesy instead of impactful. Considering that the film takes a rather unique approach to the material, there is a lot of potential in the film and it’s surprising that Gulager pulls back away from his usual over the top and offensively tongue-in-cheek style, but the film does fight against itself and its budgetary constraints at times and it doesn’t nearly fly as much as it might have with a couple more drafts of the script or a tad more money to show on the screen. Pleasantly surprising overall, yet it’s still a mixed effort that will have most fans scoffing at it.
|Nothing says creepy like killer kids.|