I made mention of this film a few months ago when I discussed all of the recent remakes that were scheduled for release in 2010 and 2011. I was actually confused at first because I thought they were remaking it twice; it turns out I was wrong, and the Syfy remake that aired on September 26th of 2009 is the only version. To clear up any confusion (well, mostly just for myself I guess) there is only one remake - and here I am reviewing it.
The classic 1984 version of Children of the Corn is based off a short story written by Stephen King. His rendition was first adapted into a short film in 1983 entitled Children of the Crow, but later revamped with a bigger budget into the release must of us are familiar with. While I tend to believe I make statements on here that must enthusiasts would commit murder over, I was never a huge fan of the franchise. It's a fact that the first installment is the best out of the seven, but I'm not the biggest fan to grace this side of horror. The truth is, many were outraged when they learned of this remake and I couldn't agree more...I felt the same way when I read up on the Night of the Demons remake. Someone should be thrown off a balcony for ruining these titles just to make money!
For those of you not familiar with the original film, it concerns a couple who become lost in the back roads of Gatlin, Nebraska. Nothing but corn fields and towns barely recognizable on the map encompass the area and this provides an excellent forum to build upon. The couple soon discover that the town is governed by a religious sect of children that worship "He who walks behind the rows" - a demonic entity of harvest that demands unquestionable loyalty and self-sacrifice. I haven't read King's short story but it's fairly obvious that certain religious or anti-religious concepts were pursued to bring light to the various beliefs in "god", and the proper way in which to preach both scripture and moral practices. I never wanted to ponder on this topic too long though because underneath it all, Children of the Corn is still a horror movie, and the 1984 film captures this wonderfully. There's almost a warm feeling surrounding it, like, "hey Billy, let's go watch Children of the Corn before we go play Tiddlywinks on a brisk autumn day." At least that's how I see it happening. Besides, if the word "demon" and "the 80's" are used in conjunction I'll be immediately interested.
To get more to the point, the Syfy remake takes a more violent approach than its counterpart, even showing violence against children. I've seen far too many brutal films to be affected by their watered-down rendition, so I'm accustomed to these antics. Furthermore, the violence wasn't senseless and fit well into the storyline, staying along the lines of realism as well. I won't recognize it as a valid point to discuss the quality of two films during the process of comparison when 26 years separate them. It's probably worth mentioning that the child actor who played the role of Isaac was pitiful and I hated every second of it...it almost reminded me of Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, a WRETCHED film that annoyingly watches your every move only to weasel its way back into the dark recess it crawled from never to be heard of again, eventually surfacing once more on the seedy side of Frank's discount movie bin. I didn't have many complaints about the effects or the acting, or even the direction to be honest...I suppose I wasn't excited in general.
Should you watch this film? If you're not familiar with the 1984 version, I highly suggest you watch it. If you love it, you may be disappointed at Syfy's attempt. If you're indifferent after viewing the original you may not care about the remake, which is where I stand on the matter. I fully realize how classic and interesting the original is but I wouldn't list it among my favorites. So basically what you're left with is a mediocre remake to a classic horror movie of the early 80's. This all sounds really confusing so just watch the damn thing already...I'm done here.