Children of the Corn Stars Elena Kampouris and is Directed by Kurt Wimmer
Review: Children of the Corn marks one of the lowest points for Shudder as the short story retelling struggles to build any equity as a serviceable horror movie.
Children of the Corn is the newest movie from Kurt Wimmer and is currently streaming on Shudder. It stars Elena Kampouris and Kate Moyer, and depicts the story of a young girl inflicting revenge on the adults of a small Nebraskan town for attempting to destroy the crops that surround it.
I want to start this review by saying that I generally admire what Shudder is doing for the horror genre. They allow lesser-known filmmakers the chance to make unique horror movies and turn their creepy ideas into reality. I’ve found many of my favorite horror movies in recent years from their Shudder Originals section. It can sometimes be hit-or-miss, but that comes with every streaming service nowadays.
It’s gotten pretty ugly lately for that section of movies, and I’m not sure any of them get as obviously bad and egregiously misinterpreted as Children of the Corn. This Stephen King story has been adapted so many times to the point of exhaustion, but none comes as close to this in terms of paper-thin characters and shoddy camerawork.
I could only be reminded of last year’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot that fell hard onto Netflix, using classic iconography for an established franchise to sell an audience a load of garbage. These two have many similarities, from painfully uninteresting and flat characters to an abundance of heavily CGI’d kills that are impressively staged or conceived of.
But at least that movie had the backing of a franchise with some successful results. Children of the Corn has been made over and over, rarely offering any reason to believe that this Stephen King story could be regurgitated into a worthwhile movie. King’s stories have a long lineage of varying success when adapted to screen, but I can’t think of one as soulless and void of ideas as this.
The movie attempts to follow a group of psychopathic children raging revenge on the adults in the small town of Rylstone, Nebraska. They’re led by Eden (Kate Moyer), a twelve-year-old girl possessed by a spirit in the dying cornfields that surround her community. The adults of their township intend to destroy their crops in order to receive a subsidy from the Government.
As a result, Eden rounds up the children of the town and they commit a series of gruesome and bloody murders at the expense of the town’s adults. One of the town’s teenagers, Bo (Elena Kampouris), rejects the children’s acts and attempts to reverse the course as the community’s only hope for survival.
Reviews for Movies like Children of the Corn (2023)
And if that’s not enough, there’s a hilariously awful CGI set piece set in the middle of this equally hilarious and awful movie. Children of the Corn goes to great lengths to show the terror of the corn fields, unleashing their version of Groot in the style of corn stalks that feast on the blood of the residents of Rylstone. It’s a ridiculous turn of events for the movie, but it at least caught my attention from the snooze fest of the first 60 minutes of the movie.
I honestly don’t have many more words for Children of the Corn. I hate movies that look like a cheap SNL gag, and this isn’t far off from that. Stephen King properties should not be subject to independent filmmaking that isn’t able to hold up their end of the bargain. This is a short story that continuously gets reinterpreted into a feature-length film. There just isn’t enough meat in the story to fill a runtime, and it’s really, really hard to interpolate that into 90 minutes of content.
Which brings me to the state of Shudder, which isn’t having the greatest 2023. I’ve seen a good portion of their releases this year and they aren’t stacking up anywhere near the heights of the last few years. A24 might be eating their lunch a bit because that studio has a long resume of success marketing some of the best horror movies at independent film festivals, and perhaps there just isn’t enough quality these days to satisfy a handful of separate distributors. There was bound to be a squeeze at some point and I’m worried that Shudder is falling victim to volatile times of trying to run a streaming service.
But they could start by course correcting and never releasing content that looks as unfinished and foul as Children of the Corn – one of the 2023’s most uninspired additions to the genre.
Watch Children of the Corn on Shudder
Children of the Corn Movie Cast and Credits
Elena Kampouris as Bo Williams
Kate Moyer as Eden Edwards
Callan Mulvey as Robert Williams
Bruce Spence as Pastor Penny
Stephen Hunter as Calvin Colvington
Erika Heynatz as June Willis
Director: Kurt Wimmer
Cinematography: Andrew Rowlands
Composer: Matt Jantzen
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Children of the Corn movie on Letterboxd
Children of the Corn movie on IMDb