Children of The Corn 2: The Final Sacrifice. (1993 USA)
Director: David Price
Starring: Terrance Knox, Paul, Scherrer,
Ryan Bollman, Christie Clark, Ned Romero.
Back in Gatlin Sheriff Blaine (Wallace Merck – Friday 13th 6, Brainstorm) discovers the adults murdered by Isaac Chroner, Malachai and the towns children some three years earlier in the basements of homes and out in the corn fields where ‘He Who Walks Behind The Rows’ dwells. The townsfolk of neighboring Hemmingford agree to take in the surviving children unaware that ‘He Who Walks Behind the Rows’ will be rejuvenated and once again command the children to rid the land of adults and those who defile the corn. Mrs. Burke (Marty Terry – Black Rainbow, Cry Wolf) tries to warn the Hemmingford folk that evil is still working through the children, however, she is ignored and the time has come for The Final Sacrifice…
Driving the back roads of Gatlin, Nebraska, assaying reporter John ‘The Ragman’ Garrett (Terence Knox – An Ordinary Killer, Forever) along with his son Danny (Paul Scherrer – Standoff, JAG), go to Gatlin for the story. Their relationship is somewhat tarred and they use a battle of wills which, in turn, provides us with some light hearted banter from the moment we meet them. After nearly having an accident with two other reporters, Wayde McKenzie (Robert C. Treveiler – Carrie 2, Hellraiser 3) and Bobby Knite (Leon Pridgen – Nightmare in Columbia County, Assault at West Point) John tries to find out some information about the Gatlin murders but to no avail. John and Danny continue to Gatlin.
Meanwhile, Wayde and Bobby take a short cut through the corn fields to get some footage for their story when they become lost in the maze of corn. Shortly after, the wind gets up, the sky blackens, something’s not right… Getting out of the van, Wayde proclaims to Bobby, “How the Hell did we get out here..?”.
Panic soon takes over, Bobby is drawn into the corn fields where he gets his throat slashed by the leaves of the corn. Wayde gets back in the van, a spear of corn drives itself straight through the windshield and is thrust straight into Wayde’s neck. As sudden as the sky blackened….all becomes tranquil again, just like nothing happened.
Interim, we cut to John and Danny, arriving late for the story, they meet Ruth Gordon (Kristy Wagner), the lady who agrees to take in one of the children, Micah (Ryan Bollman – Neverending Story, No Vacancy). Reading Ruth’s T-Shirt promotion, ‘Come Sleep with Me – Bed & Breakfast’ John asks if he and Danny could stay, to which she agrees. After an argument during dinner, Danny goes to wait for the next bus out of town. Whilst waiting, Danny meets Lacey Hellerstat (Christie Clark – Nightmare on Elm Street 2, Days of Our Lives) who informs him the next bus isn’t until next Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Micah is out in the cornfield trying to find the other children. ‘He Who Walks Behind the Rows’ chases Micah and ‘possesses’ him. Mordechai (Ted Travelstead – Rock n’ Roll Frankenstein) and Jedediah (Sean Bridgers – Sweet Home Alabama, Nell) are in the corn waiting for “He Who Walks Behind the Rows to show us the way”. Jedediah is somewhat skeptical. Mordachai recites Isaacs word “A leader shall come from the corn and make us as one”…It’s time…Micah arrives through the corn. He instructs the children to return home and wait for a sign.
John goes to Mrs. Burke’s home to find answers. She tells John “Have you ever seen evil..? It works through the children”, she continues, “Nobody would listen, I showed ’em in Gatlin”. “Showed them what?” John replies. “The drawing’s….by the little children, they knew”. Looking distressed, she remarks “My husband walked out in to a cornfield fifteen years ago….he never came back!” They soon discover a crudely daubed cross on the front of her home. Micah takes the cross as the sign – “It is like the light from the corn”, He tells the children, “Not from the hand of man but the mark from ‘He Who Walks Behind the Rows’.”
During a sermon with Rev. Hollings (John Bennes – I Know What You Did Last Summer, King’s The Night Flier) a brilliantly constructed scene starts to unfold with Micah and David Simpson (Joe Inscoe – Night of the Hunter, The Stepford Husbands) involving a wooden voodoo doll and a knife…. Priceless footage and incredibly bloody (for this type of film).
Searching for more information, John goes to the old abandoned elementary school in Gatlin. The corridors are full of corn and children’s voices can be heard echoing around the school. This is where he bumps in to Frank Redbear (Ned Romero – Expiration Date, Fabulous Shiksa in Distress). Frank, works for the State University’s Department of Anthropology, he’s returning John’s wallet that he left in his unlocked car.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Burke has been slowly crushed to death under her home. Her sister, Mrs. West, also played by Marty Terry, knows the truth about the children. Sheriff Blaine dismisses her, claiming it was ‘an accident’. Upon leaving, she warns, “You blind fools!….You fools!….You let the wolf in your door!”. Mrs. Burke’s body is taken to Dr. Appleby (Ed Grady – Wolfman). The ultimate adult nightmare begins…
I must say, I’m glad to see Children of the Corn 2 puts on more ‘on screen’ violence than the original. It works well enough to make up for ‘the lack of..’ in Children of the Corn (1984). I’m usually a little skeptical about sequels but Children of the Corn 2 has a set of decent characters who carry the meaning of the original film through this entire film in a believable manner. Marty Terry, as Mrs Burke and Mrs West has a great presence in the film. Her ‘terror’ toward the children is actually quite un-nerving to say the least. Great stuff Marty! The only tiny draw back, for me, is the CGI clouds. I much prefer a time lapse camera to do this kind of work. It doesn’t spoil the film but it would have been nice to see time lapse instead. Budgets and time restraints, i guess, forced CG.
This first sequel also failed to impress at the US box office opening weekend managing under $3 million, but again, proving popular on home video. King fans must have thought there’s no place for this sequel after the initial ‘flop’ of the original, but time has proved that the ‘Corn’ series has become some of King’s most popular work.
I’ve read many reviews about Children of the Corn, and its sequels. Many seem to look for the negative side of filming. Continuity errors, poor production values, bad acting, cheap FX. That sort of thing. This is upsetting. As we all know, it’s very hard to even raise funds for a film, let alone actually releasing one. People should remember that and not bitch about certain aspects purely because its not a massive blockbuster hit. There are 1000’s of indie/b-Movies out there, and most were made on a shoe-string budget. Many also have cult status now and have found a place in many horror fans hearts. As a reminder, the ‘Corn’ series is born from a thirty page short story/novella by King.
Overall, Anchor Bay’s special edition box set inc. COTCII: The Final Sacrifice deserves a cool 6.7 out of 10.
A slightly lower score than the original but still works very well as sequels go.