The Children of the Corn franchise returns with Runaway, the ninth installment in the franchise. Is the movie worth it or does it leave you running away?
Children of the Corn: Runaway, the latest from director John Gulager (Feast), brings nothing new to the table in the long running franchise. In fact, at this point, the series should probably just stop. The film stars Marci Miller (Most Likely to Die), Jake Ryan Scott (“American Horror Story”), Lynn Andrews III (Cry), and Mary Kathryn Bryant (Hellraiser: Judgment).
Children of the Corn: Runaway centers around Ruth (Miller), pregnant and able to escape the clutches of a murderous child cult. Fast forward to the present, we find Ruth and her son Aaron (Scott) on the run, doing whatever they can to stay anonymous so that the horrors of the past don’t catch up.
Deciding to settle down in a Midwestern town after her car is impounded, Ruth begins to let her guard down while slowly building a life for her and son; however, soon the ghosts of her past begin rearing their ugly heads and Ruth learns what she’s been running from this whole time has been slowly closing in on her and her child.
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Just so we are all clear, Children of the Corn: Runaway is the ninth film in this long-running series that was spawned by the 1984 film, Children of the Corn. Having just watched the original a few weeks ago, I have a whole new appreciation for what director Fritz Kiersch created from the short story by Stephen King.
With that said, now having watched the newest addition, I think it’s time we close the door permanently on these films. Children of the Corn put the fear of God (and children) in us as we watched a town infested by murderous kids and fanatical religion take hold under the ruling of a 12-year-old boy and the cult he forms. Children of the Corn: Runaway does none of this. Instead, it’s an 82-minute film filled with poor acting and even poorer writing, feeling like the longest running movie of my life.
Sure, this new movie has a cornfield and some murderous kids, while also doing its best to pay homage to the original film, but every execution of a scene that could tie the films together ends up falling flat. We spend more time watching Ruth have weird flashbacks than we do seeing children and/or corn.
Don’t even get me started on the addition of an awkward sex scene where Ruth and her employer, Carl (Andrews), start to become intimate, only for Ruth to end it when her son sees her, to which Carl goes on a diatribe about how much he’s done for Ruth and essentially pulls the “I’m a nice guy you should be having sex with me” line. I was rooting for you Carl, I really was, until you had to go there. With all that said, there isn’t one character in this movie I found myself rooting for.
I’m sure you are asking if there are any redeeming qualities to Children of the Corn: Runaway and to be completely honest, not really. There’s a moment at the end of the film where I did a slow clap because of how a certain scenario played out, but other than that, I found myself bored and annoyed. There were a few scenes that had some cool visual stylization to them, but they were so few and far between that it didn’t even really make sense to have them in the movie.
As for the kills, well, we get a few of them, but nothing outlandish or anything that will make your skin crawl. Honestly, I feel had not for cornfields or one child who was clearly entrenched in the cult, this could have been a horror film about anything.
In the end, Children of the Corn: Runaway is a desperate attempt at continuing a movie franchise that died long ago. Instead of focusing on throwaway films such as this, I wish filmmakers would come up with more original ideas. Just because you have a movie that incorporates a cornfield doesn’t mean it needs to be added to this lineage. This movie was a huge disappointment and a complete waste of time. Fans of the franchise may find something worth salvaging in this, but for me, I just wish I could get my 82 minutes back.
Children of the Corn: Runaway is now available to own on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital and On Demand