Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992)

Children of the Corn 2: The Final Sacrifice (1992)

These children are home alone ,too. But their parents won’t be coming back.

After the children of the secluded town of Gatlin slaughtered all of their parents, an tabloid reporter and his son arrive to investigate. They find out that the neighbouring town agreed to foster the orphaned children but it’s not long before they return to their murderous ways to appease ‘He Who Walks Behind The Rows.’

 

The original short story by Stephen King was hardly long enough (or good enough for that matter) to be fleshed out into a feature film which it was with Children of the Corn. To see not just one but six sequels and a remake is somewhat staggering given how average the original was. Funnily enough, it is still one of King’s most famous adaptations and what is weird is that it took eight years for a sequel to come about. I don’t know whether an employee was just ploughing through the vaults one day looking for random films to sequelize and came upon the original but cash cows are normally milked long before they’re mature in Hollywood. Whatever the reason there is no doubt that this is a sequel which should never have been made but one which has and one which continues to contribute to the bad name of sequels. The original was hardly a classic – this sequel is instantly forgettable.

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice is virtually the same film as the original with simply different leading characters and it is set in a different town. It picks up shortly after the original ends but takes liberties with the ending, opting to forget about the surviving adults and conveniently replacing some of the child actors with lesser-talented replacements (let’s face it, after eight years the children from the original would have been way too old to be reprising their roles). These new child actors share none of the villainous characteristics of some of the original children, ending up as mere drones and bringers of death. The mildly eerie and unsettling nature of the original has been replaced by a film that has more in common with an out-and-out slasher flick than anything else. Simply replace Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees with this bunch of demented kids and you have almost the same type of film. The film seems to be a thinly-plotted sequence of death set pieces much akin to a slasher. There’s way more on-screen violence and the death sequences are way more elaborate than they should be given that we’re dealing with killer children. In a couple of highlights, an old lady has her electric wheelchair controlled by the children who direct her into the path of a truck. There’s also a bizarre Wizard of Oz moment as another old lady (jeez these kids have it in for the pensioners in this one) is killed when her house crushes her like the Wicked Witch of the East.

The trouble is that because it’s a direct sequel, there’s already a story to follow and this picks up directly after the original. So it’s a tad idiotic to see the children all standing around dressed in Amish get-up with blank expressions on their faces when the authorities arrive in the town of Gatlin to kick off the film. At no point does anyone even consider that the children had anything to do with the killings and instead of investigating the matter further, the children are simply shipped into new homes within days of the massacre. I’m not a police officer but if I had no major clues and a bunch of weird, expressionless children standing around a ghost town, then I would be thinking that all bets are off and anything was possible.

This sequel makes no attempt to explain ‘He Who Walks Behind the Rows’ and I assume that it is simply the MacGuffin needed to get the children on a killing spree. The laziness of the script extends to the other plot clichés to which it panders. We’ve got the ‘dad who wasn’t there for his son when he was younger and now his son hates him’ sub plot which gives us the inevitable sequence where said son confronts his father about it. You’re a little too late kiddo. I should have turned it off there but it gets worse as the only single father, single son combination in the town inexplicably hits it off with the only single mother and daughter combo in the town. Highly convenient! It’s dreadful character development and the love affair only puts the cherry on the top of the overall pathetic rehash of the original story.

 

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice is a poor sequel, not even worthy of being a guilty pleasure. It’s so run-of-the-mill that the story of these killer children overstays its welcome within the first two films – and there were far more to come. Certainly someone in the money was working for ‘He Who Walks Behind the Rows.’

 

 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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