Friday, April 6, 2012

Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996)

It's Easter weekend, and strangely enough, I am not visiting my family this year.  However, most of my friends are, and Scream King is hogging the TV with the (stupid) Masters tournament.  Therefore, I'll be spending a lot of time in the second bedroom with the Apple TV and a 250-strong instant queue chock-full of horror movies.

This weekend, I examine why in God's name people thought we needed numerous sequels to Children of the Corn.  Sure, the short story was awesome and the movie was pretty creepy too, but I'm pretty sure the world would have kept spinning if we just stopped right there.  But here we are on Children of the Corn IV (aka The Gathering) which managed to wrangle together a couple of solid actors, including Naomi Watts and Karen Black.  I always love seeing mainstream stars in horror just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 

This installment of creepy kids in fields takes place not in Gatlin, but in another bigger town in Nebraska.  Grace Rhodes (Naomi Watts) has returned to her hometown from college to assist her ailing mother June (Karen Black) and young siblings.  Also, random, but there are TWO people from House of 1000 Corpses in this movie: the aforementioned Ms. Black and Harrison Young, who plays a drifter.  June Rhodes has gotten a little loopy as of late, becoming increasingly paranoid and having vivid nightmares of creepy little children coming into her house.

While back at home, Grace takes a job at the local medical clinic.  She hasn't been there long before scores of children are filling the waiting room with some sort of strange virus.  They seem to get better after a couple of days, but seems they all spoke too soon.  The children are better in the physical sense, but they've apparently becoming randomly possessed by a child preacher named Josiah.  They start to take on names and personalities of kids who died in the town, confusing and frustrating their parents.  Oh, and also they become murderers.  Because in the Children of the Corn movies, kids can never stop themselves from killing.

I think every one of these sequels kind of left the ending open just in case someone wanted to make another movie.  Wouldn't want to take that choice away from horror fans, right?  Also, apparently this movie, even though numbered as a sequel, was thought to be a standalone film, since it had absolutely nothing to do with the previous Children of the Corn installments.