Sunday, October 23, 2022

#2,846. Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992)


Released eight years after the original Children of the Corn, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice takes us back to Gatlin, Nebraska, which, as the movie opens, has been invaded by the national media.

After discovering the remains of the community’s adults, authorities whisk the remaining children to the nearby town of Hemingford, where they are taken in and cared for by some of the locals.

Reporter John Garrett (Terence Knox), who just happened to be traveling through the area with his estranged son Danny (Paul Scherrer), hears about what happened and decides to stick around Hemingford to write a story for his tabloid paper. Talking with locals like Dr. Frank Red Bear (Ned Romero) and Angela (Rosalind Allen), who owns the Bed and Breakfast where he and Danny are staying, Garrett tries to get to the bottom of things, while Danny spends his time befriending Micah (Ryan Bollman) and having a fling with a pretty blonde named Lacey (Christie Clark).

But when Micah falls under the spell of “He Who Walks Behind the Rows”, the troubles that started in Gatlin make their way to Hemingford. And people start dying.

Whereas the opening moments of 1984’s Children of the Corn were a bit of a letdown, the first five minutes of this 1992 sequel are stellar; the scene where a group descends into a basement and locates the decaying corpses of Gatlin’s adult population gets the movie off to a grisly start. The violence is also kicked up a few notches, with more gore than the original and a couple of memorable death scenes (an elderly pair of sisters, both played by Marty Terry, meet particularly gruesome ends).

That said, the performances in Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice fall well short of those in the first film. Terence Knox and Paul Scherrer are more annoying than sympathetic as the bickering father and son, and their strained relationship is never fully explored (they spend the first 2/3’s of the movie shouting at one another), while Ryan Bollman is a major step down from John Franklin, playing Micah as more of a whiny brat than a charismatic leader.

The story itself also feels less structured than that of the first film (which wouldn’t have won any awards itself, if we’re being honest), while an early scene in which a news van gets lost in the corn field, only to fall victim to “He Who Walks Behind the Rows”, added nothing to the overall film. And like the original, the special effects in Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice are woefully inadequate (Micah’s “transformation” scene is just plain bad).

Children of the Corn may not have been a masterpiece, but it deserved a better follow-up than this movie.
Rating: 4.5 out of 10

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