Once a franchise reaches its tenth installment I think they should all be required by law to instruct the viewer what to do in the title… in this case, run away. Which is exactly what I should have done instead of agreeing to review it, but we’re all here now, nieces and nephews, so Uncle Manhammer might as well explain why the newest installment in the saga, Children Of The Corn: Runaway, should be left in a cornfield to rot in the sun.
Children Of The Corn: Runaway tells the story of a pregnant Ruth and her attempted escape from He Who Walks Behind the Rows. I do have to give the film credit for burning the corn in the first scene instead of waiting until the end of the movie to do it, but they did waste the best scene five minutes in. Fast forward thirteen years and one surly looking teenager named Aaron later, he and Ruth are drifting from state to state. Since Ruth chose homelessness and made no attempt at a stable upbringing for her child in the decade-plus time jump in narrative, they’re forced to hunker down in a backwoods town after their pickup truck is impounded.
Ruth quickly gets a job as a mechanic at a local garage, both chasing after and openly rejecting the owner named Carl, who’s the most interesting character in the entire film. Sprinkle in some children who’re supposed to be creepy but are really anything but. Add in some brief episodes of psychosis obviously representing Ruth’s continued connection tie to the corn cult, and you’ve got yourself a straight to video sequel of a franchise that wasn’t that great, to begin with. Yes, there’s death, there’s gore, and there’s an attempt to add depth by putting forth the idea that everything might just be in Ruth’s head, but there’s also laughable editing, and a scene on a “water tower” that’s really just a green screen, PVC pipe, and wire.
John Gulager, director of the Feast trilogy, helmed this outing and I’m going to assume the rent was due and the lights were off because it reeks of “Hurry up and let me cash the check before it bounces.” I remember being very impressed and had a lot of fun with Feast when it made it’s debut over ten years ago and really looked forward to Gulager’s output. So far, after his first film, I’ve enjoyed him the most as The Assessor in Hellraiser: Judgement. Not strong praise all things considered.
Children Of The Corn: Runaway isn’t going to run away with any kudos for packaging or special features, either. There’s a lone deleted scene that you’ll probably never watch if you made the mistake of purchasing this film and a digital copy as special features if you can count the latter as one, that is. The aspect ratio is 2.40:1 with a 5.1 DTS-HD master audio track. Spanish and English subtitles are included for when you give up trying to hear the mumbles of the cranky teenager and decide to read his dialogue instead.
Children Of The Corn: Runaway Overall
I suppose something should be said for taking one of Stephen King’s lackluster short stories and squeezing just about any credibility out of it for ten sequels. It’s not a feat that The Mangler or Sometimes They Come Back (though at one point in time that one would have been a contender) ever achieved. Creepy kids aside, maybe it’s time we let this franchise burn with the corn. I don’t think we really have anything else to say about these films. Hard pass.
If you must have the Blu-ray in your collection, you can find it on Amazon or many other sites.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgment or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.