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For decades, the Children of the Corn franchise has bounded through its ups, its downs, and some surprising guest stars—but if there’s one thing you can often rely on, it’s an excellent performance from a kid on the edge.
The latest remake—stranded in limbo for the past couple years after filming in Australia in 2020 during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic—delivers on that promise with a wink and a sunflower ring. The 14-year-old Canadian actress Kate Moyer is a delight as she gleefully mows down every adult in sight. Unfortunately, she and co-star Elena Kampouris (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) are two of the few sweet kernels in a strained franchise extension that’s otherwise kind of moldy.
The first Children of the Corn adaptation, which debuted in 1984, introduced viewers to the small corn-farming town of Gatlin, Nebraska—where a bunch of kids had recently decided to murder all of their elders. Since then, Stephen King’s short story has stretched into an 11-film franchise with such illustrious guest stars as Naomi Watts, Eva Mendes, and David Carradine. (Don’t remember them? You should have stuck around for installments 4 and 5!)