Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice

A lot of horror movies leave a little loose end in the final moments of the flick, not because they want to make a part II (though I’m sure they do), but because they need that final scare. Consider:

Friday the 13th: The kid in the water.

A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy drags mom away.

It’s Alive: There’s another one in Seattle.

It’s that final horror movie sting that sort of says, “Well, we CAN do another one. If you like this one.”

But in the case of “Children of the Corn,” there are a TON of loose ends. As Burt and Vicky head out of town, they’ve got a couple of supposedly normal kids with them. They’ve got to bear serious emotional scars, though. And what happens when their extended family members find out what happened to them?

What about all those kids currently in town? They all need to find places to live. And probably be deprogrammed. Don’t get me wrong, Burt’s “a real religion has love in it” speech was nice, but these kids killed their parents. With sharp objects.

And while most of the kids scattered at the end, there are at least a few of them who kind of held onto the idea of being evil. The girl in the car, for example.

Plus, there was that giant animated thing that was also under the ground sometimes. Assuming that was He Who Walks Behind the Rows, well, that makes him the villain, and villains never really die in horror movies.

Point being, there are a LOT of places that this movie could go, and some of them could be very interesting. They could even do something of a redo of the first plot, as doctors try to explain to the kids that a giant thing under the ground doesn’t exist. Until, you know, the thing shows up and starts eating people.

As the movie begins, we don’t get anything like that. Instead, we get some kinda-sorta animated shots of a corn field, with credits and sweet music playing. It was kind of confusing. I sort of expected the title to pop up as “Field of Dreams 2,” instead of “Children of the Corn II.”

I also have to laugh at the subtitle: “The Final Sacrifice.” People really need to learn to not use titles like that, because they are always, always, always wrong. This is part II of seven. Seven! They should have at least called it “The Sacrifice Semi-Finals.”

Finally, the credits end, and we get a shot of a cellar, with wooden steps, and a light pouring down from the door above. It’s the kind of shot a director would be really proud to have as his or her opening shot.

A man comes down the stairs, holding a flashlight. Someone else comes down behind him.

The goofiness starts right away. Every time the flashlight beam plays across the camera, there’s a big SWOOSH noise. Someone needs to have a talk with the sound editor about appropriate behavior.

The two dudes find a bunch of dead bodies. Including one that falls and swings at the camera. Good timing, dead body. I’m sure you’ve been waiting for your moment in the sun.

So, we’re about three minutes in, here, and we’ve already got a major contradiction. Sarah claimed that all the adults were “out in the corn field.” This is not a corn field.

I guess we could assume that Sarah just wasn’t all that bright. (We can also assume that we aren’t going to get any of our original actors back. The first movie came out in 1984, and this second one came out in 1992.)

(Which I just realized causes an interesting dilemma. What year is it? This movie starts probably a day or two after the last one ended. But it took eight years to get made. So what’s the time frame?)

The movie bumps over to a news reporter, so we can get a little backstory for all the people who decided to skip part I, and jump right on over to this here second part. Essentially, we’re in Gatlin, Nebraska, there are over 50 dead people (though they haven’t all been recovered) and the kids did it.

The reporter talks to the guy who found the bodies, but he’s too overwhelmed to say anything. The reporter moves on to the kids, one of whom says he just saw corn.

Then he talks to a cop, who says the kids were under the influence of some “teenagers.” Yeah, we know how that goes. Get some kids in front of teenagers, and the next thing you know, it’s mass murder for everybody.

I have a question, though. Who’s this guy who decided to check out the barn? Where is that barn, exactly? And why did it take everyone three years to realize that every adult member of the town was wiped out?

The cop does mention the “couple” who passed through town. So I guess Burt and Vicky made a phone call.

The reporter talks to more kids who, “Saw the corn.”

Now it’s time to introduce some more characters. So we go over to a vehicle somewhere on the highway and meet John and Dan. John is the dad. Dan is the son. They don’t like each other much, as it appears John has been an absentee father.

John points out to Dan that John is going to be in trouble if he doesn’t do some kind of job.

Now it’s back to Gatlin, where we get to watch a doctor examine each kid before putting them on a bus. And by examine, I mean he has them say, “Ah,” and then he sticks a tongue depressor in their mouth. Then he gives them a sucker and they get on the bus.

Meanwhile, in Soap Opera Car, Dan tells John that the only reason he’s with John right now is that his mom didn’t want Dan around for her wedding. It seems he doesn’t get along with his stepfather-to-be. A dude named Sherman. Remember that name, I’m sure it will be not at all important later.

Back in Gatlin, a Mrs. Burke rides up on her bike and tries to prevent the bus with all the kids on it from driving away. It seems that she lives in the next town over – which is where all the kids are going to be placed in foster care until someone can figure out what to do with them on a more permanent basis.

Mrs. Burke notes, correctly, that all the adults on Gatlin are dead, and that if the kids are all shipped to another town, it’s going to happen all over again.

Another, younger, woman tries to convince Mrs. Burke that the people responsible for the murders are dead now, and that Mrs. Burke should take in some of the kids.

Mrs. Burke says she’s taking her house, and getting out of there.

That’s a really, really screwy thing to do, and yet you have to admit Mrs. Burke is right. Unfortunately, she made all these statements in full view of one of the kids. Which means, tragically, that the smartest person in this movie isn’t going to make it to the end.

More’s the pity.

And now the characters start crossing paths. As the reporter we saw earlier heads out of town, he bumps into John and Danny, driving into town. The reporter tells John that the kids killed all the parents, and then mocks John. A lot. It appears that John has been writing for the tabloids, and perhaps done some other shoddy journalism.

I’m not really sure if the movie wants us to feel bad for John, or if we’re supposed to write him off as being a pretty sucky person. Ah, well. At least we got some backstory, and people’s feelings got hurt.

John and Dan head to Gatlin.

The reporter and his driver/cameraman head the opposite direction, but have some problems finding the highway. So they head into a cornfield.

I sure hope they already got their footage to their office in some way, because their van isn’t going to make it back. At least, not with them in it.

John and Dan arrive in town, and pretty much everyone is gone except for the nice woman who tried to convince Mrs. Burke that these kids totally aren’t going to kill them. And the kid she’s taking in.

John asks her is he can ask her a couple questions. She says she doesn’t want to talk about it. He asks if he can ask one question. Really, he’s already up to two, so he should be tapped out.

Regardless, the woman says okay: One. John looks at her shirt, which says, “Come Sleep with Me.” She owns a bed and breakfast. John asks if she knows where they can find a bed and breakfast. Nonplussed, she says she has one room, and they can follow her.

So everyone gets in their vehicles and drives away.

Back with the reporter and his driver, well, things aren’t going too good. They’re still driving through the path in the middle of the corn, and they aren’t finding their way out. So they stop their news van, and stand up, looking to see where they might find an actual road.

In the sky, an animated cloud does ominous cloud-things.

On the ground, Evil Corn-Cam watches the two men. You can tell it’s evil because the screen gets all reddish. Reporter and Driver decide to drive away, but the van. Won’t. Start.

The driver says, “It looks like a twister!” so the reporter tells him to get out of the van. They both do.

The wind pushes the driver into the corn, and hits him with little blue animated shocks. Then the corn cuts his throat.

The reporter pushes himself around to the driver’s side of the news van, and gets back in. He tries to start the van.

And then, I swear, a stalk of corn comes shooting out of the corn field, blasts through the windshield, and impales the reporter.

The windstorm stops instantly.

Since those two guys obviously aren’t going to be doing anything in the near future, the movie hops over to the bed and breakfast, where Dan, John, the woman who runs the place (Angela) and Freaky Kid are eating dinner.

Angela goes to clear the plates, and Dan helps, because his dad wants him to, and because you should always help the people you’re paying to make your food clean your plates when you’re done.

Really. The next time you go to a nice eatery, be sure to ask the busboy if you can borrow his bussing bin, and run the dishes back. It’s the right thing to do.

While Dan and Angela are gone, John quickly asks Micah, the Freaky Kid, if “he saw anything.” Micah says, “Some of it.” John asks, “Like what?”

Micah says he saw the corn, which I’m getting kind of tired of hearing, and then Micah goes a little further, and says, “Their blood was for the corn.”

Except, of course, for all the dead bodies in the cellar of that barn. Their blood was for the cellar.

Angela comes out and tells John to leave Micah alone. She asks who he writes for, anyway.

Dan pipes up. “The World Enquirer. He’s a rag-man.”

John explains that he used to work for Newsweek, but he got into a disagreement with an editor who he categorizes as “incompetent.” He chalks this up to youthful indiscretion.

Dan continues to harangue him, so John tells him to go outside so they can talk.

Then it all comes out. John flat-out tells John that he was a mistake that John made when he was 17 years old, and Dan need to deal with that fact in any way he can. Because ultimately, Dan needs to figure out who he is and what he’s going to be.

Let’s discuss character empathy for a second, here.

The major problem with John is that the main fact we have about him is this: He’s an absent father. He made a mistake, and then failed to step up and own that mistake.

Now, he’s also got other traits. He’s a reporter, but I guess he’s either not a good one, or perhaps he liked to go a little heavy on the details that weren’t actually, you know, true. Or maybe he was just a big jerk when he was younger, and he burned all his bridges.

Additionally, the first time he encounters a female in the movie, the dude checks out her shirt area. Which isn’t his fault. There was writing there. Saucy writing, no less.

So I want to feel for the guy, but in order to do it, you have to pretend that he’s been trying to fix his life, which may or may not be the case.

As for Dan, well, he doesn’t get along with his dad or his step-dad to be, so he’s kind of hard to tolerate.

These are our heroes for the next 80 minutes or so.

Here’s hoping they learn how to love.

As for right now, Dan says he’s on the next bus out of here. He walks to a bus stop. Good luck with that, dude. Evil Corn-Cam watches him.

A girl drives up on a moped. A really cute girl. Age appropriate. Dan says he’s waiting for the next bus. She tells him that the bus isn’t coming until Tuesday.

Also, how’s the dude going to buy a ticket? There’s no bus station.

Later that night, John talks into his tape recorder. He tries to write stuff down. Then he hears someone talking outside.

He looks at the corn field through his window. Micah is out there, calling to his friends. Evil Corn-Cam approaches. Micah runs.

He gets shot with lightning.

Elsewhere in the field, a bunch of other kids sit around a campfire. One of them asks Mordechai what they should do. Mordechai says they should wait for He Who Walks Behind the Rows to tell them what the do next.

Mordechai says that a leader will come out of the corn. The kid he’s talking to keeps challenging him, says there’s nothing but corn out there, and that Isaac is dead, and that everything was supposed to be revealed once the adults were all gone, but it didn’t happen.

He goes on to say that everyone is going to leave, when suddenly Micah walks out of the corn.

Micah says a bunch of crazy stuff, and I would transcribe it all, but it doesn’t make even a little sense. Eventually, he tells all the kids to go home and wait for a sign.

Out in the cornfield, Dan walks along a dirt path. He sees all the kids walking out of the corn. He turns around and bumps into Micah. Micah says, “It’s fun to play at night.” Because that explains why all the members of a former cult are sitting in a corn field under the cover of darkness.

Micah asks what Dan is doing, and Dan says he was going to leave, but then he met this girl. Micah knows her. Turns out her name is Lacey.

Why in the world does Micah know Lacey? Lacey lives in a town something like 20 miles away from Micah, and rides a moped, which I’m sure was forbidden in Gatlin. There is quite literally no reason they should even be aware of one another.

But whatever. Dan and Micah both decide to go home.

The next morning, John goes to visit Mrs. Burke, whose house is already up on blocks, ready to be moved away. That woman doesn’t waste any time at all.

Burke is standing on her porch, yelling at a bunch of the Children of the Corn to get off her lawn. No, really. She is.

She tells John that the kids are evil. She says her husband walked into a corn field 15 years ago and never came back.

(15 years ago? So the corn has been evil all this time? And, what, Isaac just pointed it out, or… I really don’t understand that line one iota. If the corn has always been evil, I’m not sure where or how the kids fit into the scheme.)

Then she turns around – and finds a green cross has been smeared on her house in what appear to be vegetable matter. I can’t really tell.

Burke goes into her house. John looks over at the kids, who are standing many feet away, just staring at the house.

John goes up on the porch, and touches the green stuff on the house. He smells it, then wipes it off on his pants.

He goes back to his vehicle. Dan is waiting there, whining that there’s nothing to do in this town. John accuses Dan of not even looking into what’s around. He tells Dan to check it out, and let him know what’s happening. For whatever reason, Dan does NOT mention all the Children of the Corn getting together for a meeting the night before.

Dan tells John he’s going to walk, and he strides away.

The Corn Kids watch Burke. Burke comes out and starts scrubbing the green goo off her house.

Micah tells his companions, including Mordechai, that the green goo wasn’t put there by man. It was put there by He Who Walks Behind the Rows. Mordechai asks if this is the sign they were waiting for.

Micah closes his eyes, and says, “Yes.”

The scene ends, with only one question: How did Burke get her house up on blocks in one day?

Dan walks down a country road. He looks over at a waterfall, and spots Lacey standing under it rinsing her hair, wearing a bikini top and shorts. They have teenaged banter. She asks if he can swim.

This eases us into the next scene, wherein a preacher says, “Fornication. Fornication my friends, is a pestilence.”

He goes on babbling, but whatever.

Now we’re back with Burke, who is looking for her cat. She sees the cat under her house. She looks around for kids on her lawn, but doesn’t see them, so she goes under the house to get the cat.

The kids appear. There is chanting on the soundtrack. Freaky chanting.

One of the kids picks up the cat. They release the pressure on whatever it is that’s keeping her house in the air, and as the house crushes her, she says, “What a world. What a world.”

Her legs are sticking out under the house. In this one scene, the writers and the director combine both The Wicked Witch of the East and The Wicked Witch of the West, taking an important piece of art and pooping all over it with “Children of the Corn II.”

By the way, was that the final sacrifice, from the title? Because we’ve got a lot of movie to go, so I just have to assume there are more sacrifices coming.

Regardless, that’s it for Burke.

So now it’s back to “Children of the Corn: Teenage Romance.” Lacey and Dan talk about how boring it was here until they found each other. Dan kisses Lacey.

Then, more talking, about how Dan and John barely know each other. Then they change the subject to whether Lacey knows any of the kids from Gatlin. She says she went to school with them, but she “never fit in.”

It’s nice that she never fell prey to peer pressure and decided to murder her own parents.

I’m confused, though, because this movie keeps insisting that Lacey and all these other kids went to school together.

Once again, the two towns are like 19 miles apart. I can accept that maybe there’s a whole busing system, or something similar, but these kids have also been parent-free for 3 years.

So we have to accept that even with all the parents dead, the kids continued to go to school for the last three years? You know, I can accept an evil monster in the corn, but this is just stupid.

Then it gets even stranger: Lacey says that her parents are dead. They died in a car accident, and she moved in with her aunt and uncle. But she moved here “before any of that stuff happened.”

Um… You know what? I can’t even work out a timeline of how this is supposed to make any sense. I think the screenwriter just first-drafted this thing, figured he’d add logic in later, and then forgot about it.

Lacey gets all coy, and asks Dan to take her to New York with him. He says he can’t do that. She insists he can, and kisses him.

This is going to get interesting real quick-like.

But no, instead we head back to the church, where the preacher continues to do his hellfire and brimstone thing. A dude in one of the pews is feeling sick. Strangely, he has huge glasses on, which almost hides the fact that he’s the guy who found all the dead people in the barn at the start of the movie.

He tells his wife he’s feeling sick, and she gives him a tissue. Suddenly, he looks around and sees Micah.

That’s when he notices that his nose is bleeding. As this happens, the priest starts saying, “Movies are filled with violence, blood, and bodies…”

Writer’s joke? Meta-commentary? Just another way to make it to 90 minutes?

The bloody nose gets worse.

And we see Micah, who has carved a little wooden doll, keep on cutting into its nose. He moves to the ear.

Dude’s ear starts bleeding. Then his eyes.

He gets up, walking towards the preacher-man. Then he collapses and probably dies.

An old dude goes down on the floor, and looks at the dead dude. It’s the Doc, from earlier in the movie. He looks up, and sees Micah stand up. Micah drops the wooden voodoo doll, and walks out.

(Er… since when can Evil Corn Kids use magic to kill people?)

And now: The road! John drives on it. Evil Corn-Cam watches him for a minute.

John arrives at a building, takes out a camera, and walks into the building. He’s the Gatlin school. You know, the one Lacey went to?

There’s a bunch of corn in there. And torn-up furniture. And a lot of graffiti. Because that’s what you do after you kill your parents: Trash the school.

John finds a kid’s drawing of a dead person in a corn field. His head has been cut off. I wonder who left that just sitting out?

John takes a picture of the picture, but doesn’t use a flash. In a dark room. But he’s at least smart enough to pick up a few of the drawings afterwards to take with him.

Good thing there aren’t any police around investigating the 50-odd homicides.

John prepares to walk out, only he’s almost crushed by a part of a light fixture that is going to fall on him. He’s not, though.

When he turns to leave, he almost bumps into Frank Redbear, a Native American who I guess lives in these parts. He knows everything about John, including his weight. Because John left his wallet in his car.

John tries to grill Frank, but Frank doesn’t seem all that interested. John asks what’s going on, and Frank uses some fancy Native American words which he defines as, “Life out of balance.”

He explains that white people never seem to understand that people need to be in balance with nature.

John asks if this lack of balance caused what happened in Gatlin. Frank says no: The kids just went crazy and killed everybody. Yes, he really does.

They talk a little more, and Frank drives off. John asks how to contact him. It seems that Frank is a doctor working at the local university. Whoever wrote this thing is determined to make our Native American friend the most politically correct character ever.

John looks down at his pants, and realizes the goo from earlier ate through it. He’s lucky it didn’t also dissolve his skin.

He drives back to Burke’s house, and finds a bunch of cops and other folks trying to figure out how to get the woman out from under her house.

Suddenly, a woman who looks just like her, because she’s played by the same actress, comes up in a wheelchair and demands know to know what the kids did to her sister. The kids are, of course, standing around in a big group, looking sinister.

Creepy? Sure. But I would think the cops would send a bunch of kids away from the scene of a hideous accident. Especially if they know the kids KILLED A BUNCH OF PEOPLE.

But they don’t. The sister heads off, ranting and raving.

As it turns out, Dan is also there. John asks him why he’s all wet, and he gives the, “I met this girl,” speech. John says he doesn’t want Dan talking to any of the kids.

Me? I’m wondering why he let Lacey go somewhere in the first place. Why isn’t he with her RIGHT NOW? It’s pretty clear he has nothing else to do.

John leaves.

There’s a little musical cue, and Micah heads over to talk to Dan. He tells Dan that his dad pretty much considered everything a sin, including listening to the radio. And each sin required a beating.

Dan asks if Micah was sad when his dad was killed. Micah says there’s a passage in the bible that says to everything, there is a season.

John goes to visit the town doc in hopes of figuring out who, or what, is behind the two recent deaths. Doc doesn’t want to talk, and he states explicitly that he didn’t actually “say” the kids did it.

It’s clear the doctor is terrified. John leaves.

Doc calls the sheriff, and says that John is going to figure things out. He says, “We’ve sinned! We’re going to hell!” The mystery is totally deepening, y’all.

Meanwhile, Frank takes John to a rock with a bunch of drawings on it. I’d explain the whole thing in explicit detail, but the important stuff is this:

The place has power, which magnifies both good and evil, and…

There’s a legend that a tribe of farmers used to live there, but they got lazy, and their kids killed them, and…

Also, there’s a drawing of corn which will apparently is about how the corn will open to one who finds truth within himself.

John asks Frank if Frank really believes all that. Frank, it seems, does.

I’m guessing Evil Corn-Cam does too, since it’s watching them.

Now it’s nighttime, and doc is still working in his office. He turns off the light, and hears a noise. So he takes out a flashlight and starts asking who’s there.

Instead of, you know, turning the light back on.

He raises the shades, and all the kids are outside. So… Where are their foster parents, exactly? I thought the idea was, all the kids go to the next town, and the foster parents take care of them until other arrangements can be made.

I realize that all happened like a half hour ago in the movie, but I’m pretty sure I was paying attention.

Anyway, Doc reaches for something, but it’s too late – Mordechai hits him with a bat. And then a bunch of other kids pick up a bunch of hypodermic needles, and start stabbing the Doc with them. Then someone stabs him in the back with a knife, and he finally dies.

I feel a little ill. Is this where I confess to hating needles just a whole lot? Bleah.

The kids all toss lollypops next to him. Except for one. She sticks it in his mouth.

Lot a laughs on the set, I imagine.

So now we move over to John and Angela. John wants to know how Angela ended up here. So we get a minute of backstory, where she used to pull down 100 grand a year, but then her aunt died and she gave it all up to come here.

Later, they’re in bed, doing stuff. Good thing they stuck a dialogue buffer between this and all the needle-stabbing. Otherwise, it’d be icky.

Dan walks by the bedroom, and closes the door, noting to himself that dad is “sinning most vigorously.” It didn’t look all that vigorous to me.

Dan looks out the window, and sees a bunch of flashlights going into the corn.

In a clearing somewhere, one of the girls in the town (Hemingford, if you care) allows her hand to be cut, along with one of the boys from Gatlin. And Micah is all, “We are one! We are one!”

So… now Gatlin and Hemingford are joined? Just now? What about all the stuff before, with the kids killing people? Is it just, like, okay for Hemingford kids to kill now?


Micah sees Dan and tells him to come forward. Micah asks Dan to join. Dan says yes. This is probably because Dan realizes the other option is a lot of needles and a lollipop.

The next day, Lacey takes Dan to her favorite spot, which is on top of a roof where she can see… a lot of corn.

They get off the roof, and Lacey tells Dan, “If you can catch me, you can have me.”

Dan runs really slowly. That’s all I’m saying.

Finally, he catches her in a clearing. There’s some making out, things start to get heavy, and Lacey, who is lying on the ground, feels something under her back. It’s a hand.

They realize they’ve just found all the missing body parts that no one located in Gatlin. So I guess some of the blood was for the corn, after all. They take off.

Frank and John head out to some random barn somewhere. I do mean random. They don’t explain why they go there, or how they selected this particular barn.

More facts are revealed. There’s corn in the barn that shouldn’t be there. There’s a toxic mold on it – it’s that green stuff that John saw on Burke’s house. Apparently, it’s poisonous, but it poisons different people in different ways.

The mold has been blowing across the town, but some people, says Frank, maybe just got a cold instead of catching a case of death.

It seems the big town secret, the one doc and the sheriff were keeping, is that the town was going to sell a mix of old corn and new corn. Which would be bad.

Yes, that’s the big evil plan that John was about to stumble across. Which he did. Pretty much at random.

To recap, here’s what happened:

The world it out of balance because the town NEXT to Gatlin decided to take a bunch of bad corn and sell it.

No, wait. That can’t be it. I guess the world was out of balance, so the kids killed all the adults in one town. Then a couple of random people passing through broke up the party, but fortunately, the people in the NEXT town also didn’t know how to take care of corn, so the evil kids moved to the new town to make things right.

But no, because Frank says that this moldy corn can cause madness, especially in children.

So the whole thing is either caused by bad mojo, or moldy corn. Only it can’t moldy corn, because there was that deadly animation in the last movie. That had to be “real,” right?

At any rate, the sheriff shows up, and Frank tells him there’s a problem, and the sheriff points a shotgun at them and agrees.

Out in the town, West, Burke’s sister, is riding along in her wheelchair. Micah and the Evil League of Evil walk up behind her, driving a remote-controlled car. Micah then flips some switches on the remote, and it takes over the woman’s wheelchair.

He drives her in front of a truck. It hits her. She flies through the air, and through a plate-glass window.

Inside the building, people were playing bingo. And so the dude, who just won, yells out, “Bingo?” Because that will make the scene funny, you see.

Back at the bed and breakfast, Dan is on the phone with Lacey. She says something about her aunt and a town meeting. Then the phone cuts out. Dan plays with it, in hopes of getting it to work, and then he turns around. Micah is there.

It seems that “The soldiers of the lord are ready to march.”

Out in the corn again, the sheriff has tied Frank and John to a metal pole that’s stuck into the ground. He’s going to let a large farming machine chop them both into tiny bits.

You know that part of the movie, where the villain explains what his evil plan is? Here you go:

The sheriff and everyone else is going to sell the bad corn, and they already know who to pay off so they won’t get caught. Since the sheriff is going to lead the investigation into John and Frank’s deaths, the fact that it will never be solved won’t be a problem.

Also, he’s not shooting them because he’d have to explain that, whereas this is crazy, so he doesn’t have to concern himself with it.

And he’s headed into town for a meeting – it seems some people are, in fact, concerned about the children.

So the sheriff starts the Machine O’ Death, and then leaves, even though it should all be over in about 30 seconds or so. I mean, really, who has the time?

And Frank and John pull the pole out of the ground, since it’s only about three or four inches deep, and then they push themselves out of the way of the MOD.

I do like the fact that the sheriff is going to let the machine just keep on driving until it runs out of gas. It shows a kind of amusing non-thinking that you can’t help but love.

Angela goes back to her bed and breakfast, where the kids meet her. And abduct her.

John and Frank find John’s dead journalism buddy, and John demands that Frank give him a better answer than “poison corn.” Frank says his ancestors believed in a god of the earth, who takes revenge when the earth is wronged.

John doesn’t like the “god is angry” theory. Frank asks if John has a better one.

At the town meeting, the sheriff gets this party started, as he has information about how to adopt the kids of Gatlin. But wait! There’s a woman there named Mary who is concerned that the children are evil. Possibly because her husband was the one who died of a nosebleed.

Someone also mentions a dead sister, but I’m not sure what that’s about. Unless she had a sister in Gatlin that we don’t know about…

Probably not, though, as you would think someone would have found out about all the dead people there a lot sooner if people were related to them, and lived nearby.

The reverend, who is at the meeting, sees that the children are standing outside, and says they probably shouldn’t be around the meeting. The sheriff goes to open the door to tell the kids to take off, only, “The sweet children of Gatlin have chained the door.” He really says that.

The children also have gasoline, and fire-creating implements. So they burn the building to the ground, with the people of the town inside.

Once everyone is good and dead, all the kids gather, and Micah gets back to making speeches: “That is the funeral pyre of those that have poisoned our world.”

All the adults are dead. Except, you know, the people we’ve been following the whole movie. They’re probably around somewhere.

Micah asks Dan to join them, there’s a lot of chanting, and then Dan gets to meet the sacrifices. Angela and Lacey. Dan is instructed to cut out Lacey’s tongue, and then her heart.

For this, they give him… a machete. That’s going to make things a little tricky.

There’s more chanting, and suddenly, there’s a light in the corn. It’s He Who Walks Behind the Rows! No. Sorry. It’s just Frank and John in that big old corn-cutting thing that almost killed them.

They ride in, and the kids scatter. Dan uses the machete to cut Lacey’s ropes.

Micah demands that the kids, “Kill the outlanders!” He does not mention to John that they have his woman.

In order to make John look heroic, he jumps off the machine and knocks down three teenagers.

Dan frees Lacey, and they run into the corn.

John frees Angela, but he’s about to be attacked by the people he just knocked over.

He calls to Frank, who is still driving the machine. But someone shoots Frank in the belly (!) with an arrow (!) and Frank immediately slumps over, mostly dead. Frank is kind of lame, it seems.

One of the kids throws a spear at John, and John catches it and throws it back at the kid – and right through him. Then he frees Angela and they run off into the corn.

Micah yells out that if they don’t stop all the escapees, the kids will face the wrath of He Who Walks Behind the Rows.

Everyone but Micah and a couple of minions run into the corn.

Out in the corn, we get the moving Dirt Pile O’ Death. But no bad animation yet.

Everyone runs, until they all loop back to the exact same clearing they were all in a minute ago.

Micah is all, “What, you thought our evil god would let you escape?” And then he actually clicks his tongue, the way no human being ever would. And he admonishes Danny. And slaps him in the face.

Okay, I’ll admit, that was kind of great.

Micah tells all the good guys to get on their knees. He raises his machete in the air, and gets struck by blue lightning. He screams a bunch, but I don’t think those are unhappy screams.

Frank wakes up, sees that Micah is standing right in front of the Machine ‘O Death, turns it on, drives forward and passes out.

He goes forward just a little bit, and traps Micah’s ceremonial robes in the pincers of the MOD.

John grabs a kid, pulls him to the ground, and punches him.

The heroes all get up. John runs to the MOD and pulls Frank out, while Micah lies on the ground, screaming to Dan that Dan should help him, because Micah is his “friend” and that he was “there” for Dan.

Despite the fact that Micah was just shot up with blue lightning, and about to kill Dan with a machete, Dan looks conflicted.

But I guess it doesn’t matter. A moment later, Micah’s face turns into a demon face, which vanishes, leaving Micah’s face again, and then he gets sucked into the MOD, and we see blood spit out the back, so he’s gone.

And fire starts running down the rows.

And everyone runs away, as the MOD blows up.

John sets Frank down on the ground, and then Frank dies. John says, “No! Come on! Come on!” But does not try, say, CPR, or any other lifesaving technique. Like, pulling an arrow out of Frank and stopping the bleeding.

The next morning, Dan and John build a funeral pyre out of corn, put Frank in it, and light it up. Shouldn’t they call his family, first? Or the cops? Or anyone, really, before torching Frank? At the very least, the guy is evidence.

Dan asks Lacey if she really “meant what she said” earlier. The catch/keep thing? Or the “take me with you” thing? Lacey says she would have said “anything” to get her out of that mess.

Then she says something else, but I couldn’t tell you what it is. She totally mumbles it, and even after listening to it three or four times, I can’t make it out.

The foursome all walk away from the still-burning Frank to Angela’s car.

Angela asks, “What do we do about the children?”

John says, “Tell their story. Let the healing begin.” He looks at Dan, “It’s not too late for that, is it?”

Dan says no, it’s not too late. Because the discussion is deeply filled with meaning. He also thinks the editor at Newsweek might be willing to “reconsider,” since John went through all of this just to get a story.

Well, Dan, I suspect that the editor at Newsweek will think all of you are totally nuts. But whatever gets you through the night, man.

They drive away.

Back at the magical rock, Frank’s spirit, now fully dressed in Native American garb, completes the painting that shows that the corn will totally opened to one who found truth within himself, or whatever crazy stuff the screenwriter came up with earlier in the movie. I bet you totally forgot about that rock, didn’t you?

Frank walks away, his spirit fading to nothing as he does so.

Then the credits come up. Guess we’ll deal with what happened to all the kids in part III.

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