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‘Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice’

By Richard Harrington
Washington Post Staff Writer
January 30, 1993


David F. Price
Terence Knox;
Paul Scherrer;
Rosalind Allen;
Ned Romero
Under 17 restricted

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In the future, one of the main arguments between horror aficionados is likely to be whether "Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice" is more stupid than its predecessor. At best, it's a tie, but then what do you expect from a film whose monster mantra is "He Who Walks Behind the Rows."

Failed tabloid journalist John Garrett (failed action actor Terence Knox) and his estranged son Danny (Paul Scherrer) pull into a small Nebraska town where all the adults have just been killed by all the teenagers. Talk about a bad sign for future familial encounters! Seems the kids had been possessed by some corn spirit intent on sowing rather than being reaped -- when reporters ask what happened, all they say is things like "I saw the corn" and "I saw the light that came from the corn." Despite this, they're all put into temporary foster homes in a nearby town and no one seems to think the worse of them. Unfortunately, there are a lot of adults in this town too, so the kids start waiting in the cornfields for He Who Walks Behind the Rows to "show us the way."

Soon enough, select adults start dying, including one crazy old woman named Ruby who gets crushed under her own house (perhaps an hommage to "The Wizard of Oz"). Meanwhile, the reporter is trying to solve the mystery with the help of Native American anthropologist Dr. Red Bear (Ned Romero). Together, they come up with an implausible toxin-rooted premise that seems totally at odds with the spooky undercurrent that coursed through Stephen King's original story. In King fashion, though, the rigid fundamentalism and innate corruption of the adult population seems reason enough to conjure these children of the damned, led by Micah (Ryan Bollman), a typically prepossessed teenager whose voice is changing not because of puberty but because of He Who Walks Behind the Rows.

It's all incredibly stupid, right down to the predictable romantic entanglements of father and son with the only two women not committed to He Who ... well, you know. Lacking even the cheapest of thrills, this "Corn" is down to its last cob.

"Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice" contains some profanity and violence.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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