King’s Halloween: Children of the Corn (2009)

Tonight: Children of the Corn (2009)

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So I’ve never read the short story, never seen the original and for the longest time, I had Children of the Corn mixed up with Village of the Damned. Dunno, just assumed the children had creepy eyes and hair and assumed it’s what the Simpsons was referencing.

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Needless to say I was wrong. So I had to do a little research and it turns out this is closer to the original short story than the original movie.

When I learned this was a SyFy movie, I figured this would be a really toned down movie life the other made for tv movies.

Nope, this is the Uncut and Uncensored version. We get BRUTAL death scenes and a full on sex scene IN FRONT OF CHILDREN!

So the story opens with the children of Gatlin deciding to kill everyone over 19. An odd cutoff date, but whatever. They sign this agreement by killing a pig.

We then cut to 12 years later. Burt and his wife, Vicky, are driving to California to try their hand at a second honeymoon. Burt is TRYING to be cheerful, but Vicky apparently has no room for cheer and keeps yelling at him for everything.

Honestly, most of this movie is pretty good, but DAMN I am sick of Vicky. Every chance she gets she rails on Burt about being a soldier in Vietnam.

When a bloody child runs into the road, Burt is too busy arguing with Vicky and ends up running the kid over. And it is a GOOD hit, complete with multiple shots and good sound effects.

Apparently somebody didn’t tell the director this was going to air on SyFy.

Vicky will NOT stop yelling at Burt about how he ran the kid down and how he’s going to jail. Burt gives her the most satisfying slap to shut her up for a second. I don’t promote violence against women, but damn. Haven’t been so happy about a slap since Game of Thrones.

So Burt finds out the boy’s throat had been cut long before he ran him down, so they take the body into Gatlin to try and report the murder. They find no one, and apparently keep conveniently missing the dead bodies lying everywhere.

Burt investigates the one place that appears to have updated its sign in the past 12 years. While in there, the Children surround the car Vicky is in and wreck it with farm tools.

When she is finally killed, I am right there with the Children praising God/He Who Walks Behind the Rows.

Burt runs out just in time to see Malachi blow his car up. Supposedly with Vicky still in it.

Burt then gets to answer the question: how many 5 year olds could you take in a fight? Well, the answer is about 2. The rest of the children he beats up are mostly in their teens.

Burt manages to run around in the corn field most of the day and slips into Vietnam flashbacks and kills more kids in the process. As night falls, all the children abandon the corn. They go back to their tent and have dinner, and have a show of two of the older children having sex. With full nudity.

1. SyFy Channel movie, 2. IN FRONT OF CHILDREN!

I just hope they are the ones over 18 and under 19.

Burt on the otherhand finds Vicky’s dead body splayed out on a cross in the middle of the corn and then some unknown force kills him

The next day, Isaac tells the children that the age of favor has been lowered to 18 and ends up sending everyone who is now over 18 to their death in the corn. Kinda sucks, can’t grandfather the older ones in due to change in law? Oh well. Malachi ends up walking in and his wife Ruth briefly imagines burning down the corn, but that’s the end.

The movie is actually pretty good. All the child actors give pretty decent performances, but they DESPERATELY needed to rewrite or recast Vicky. She was just unbearable. I’ve enjoyed the actress in other things, but she is just garbage here.

So I recommend it, save for Vicky. I actually expected a lot worse considering people say it is terrible and is very difficult to find. But honestly it works.

Tomorrow: Well, the remakes are over, now I guess I can get into a movie that will likely never be remade. Simply because the original is too good. Although it might love the company. . .

King’s Halloween: ‘Salem’s Lot (2004)

Tonight: ‘Salem’s Lot (2004)
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This TV miniseries inspired my first attempt at entering the realm of Stephen King.  I saw trailers for an upcoming miniseries on TNT called “Salem’s Lot.”  I knew absolutely nothing about it, but it looked neat and had a cool name.  For some reason I never watched it.  Just one of those things that came and went without me actually seeing it.

I was still intrigued by the title, so when I saw a book at my local grocery store that was a three in one hardcover of Carrie, ‘Salem’s Lot, and The Shining.  Due to my need to do things in order, I decided to read Carrie first.  I thought it was okay, and then I moved on to the reason I ACTUALLY bought the book.

I got about 30-40 pages in and BOOM find several pages missing.  How crappy is that?!?  Then, the final nail in the coffin was that I found out the book was about VAMPIRES!  At this point, I was very much against vampires.  I was actually not aware that Stephen King did normal monsters at the time.  I later became equally surprised he did a werewolf story.  But that is for another time.

So I put ‘Salem’s Lot out of my mind for almost a decade and a half.  Then the Tower. . .

I ended up reading ‘Salem’s Lot last year in my effort to read the Dark Tower series.  I absolutely loved it.  Never judge a book by its cover, but I think a title might be well worth investigating.  Probably why I am in no hurry to read Tommyknockers.

So on to the actual mini-series.  The casting director’s budget had to be EXTERMELY lopsided.  You have PHENOMENAL actors Like Donald Sutherland, Rutger Hauer, and James Cromwell, and even some lower level, but still very enjoyable actors like Rob Lowe and Captain Holt.  Then you have a bunch of actors there just to stand on the right spot and say the line.

Honestly, I like this series. . .until they made one crucial change, and I hated them for it.  James Cromwell is an AMAZING choice for Father Callahan.  For anyone who has read the Dark Tower series, you know that Father Callahan is a badass, yes in the book he has a fall from grace due to his alcoholism and loss of faith, but his road to redemption is full on vampire hunter.

Instead, they turn Father Callahan into an outright villain.  Loss of faith is one thing, but he murders people.  He works for Barlow.  He leads the vampire horde after Barlow is killed.  Then to top it off he gives a crappy “DAMN YOU TO HELL!” speech at the end.  Before getting snuffed out with a pillow.  Screw you movie.  I will concede that Wolves of the Calla was released only about half a year before the mini series came out, but I really really don’t care for it.

The only change that I actually really enjoyed was the death of the Doctor.  In the book, he goes down a set of weakened stairs and falls onto a bed of spikes.  In this he falls onto a running buzzsaw.  Which is just brutal and at the same time awesome!

The Vampires were okay in this movie.  Really, all they did was give them pale makeup and ghostly white eyes.  It works for the most part, but I have seen some clips of the original ‘Salem’s Lot and the effects there look more otherworldly.

I would say it isn’t bad, definitely worth a watch.

Tomorrow: Lets go from one mini series that came out when I was a kid to another, with The Shining.

King’s Halloween: Carrie (2013)

Tonight: Carrie (2013)
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With the continuation of Remake Week, I once again am looking to defend Barney Stinson’s famous line. . .
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I have the feeling I might be the only person in the world who is going to try to give this movie a fair shot.  The first Carrie movie is SO well known and loved that EVERYONE compares it to the original.  I haven’t seen the original, so no comparisons to make.

Carrie was the first Stephen King novel I ever read.  I bought a three book collection when I was in High School that contained Carrie, ‘Salem’s Lot, and The Shining.  I originally really wanted to read ‘Salem’s Lot, but I figured I could read the other two as well.  Carrie ended up being the only one I ended up reading, for reasons I’ll get into with ‘Salem’s Lot.

I thought the book was good, but it certainly didn’t inspire me to get into the rest of Stephen King’s works.  That was done by the Tower.

One thing I CONSTANTLY hear in relation to this movie is that the actress who plays Carrie is “too attractive to be believable as Carrie.”  I’m sorry, that’s bulls***.  You are never too attractive to be an outcast and shamed in High School.  Especially if you have been stunted by a parent who is freaking insane.

Also I would like to point out in the novel, Carrie was overweight.  They weren’t brave enough to cast an overweight girl in 1976, why are we crapping on them for making the same decision in 2013?

So, after watching this, without seeing the original, I think it’s fine.  I would actually say I enjoyed it.  I like most of the actors in it and among the Teenagers, I am happy with the revenge scene.  They got what was coming.

This movie has a LOT of disturbing imagery.  Carrie’s birth, Carrie’s Mother constant self harm, and Carrie’s “Aunt Erma” visit.  When we get to the prom scene, it just gets cathartic when she freaking UNLEASHES.  I liked it.

The actress who plays Carrie is naturally attractive, but she does a great job looking homely and like a girl who would be picked on in high school.  I would say that Carrie works very well with the other teen actors and school officials, but I would say Carrie and her mother don’t quite pull it off.  Which is problematic.

Carrie and her mother is one of the central story points of Carrie.  If you can’t believe the stress and antagonism between Carrie and her Mother, it weakens it.  That would be, in my opinion, the only weakness of this movie.  Everything else works.  Maybe when I see the original I will come back to this movie and call it garbage like everyone else, but for me right now, this is a good movie.

Tomorrow Night: The miniseries that actually inspired me to read Carrie was Rob Lowe’s ‘Salem’s Lot.

King’s Halloween: Pet Sematary (2019)

Tonight: Pet Sematary (2019)
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So I figured I would start this whole shebang with the REMAKES of Stephen King movies, because like Barney Stinson always says. . .
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Worked for IT, so it MUST work for the others too, right?  RIGHT?!?

When I decided to do this, Pet Sematary and it’s remake were both ones I labeled AVOID AT ALL COSTS!  I didn’t want to deal with dead cats or babies.  Too much high octane nightmare fuel for me.

However, I decided that I should pull up my big boy diapers and watch them both.  I also ended up reading the book.

My thoughts on the book: Louis Creed DOUBLES F***ING DOWN!  When he brought the cat back, he had no idea what he was doing.  When he brought his kid back, he had the warning of the cat, the warning of the OTHER guy brought back, and the spirits telling him not to do it.  Then after he re-kills his murderous son, he then DOUBLES DOWN AGAIN and brings back his wife.  Dumbass.

So I started watching the remake, and within a half hour, I was already mad.  Instead of the cat dying while Ellie was away for Thanksgiving, it was killed during Halloween.  And Judd, for no reason at all decides to bring it back to life.  In the book he did it because Louis helped Judd’s wife when she was having a heart attack.  On top of all that, Louis tells Rachel that the cat is dead, so instead of “the soil in a man’s heart is hard” everyone knows that cat SHOULD be dead.

Then it turns out ALL the animals that come back, come back mean.  So, what the hell!  This becomes less fluke and more just feeding a bad machine.

Also, Louis is an asshole.  He drugs an old man and leaves him on the front lawn.  At least have the decency to drag him into the house.

This movie wasted John Lithgow.  He could have been an EXCELLENT Judd, but he gets very little screen time, and is given just a bad version of Judd.  Judd in the book tried to do the right thing and do things for the right reasons.  But in this he helps bring a cat back with noted evidence that it is a bad hand.

The big twist from the book and previous movie is that Gage gets saved, but Ellie gets hit by the truck.  Well, the Truck veers and the trailer ends up grinding to a halt with JUST enough force to kill a 9 year old girl on her birthday.  They even do it in slow motion which makes you think, “How does this have enough force to kill?”  But whatever, I don’t know the amount of force needed to kill a 9 year old girl, so I leave it to the experts.

She is brought back and actually waits a night before going on her killing spree.  That’s the difference between boys and girls, boys get straight to the killing, girls will give a nights sleep before going on the murder spree.

For some reason they decided to give Rachel a tortured psyche in this movie.  In the book she is haunted by the death of her sister, but this is Shining level torture.  She keeps seeing her dead sister pop up everywhere.  Results in probably the highest jump in my heartrate when she opens the medicine cabinet, to find a dumbwaiter chute and looking around sees her sister falling to her death, jump scare style.  Earned a swear from me.

So the climax of the movie has Dead Ellie kill her mother, drag her to the cursed graveyard and then decides to have the final showdown with Louis Creed.  She gets a few good shots in, but Louis gets the upper hand and just before he is about to go Shovel Knight on Dead Ellie, Dead Rachel pulls the back stab for critical damage.  Then they bury him and the Dead Family go get Gage who has died from being left in a hot car.  The end.

Now, there IS an alternate ending.  Instead of Dead Ellie burying Rachel, Louis catches up before she buries Rachel and the same fight goes down.  But when Louis is about to decapitate Ellie, he changes his mind and goes against his wife’s last wish and buries her exactly where she didn’t want to be buried.  Then Louis and Ellie go back home, get Gage and then wait for Dead Rachel to come home.  She does and there is just a very unnerving scene of them standing together and the camera slowly pulls away.

I would say the alternate ending is MUCH better than what they went with in the theatrical release.  Don’t think it fixes the movie, but definitely is better.

I would say if you want to like this movie, Don’t read the book.  It will make you mad.

Tomorrow: Let’s keep the stream of creepy scary women going with Carrie (2013).

King’s Halloween

I am not a fan of horror.  I generally go for comedies, action movies, and when possible, action comedies.  I generally avoid horror movies because I don’t see the joy in getting scared and being bombarded by jump scares.  Also they tend to have bleak endings that don’t necessarily end with good triumphing over evil.  Usually the last survivor starts to ride into the sunset, only for the sunset to eat them.

As a result, I generally avoided the “Master of Horror” Stephen King.  He already had scared the crap out me and most other children of the 90’s with Tim Curry’s IT, so I wasn’t willing to subject myself to much more.

By the time I turned 30, I had only read a few Stephen King Books, and seen a few Stephen King movies.  I had read Carrie, the Green Mile, and The Regulators, and seen Stand By Me and Green Mile.  At the time, I didn’t even realize either of the movies were Stephen King.

For the most part, I considered Stephen King the “default” answer that people gave when asked who is their favorite author.  Kind of like the Beatles are with music.  Just the mainstream common denominator.

However, 2 years ago we started getting trailers and information for the movie, “The Dark Tower.”  I had previously heard of the Dark Tower series before, but knowing it was “Stephen King” I knew it would be scary and depressing and I wouldn’t like it.  In fact, I was fairly convinced that the “Gunslinger” mentioned in the title of the first book would die in the first book and we would be following around the kid he encounters in the first book.

But the more I looked into The Dark Tower, the more I became enthralled with everything.  I love interconnected universes.  The idea that EVERYTHING in Stephen King’s novels is connected really intrigued me.  In that first year I read more Stephen King Novels and watched more Stephen King movies than I had in the 30 years prior.

Last year I was in a bind to figure out what to do for a October marathon.  On October 1st, I was brainstorming and I came up with 2 ideas.  1. Watch as many Bad Horror/Halloween movies as I could find, 2. Watch as many Stephen King movies as I can.  Due to the release of The Legend of HallowHawaiian, I went with the bad movies.  And for that I was damned.

But I figured this would give me time to read a bunch of the books so I could compare them to the movies and write better reviews.

I have not managed to read all that many books, and in fact the books I HAVE read, I’ve already seen the movies, so no help there.

So like the years before, I have some rules.  These are all going to be movies I have NOT seen before.  So unfortunately none of these movies make the list:
The Dark Tower
The Dead Zone
The Green Mile
ANY of the IT movies
The Running Man
The Shining (1980)
Stand By Me
The Stand

What pisses me off most is that IT: Chapter 2 came out last month and Doctor Sleep comes out next month.  They would have been AWESOME to put on the list.

So tomorrow night we begin KING’S HALLOWEEN with Pet Semetary(2019)