Sunday, March 2, 2014

Children Of The Corn 666: Isaac’s Return (1999)

Let’s be clear about something right from the start. Children Of The Corn 666: Isaac’s Return is not actually the six hundred sixty-sixth movie in this series. It is in fact the sixth. The title is a bit misleading. See, what they did is add those other two sixes to make people think of Satan. And why not? There was already one six there. They were already a third of the way to the number of the beast. Pretty clever, eh? The folks that come up with this stuff are obviously in a mental realm far above the average person. Of course, the movie doesn’t really have anything to do with Satan. But, whatever.

This movie has to do with Isaac. You might remember Isaac. He was the leader of the murderous children in the first Children Of The Corn film. He died at the end of that movie. That doesn’t keep him from showing up in this one.

Hannah has written a letter to her mother and reads it to us in voice over at the beginning of the film. Don’t worry – it’s nothing very private. Just acknowledgement of how her mother had worked to protect her, and that she’s now going back to Gatlin, where she was born, a town that’s haunting her visions. She picks up a guy named Zachariah who’s having car troubles, then looks at an old flyer about a “boy preacher admitted to Gatlin county hospital.” For a moment, I think it’s referring to the preacher boy from Children Of The Corn: The Gathering, but it’s actually referring to Isaac. Zachariah then vanishes from her car after she makes a small pro-choice statement. And then her keys vanish too. But when Hannah looks up, she sees a female cop is holding them. When did she show up? And how? The cop looks at her driver's license, and says, “It’s her.” She drives Hannah to the Gatlin hospital, where patients are running around and Stacy Keach is the doctor.

Stacy Keach tells her he was born in Gatlin and lived his whole life there. He also remarks that Hannah’s birthday is tomorrow, and that tomorrow is Halloween. Wow, this movie is pouring it on a bit thick, eh? A patient attacks her, saying only she can stop Isaac. The patient drags her to Isaac’s room, apparently so she can stop him. But all Isaac is doing is lying there, so it’s unclear just what she’s supposed to stop him from doing. Well, Isaac has been in a coma for nineteen years, and now wakes up. The cop tells him, “Isaac, you have a son.” So apparently he hasn’t been one of those inactive coma patients you’re always hearing about. The cop tells Isaac she prepared his son, so maybe the son will be dinner that night.

Hannah meets Gabriel, who works at the hospital and who brought her car to her. And so she drives off. After she’s gone, there’s talk of some prophecy. Then a pickup truck tries to drive her off the road. Typical behavior from pickup truck drivers. Anyway, she stops at a motel to call the police, but the two people there say there’s no phone, and they give her a room instead.

Hannah tells Gabriel she’s come to find her mother. Wait, she doesn’t know where her mother is? Then where did she mail that letter she read to us at the beginning? Well, it turns out, the letter was to her foster mother, and she’s in Gatlin looking for her biological mother. She says, “They told me my mother was dead, but I’m not so sure.” So she looks for her birth record, with the help of Gabriel. Hannah was born on Halloween in 1978. (Wow, the filmmakers really want to make us think of John Carpenter’s classic horror film.) Well, she doesn’t find her record.

That night someone is in her motel room. Whoever it is leaves and gets into the pickup truck. Hannah calmly says, “So now I get to chase you,” and gets in her car to follow. Really? It’s interesting that she sees it as some sort of game of tag. If I woke up to see someone sneaking out of my motel room and getting into a truck that had earlier tried to run me off the road, I’m not sure I’d be so calm.

Well, it turns out the person driving the truck is Rachel Colby, and she goes to visit the grave of Baby Colby, who was born and died on Halloween, 1978. The cop shows up and argues with Rachel, while Hannah watches from behind a tree. By the way, Baby is an awful name to give your baby.

Rachel tells Isaac that his prophecy died with her child, that Hannah isn’t her child. Rachel was once a member of Isaac’s little band of children, but left because her husband Amos had been sacrificed for He Who Walks Behind The Rows and for some reason that upset her. Well, this might be the right time to talk about the problems with the timeline. The original film came out in 1984. The first scenes of that film, according to a title on screen, took place three years earlier, so 1981. That’s when Isaac led the children to kill all the adults in Gatlin. The rest of the events of that first film took place in 1984, for a title card indicates “Present Day.” But it seems that Isaac’s Return is saying that the events from 1981 actually occurred in 1978, or maybe it’s saying that the events from 1984 took place in 1978. Either way, Isaac has been in a coma for nineteen years (he says he’s waited nineteen years). Isaac’s Return came out in 1999, so that would indicate he entered the coma in 1980, four years before the bulk of the first film. Unless the film is supposed to take place in 1997, putting the events of 1984 in 1978, and the events of 1981 in 1975. One more thing about 1978: that was the year that Stephen King's Night Shift, the book of short stories that contained Children Of The Corn, was published. So maybe that's why this movie seems to want to re-arrange events to favor that year. However, the short story Children Of The Corn was originally published in a magazine in early 1977.

Well, Hannah assumes Rachel is her mother. And apparently she’s right, because Rachel soon tells Stacy Keach, “I never should have given her up.”

So according to the prophecy, Isaac’s son has to have sex with Hannah to father a child with her, to lead the cult into the future. He apparently isn’t that interested in sex with Hannah, and runs Hannah off the road, then gives her a shovel, so she can dig up Baby Colby’s grave. And so she does. It is empty. So it turns out no one puts Baby in the coffin. Rachel shows up, and wow, this scene is just awful. Rachel keeps walking away from Hannah, then coming back to give her a little more information. What does she want? How does she feel? Who knows?

Isaac, his son and some others begin celebrating in the corn. And then there’s a shot of the full moon. Yawn. Hannah is walking through the corn for some reason, and is suddenly surrounded by children who chant, “Destiny.” Hannah says: “What do you want? God, you guys are freaks. What is it with this place?” And then she’s with Isaac and the others. Isaac begins the ceremony, but Hannah runs off. Of course, there is the question, Why is she still there anyway? She just wanted to learn who her mother was, which she did. So why was she out wandering in the corn?

Well, whatever. Gabriel rescues her, and the two hose each other off in a barn and then have sex. I do like the idea of showering before sex sometimes, but why bother if you’re going to end up fucking in a barn anyway? Well, in the meantime, Isaac kills his son’s girlfriend. A series of clocks tells us it’s midnight. So Hannah’s nineteenth birthday is over and the prophecy failed to come true.

And then there’s some fighting, and more talk of the prophecy, and… I don’t know. I just got so bored with the whole fucking thing. Gabriel says he’s is the one who walks behind the rows. What? And then he kills Isaac. Or maybe he just puts him in another nineteen-year-long coma. Who knows? Hannah’s mom then kills Gabriel, except he doesn’t die. Instead he says, “Boom,” and an explosion occurs behind Hannah and her mom as they run out.

Well, supposedly Hannah is pregnant with the child of He Who Walks Behind The Rows. So I’m guessing it’s time for her to make an appointment to get an abortion. Problem solved. The end.

No comments:

Post a Comment