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Children of the Corn (1984)
'Alien' with Children
This is a movie with very little violence, most of which happens in one scene at the start, so don't worry if you're put off by gore. Very little is seen, much is implied, allowing the audience to imagine the horror themselves, which is much scarier! It starts slowly, building tension, in the same way as in 'Jaws', with it's music and underwater shots of swimmers and long distance shots of that fin. 'Children of the Corn' allows the suspense to build slowly, so that the audience are left cringing and shouting out warnings to the characters.
This is a movie that gets it's power from the psychological terror, and the stark contrast in it's plot: Children who kill.
It's well acted, with the main cast turning in great performances. You truly can believe that these are killer children, that these really are two strangers caught up in this hellish situation. It's also Linda Hamilton's first starring role, and she shows why she deserved to be in The Terminator! An eerie soundtrack, slow and gentle, sung in the delicate voices of a children's choir, adds to the tension, and underlines the eery macabre of scythe wielding 10 year olds.
For horror fans, this is a must see movie. One of the first 'psychological' horror movies, well made, and the first to give us the innocence-evil theme, this movie is the foundation of the modern horror and slasher genres.
For non horror fans, this is still an enjoyable and scary movie. With little gore and few of the cliché's that riddle the genre, this is an intelligent and intense thriller of a movie. The best way i can describe this movie?....It's like the original 'Alien' movie, except with children. In the middle of Nebraska, as in space, no one can hear you scream.
Mysterious Skin (2004)
Genuine, touching, beautiful
IF you haven't seen this movie, see it now!
I'll try not to spoil too much of the plot.
Two boys share a 'collective demon' that has had a dramatic effect on their lives. One has sunk to the depths of prostitution, and sinks still deeper into harsh reality as the movie progresses. The other boy has retreated into a 'safe' world of fantasy, UFO's, and aliens. This movie challenges the rose-tinted picture we have of certain problems in society, and highlights, better than any other movie, the true impact on the individual. The differences between the boys are the best way in which this movie shows how sometimes we look at things in a detached, cold, almost mechanistic way, even the pain and suffering they cause. Instead, this movie appeals to us to see how things affect individuals, how wrongs aren't just statistics in the newspaper, but have a real, and enormous, bearing on individual lives.
This movie isn't soft, or 'smushy'-it's real. It shows pain, suffering, and survival, without utterly depressing the viewer, mainly thanks to it's gritty, 'man in the street' humour. At the end, you are left feeling sympathy, not pity, and you are hopeful, not with abstract thoughts, but a grounded emotional and moral response to things we often deal with only through a middle man.
This is one of the most touching and powerful movies i've seen, and i advise everyone, especially young adults, to see this movie.
Silly but enjoyable horror sequel-IF you're a fan...
It's a rule, especially with horror movies, that the sequels are never as good as the original-particularly when the original was such a cult hit. So it's no surprise that 'Children of the Corn III:Urban Harvest' is no where near the quality of the original movie, in terms of production or plot.
However, it is better than 'Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice'.
The plot is simple: two young boys from Gatlin, Nebraska, wind up adopted by a naive, well meaning couple in Chicago. Once there, the youngest, Eli, begins to resurrect the bloody, sacrificial cult of 'He Who Walks Behind the Rows...' The acting in this movie is almost as good as that in the original. Young Daniel Cerny in particular pulls of a masterstroke in portraying both the evil and the innocence of the manipulative Eli.
The slow building of tension and suspense mirrors the nerve wracking atmosphere of the original movie, while the ignorance and naivety of the parents, creates a cruel feeling of vulnerability within the viewer.
This movie does, however, have two main faults. Firstly, the plot, whilst simple and effective, is somewhat stretched-the bloody cult of a corn god in Chicago? Secondly, the ending is somewhat silly and fantastical, leaving the viewer either laughing or lamenting.
My advice to fans of the genre and the original, is to watch this movie. It's not that bad, and for the most part is outright enjoyable. But be under no illusion-those who loathe the cliché's that sometimes creep into horror movies, should probably avoid this movie, and see the original instead.
I gave this movie a 7 out of 10. It's mostly fine, good for a sequel, and for fans of horror it's a fine movie. The young lead is brilliantly acted, the plot simple. But for most of you, this will be a waste of your time and money.
The Other Sister (1999)
An Excellent, must see movie of love and overcoming adversity.
Juliet Lewis shines as 'Carla', a 'backwards' girl returning from special school, who is determined to make her own way in the world. She meets the similarly unique Danny (Ribisi).
The two soon fall in love, and face a life of difficulty and adversity, both from the 'outside' world because of the way they are, and between one another.
Lewis is magnificent and convincing, portraying both a young woman in love facing life, and a woman with learning difficulties. Ribisi is just as magnificent as the sensitive Danny.
Their innocence and forthright honesty on the one hand, will both shock you and disarm you, while the normality of these 'abnormal' people will truly make you rethink your attitude towards those who are not 'like us'.
I use inverted commas because, with this movie, nothing is certain, and old prejudice is challenged and overcome, as these two beautiful people overcome their adversities.
This movie will make you laugh, cry, and cheer. It is a romantic comedy par excellence. Even those who dislike most 'Rom-coms' will love this movie.
Buy it or rent it, but either way see this movie, it will change you deeply.
10 out of 10