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Children Of The Corn: Runaway (Blu-ray Review)

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the 10th film in the Children of the Corn franchise, Children of the Corn: Runaway. This one is the 9th in the ‘canon’ storyline as the television remake doesn’t count. This series with Stephen King roots hasn’t had a theatrically released entry since 1995’s barely in theaters Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (The feature film debut of Charlize Theron). They have appeared to have thrived on straight to video features. Heck, I even kept up with them for awhile, and funnily enough, I confess, I own every one of them on Blu-ray (Eeek!). I think this film was originally scheduled to come out earlier (Maybe 2017), but its finally hitting here now. You’ll be able to check out the latest monthly Lionsgate straight to video entry of a long running horror franchise on March 13th!

Film 

Ruth, young and pregnant, escapes a murderous child cult in a small Midwestern town. She spends the next decade living anonymously in an attempt to spare her son the horrors that she experienced as a child. Ruth and her son end up in a small Oklahoma town, but something is following her. Now, she must confront this evil or lose her child.

Its been seven years since we last were in the presence of “He who walks behind the rows”, with the pretty cheap and terrible Children of the Corn: Genesis. We’re not away from the cheap or the director of that one as he returns to write while Feast’s John Gulager takes the director’s chair. This one is a bit of a slow burn haunt, but its handled quite well feels like it has a reason and purpose for being told the way it is instead of just being something swimming in its place until its allowed to show a special effect at the end.

What we have here is one of the children from Gatlin who’s escaped. Ruth has been living life on the run with her child she was pregnant with when she burned Gatlin down. And when left with nothing else but to live in the town she’s in, she begins fearing another uprise from the children. This leads to some good spooks and a decent overall mystery as to why she left and what may or may have happened before. There is also quite a bad ass gore sequence tucked into this film where she has a vision of the kids in town massacring every one in a diner in slo-mo and bullet time with gushing blood everywhere. It was pretty awesome.

As far as cast, I enjoyed Marci Miller back when I did that straight to video Deathrace movie, but she’s back here again as a lead. And she really reminds me of Amy Steel back in the early 1980s. She also builds a character that I want to believe and trust but still leaves the door open that she may not be as good as we’ve been lead on. Also fun, Clu Gulager has a nice cameo in the diner scenes.

While I did enjoy this movie overall, I had super low expectations and don’t want to rose up the picture too much. Its like all the other straight to video ones akin to a Hellraiser (In fact, there are more than a couple cross over people with this and Judgement). Whereas we have a minimal amount of locations, and there are scenes that are there just to pad out the runtime. Just in the case of Runaway, said scenes and locales were much more interesting and less boring.

Children of the Corn: Runaway is one of the best Children of the Corn movies in quite some time. No, its not high art or amazing. But as a tenth entry to a b-level horror franchise with no real amazement in entries to begin with,  its actually decently entertaining and has a unique take on the “He who walks behind the rows” mythology that actually works for the short 82 minute runtime. If you’re a longtime fan or just keep up with the series, this one should come as a nice surprise.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Layers: BD-25

Clarity/Detail: Children of the Corn: Runaway debuts on Blu-ray with an image that is pretty much up to snuff with the recent Hellraiser and Day of the Dead entries. Its a little washed out to sort of look slick. Details are solid and the image is crisp enough. Its well above average and feels full and fitting for the film itself.

Depth:  There is some solid depth of field on display in the film, with good spacing and free movement from the characters. Movements are smooth with no real distortion issues. However, there was a drone shot in the film that presented itself kind of choppy.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and saturated well enough. There isn’t a whole lot of crushing and many of the surface, hair and fabric details still shine through.

Color Reproduction: The image overall is a bit washed out, but there are still some nice colors to stand out. The yellow dress on the little girl pops as well as blood (Especially during the diner massacre vision).

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are a little bit washed out and keep the same look from start to finish. Facial features like freckles, wrinkles, scars and more are clear in close ups and many medium shots.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: I was not expecting this tenth Children of the Corn film to have a rocking audio track, but color me pleasantly surprised. This 5.1 mix is very loud and active. It has no problem shaking up the room and is pretty in your face. It features a nice balanced blend of the score, vocals and effects.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Jump scare stings, pounding another human with a wrench, doors slamming, weapons slicing people and more make a nice rumble and punch from your subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: While this is a more front based track, it does have no issue looking around the room for effect. Sounds are well traveled and accurately place in coordination with the action that is taking place onscreen.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are crisp and audible no matter the intensity.

Extras 

Children of the Corn: Runaway comes with a digital copy of the film.

Deleted Scene (HD, 1:52) – “Found a Rabbit”

Summary 

Is Runaway the Corn to end all Corns? Or the Childrenest of the Children? I dunno, but I surprisingly found it to be some decent low level entertainment. Video is pretty standard for the Lionsgate straight to video horror fare and the audio is actually a pretty kickin’ track. There’s nothing in terms of extras to offer. The movie is worth it for a rental to those curious. If you’re to add it to your collection, wait for the price to inevitably drop down below the ten dollar mark.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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