Director: James D.R. Hickox
Starring: Daniel Cerny, Ron Melendez, Jim Metzler, Nancy Lee Grahn, Jon Clair
An adult nightmare is about to show its face in the heart of the city!
Two young kids from Gatlin are sent to their new foster parents William and Amanda Porter in Chicago where they will be able to build a new life away from the horrible tragedies that happened in their hometown where all the children murdered their parents.
Joshua is the oldest of the two kids and he seems to embrace the city life quickly and starts to make himself some new friends. Eli however, is wary of the other children and wants to keep things the same as it was in Gatlin. He brings “He Who Walks Behind The Rows” to the city and starts to build a new group of children who can believe in his God and eliminate all the adults.
So after two films in small towns out in the country, the filmmakers decided it was time to switch it up and try to see if the concept can work in an urban setting. Instead of slowly building a coherent story, the film is injected with nightmares and flashes to keep it “horror” instead of having enough faith to deliver one big payoff instead.
It makes little sense when Eli has gathered a group of city kids during the end, since we hardly see him do any convincing and it’s just not believable that these kids would go with him that easily. I would rather have this be the focus of the story and it could have worked if it was done right. Instead of letting Eli be another kid, they tried to elevate him into a meaner and powerful priest child like Isaac from the first one. The problem with that is if Eli was this powerful, why wouldn’t he play a bigger part in the original story? He is creepy though and I guess that was their only goal with the character.
While the film does manage to keep some interest from me in the first 40 minutes, it seems to all fall apart in the second half. As became a tradition with these films, there had to be some crappy special effects during the ending. This one is the “best” out of the first three in that regards with a silly monster that even picks up a Barbie doll at one point. A Barbie doll that is supposed to be a human being. Yeah, just wow. The funny thing is that the monster itself isn’t needed in any of these Children of the Corn movies, yet they have to keep digging it back up every time they make a new film.
A fun fact about this film is that this is the first time Charlize Theron appeared on the big screen. She is only in it for a second, but it would be fun to know what she thinks of her involvement in it all these years later. The main cast is decent, although there isn’t any standout performances to be found here. The director of the film is James D.R. Hickox, who had worked himself up the latter from being everything from an editor to an assistant on other genre films such as Waxwork and Hellrasier 3. It would be interesting to hear a commentary track by the guy to hear what went wrong with this production, since it feels like it ran out of money or something before it was finished.
Children of the Corn 3: Urban Harvest is an attempt at doing something different with the series, but unfortunately it doesn’t succeed. It is far from one of the worst CotC movies, but it’s also a movie that is easy forgotten. For fans of the series only.