Children of the Corn: Runaway (John Gulager, 2018, USA)

Children of the Corn: Runaway is the last film in the Corn franchise to be released. While there is a remake that was made in 2020, it has yet to receive a wide digital release. The film was directed by John Gulager, son of veteran character actor Clu Gulager, who had some success in the early 2000s with the horror franchise Feast. Notably, Clu Gulager is the only actor in Runaway of any note. Returning to the writer's chair is Joel Soisson, who seems to have been the in-house writer for all Dimension horror franchises, including Children of the Corn: Genesis

To start, Runaway may be the most well-crafted - from a technical standpoint - of any Corn film. True, the bar is low, but on a budget of nothing, Gulager makes a film that appears more indebted to indie dramas about life on the fringes in America than killer kids. Yes, this is The Florida Project meets Children of the Corn. Throughout much of the film, it plays more like a drama than a horror film. The film also gets points for integrating original plot points from King's original story, including our main character Ruth (Marci Miller) - who is one of the few recurring characters throughout the Corn franchise. 

The performances, especially that of Marci Miller, are above average as far as the franchise goes. And the film does have a twist ending that genuinely surprised us. The main problem is the film's pacing - even at a very short 80 minutes, the film drags throughout its middle. This dullness makes the film less than great, but Runaway is probably the best entry in the franchise post-2000. The film owes more to Martha Marcy May Marlene than your average slasher film, and that is to its overall benefit.



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