Thursday, February 5, 2009

Movie Review: Corn (2004)

2004 creepy flick CORN starring Jena Malone
Written & Directed by Dave Silver

Jena Malone....Emily Rasmussen
Pamela Gray....Rachel
Jamie Harrold....Frank

Emily, returning home from her incomplete college stint, is pregnant, broke, and perhaps repressing some traumatic childhood memories. Her father’s sheep farm shares a property line with a new corn crop, which an agricultural corporation called AgriMead has genetically altered to withstand pesticides, frost and other typical crop dangers. As a side effect, the corn produces a strange weed that the sheep grow addicted to, going so far as killing themselves to get to it. The more they eat, the more strange they behave, acting violently toward each other and humans alike. And when the tainted sheep are slaughtered and ingested by humans, it may—or may not—cause birth defects. With Emily’s own child in danger, she sets out to expose the corporation. But nobody in a town that runs on the sheep industry is willing to listen to her crazy theories.

Not horror by your usual standards, but rather a Science-Is-The-Monster suspense story that takes its cue from the Mad Cow scare. Jena Malone looks great, and her acting skills are well up to par, although I was going to scream if I heard her say “It makes the sheep violent!” one more time. The rest of the cast is rounded out by good actors with familiar faces and names that stick on the tip of your tongue. Well plotted, directed, and shot, and only on one or two occasions did the action with the sheep appear unreal.

There aren’t any genuine scares built into the film, but grotesque scenes of realistic butchering and meat processing abound, and there is a nagging, uneasy undertone throughout that may make you think twice before eating that rack of lamb you’ve got warming in the roaster.

97 minutes
United States


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