Beyond occasional excursions to the cornfields of the previous entries, Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest is firmly set in the city. Two brothers are rehomed in Chicago when their father goes missing. But, this being the franchise it is, soon one of them begins to get up to all kinds of supernatural, corn-based mischief.
The first entry to not receive a cinematic release, there is a noticeable drop in quality both on screen and behind the cameras. And yet there are reasons to delve into Urban Harvest with the star this time are the effects work from the legendary Screaming Mad George (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Predator, Society). The movement over the fast three films from grounded horror that relies on its concept for its chills (quiet town filled with murderous children) to something more exaggerated with lavish deaths, folk horror ridiculousness and a gonzo finale that finally gives the series the climax it deserves. There are some exceptional practical effects here and what makes this entry so enjoyable are the roster of kills, with the death count amped up. From an original with a miniscule amount of death in it to this there has been an exponential growth for what many horror fans will be seeking.
Certainly a worse directed entry then the previous two (director James D.R. Hickox is no horror maestro and many of his creative choices are exceptionally clunky), this is nevertheless the most enjoyable of the series so far. Thanks to a collection of great kills this is one genre fans might actually enjoy, even if I can’t quite work out why there are so many entries in a series that really lacks the material to be this prolific. Still I may very well end up watching a fourth and fifth entry. It’s easy to see how one can get sucked into diving into a franchise for all its peaks and (numerous) troughs.