Kids Worship The Darndest Things!
Mark Eremite | Seoul, South Korea | 04/03/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"He Who Walks Behind The Rows is back, bigger and badder (and weirder) than ever. The first two films in this series disappointed me by jumping straight to the parts of the stories where children decide to start dispatching of adults. This time, however, the agricultural monstrosity must rely on his newest prophet, the cute-as-a-button Eli.
The movie actually has a strong start, as Eli and his brother-by-adoption, Joshua, escape the clutches of their alcoholic farmer father. The two kids are adopted by an upwardly mobile couple in Chicago, and Eli wastes no time in converting the local population into his weird brand of Ultra-Violent Environmental Satan Worship.
Eli's preaching gets old fast (like most kinds of preaching, if you ask me) as he screams about purity and adults polluting the Earth. But as he (and his uber-corn) set about getting rid of those who stand in the way, the film achieves actual scares (although most of the time it's just gross). Eli's adopted parents just happen to live next to a massive, abandoned factory. "It's dangerous there," the father says, which is why he has erected a tiny wooden fence four feet away from the factories looming brick walls. It seems like mostly a symbolic gesture, but his heart is in the right place.
Unfortunately, in spite of some pretty nasty effects and unsettling deaths (who knew a human spine was over eight feet long?), the movie succumbs to stupid theatrics in the last half of its final act. Finally, we are treated to an up-close-and-personal look at HWWBTR, and it's mostly just silly. Pay close enough attention, and you'll get to see Charlize Theron in her first theatric role as a woman who is horribly, horribly violated by Eli's Cob King. (You'll also see several extras laughing as they are killed, and the disgusting deaths of at least two different Barbie dolls.)
Oh, well. At least it's amusing. Scarier and funnier than either of the films that came before it, URBAN HARVEST doesn't really do King's story any justice, but it's fun for a nauseating chuckle or two."