Counterpoint: if you are a person of faith and you do practice love and compassion, then is it even a religion?
This was my first time watching the Stephen King classic, and I can completely imagine how if I had seen it as a child - especially one living in the midwest, surrounded by corn - this would've made an indelible impression upon my psyche. Unfortunately, I'm watching it as a 30 year old with a severe case of religious trauma who is currently trying to move away from Indiana and back to Chicago; so instead, this was more like an unsatisfying farce.
Don't get me wrong though, it got real close to scratching that itch - the itch in question being the way cults function to either destroy you young, or let you live long enough to become the villain - but despite being a mere 90 minutes, to my Millennial ADHD brain it felt like a long and at times tedious 2 hours. This was not helped by a cringe-worthy performance from Linda Hamilton, who is ironically too good of an actor to convincingly pull off portraying the lily-livered, submissive, girlfriend-who-just-wants-to-get-married-to-her-idiot-doctor-boyfriend type.
Since I had no characters to emotionally invest in (and I'm too old and tired to actually be frightened by tiny, indoctrinated children), I decided to instead hyper fixate on what I am now claiming as my New Dream Job: THOSE ILLUSTRATIONS!
The moment they came onscreen I was obsessed. Since my background is in theater and film (and I draw sometimes too), when I'm watching a movie or show I will often play the game of Hey I Could've Done That! I'm usually attributing myself to blurry bartenders in the background, disgruntled teenage punks with one line, or Dead Body #4 - but this time, I had to know who was responsible for Sarah's Creepy & Clairvoyant Creations.
It's times like these that I really love the internet, because it took me all of 82 seconds to find this banger interview with Judeanne Winter Wiley, the outstanding artist in question. Read the full thing here!
Overall, this movie will not have the lasting impact on me that it had on so many others, but it is making me rethink how many times I say "Wow, I never say this, but..." because I actually think we're ready for a remake of this one? I know they've stumbled their way through a plethora of botched sequels, but JUST THINK ABOUT IT:
The cursed children of midwestern, MAGA-hat-wearing Republicans take the words of their parents a bit too literally, and punish them for not believing in Trump 2024 hard enough. After murdering all the adults, they start an off-the-grid cult, only to be disrupted by a TikTok influencer who is driving through rural America to post videos in, "like, all the most random places I can find, lol!" She's awful and we see her killed immediately, but her disgruntled and oft-overlooked queer assistant stays behind to try and save the children. Then she accidentally falls in love with one of them! (But don't worry, the "child" is actually a 22 year old who's been posing as a 17 year old for the last 3 years so she doesn't get murdered).
They bang in the cornfield but then get caught, and are about to be murdered for being "book-readin' homosexuals!" but PLOT TWIST, the TikTok influencer isn't actually dead, she was just practicing Mindfulness and looked dead. She comes back and murders all the Republican children in a wildly selfish but ultimately self-sacrifice gesture. Her last words are: ".....Like.... and.... sub......scribe.........". She is lauded as an eternal internet hero, and the cool queers run away to start a quiet bookstore/coffee shop where they give life-saving information and stories to all the baby queers in the Midwest.
Okay, I actually like this idea so much I won't even be mad if someone takes it and runs with it. No, wait, I lied. Please give me a job. Oh my god, I can do the drawings!!
RUthless rating: 6/10
ruthless rating of my imaginary new version: 11/10