Primarily, I didn't like how we were almost immediately introduced to two out-of-town adults, Burt and Vicky. I understand that throwing adults into an isolated and adultless community makes for an interesting concept; however, there's so many other interesting directions this movie could have taken right from the get go.
Like the fact that this village is entirely run by children. It is a religious cult run by a child prophet. That opens up so many questions!
- Isaac is a prophet, so what did God tell him?
- Job and Sarah missed the meeting with Isaac and his followers that Sunday. What did they miss?
- What did Isaac tell the kids? How did he rally them together and convince them to kill all the adults and organize them to do so? His plan was practically flawless.
- Where are they getting their resources? Is it just from that guy at the gas station? Because that doesn't seem very reliable, especially when they kill him.
- The kids sacrifice themselves when they turn 18. How do they continue the population? Don't be snarky now, I know where babies come from. My point is that their cult is loosely rooted in Christianity, and if Christianity says no sex before marriage, do they disregard that rule or do they get married early? There seem to be no couples at all, aside from Burt and Vicky, and Job and Sarah seem to be the youngest members of the community.
- Though really, Rachel is definitely having an affair with both Amos and Malachai. She gives them the sex eyes anytime they're both on screen together.
- What happens when Isaac turns 18? Who will lead them?
It's its own culture. You could do a documentary on it. They've been doing this for three years. They're clearly doing something right.
Then there's Joseph, the boy who runs away. He "can't take it anymore." Missed opportunity for some sort of backstory, some sort of personal account about how he and the other kids were treated under Isaac's rule. He promised Job and Sarah that he would come back for them. A good story would have been to keep Joseph alive and write a plot around how he escapes and rescues anyone who wants to escape.
Sarah has the gift of sight. Why is this not a more prevalent motif in the movie? This is a fantastic phenomenon! She get's the fever three years ago and now draws pictures that predict the future. Why is there so little focus on this? Sarah could easily be the main character for this reason. What if she were able to predict the future and then alter it by knowing what is supposed to happen? She could have used that to help her and Job and Joseph escape. It's so interesting that the non believer is the one with the powers. Why is she not leading (or helping to lead, as she is quite young) a counter movement? Her ability keeps her and her brother safe from Isaac and Malachai because Isaac believes it is a gift rather than a threat. Why has he not taken her under his wing and have her as his right hand woman? A prophet and a seer should go well together.
Around the 60 minute mark, Burt walks in on the ceremony where Amos is about to sacrifice himself. Rachel then stabs Burt, sends for Malachai, then everyone chases him through the town. I think it would have been cool if they killed off Burt's character and now the plot is about Vicky trying to protect Job and Sarah and take them in as her own children. Because let's be honest, the fact that those four get out relatively unscathed in the end is pretty lame.
Not long after, Malachai and the others turn on Isaac and decide to crucify him. So to sort of answer one of my questions, I guess when Isaac is gone, Malachai becomes leader. But what happens when Malachai turns 18? He must be turning 18 soon. He looks pretty old.
I really didn't like how easily swayed many of the children were. What, did they go from, "lol, good idea, kill the adults," to "lol, guess that was a bad idea," just like that? What the hell. Make them more difficult to convince at the very least.
Things get weird really fast at this point. He Who Walks Behind the Rows comes for Isaac and Malachai and the corn is alive and there's demonic clouds and no one is concerned that an entire cornfield is on fire (does fire even kill demons?).
The end is really sudden and lame. There's no falling action. Just climax then lameness. They decided to let Job and Sarah stay with them (good, because they'd be jerks otherwise) and then that crazy believer Rachel tries to kill them so they knock her out. They just walk off down the road with an unconscious body in the front seat of their car and a dead body still in the trunk. The movie needs some sort of epilogue. How are Burt and Vicky going to explain how they acquired two kids and the crazy situation they'd been in? What are the kids in Gatlin going to do now that they've converted back to normalcy? What if Rachel wakes up and continues the cult?
All in all it was a decent movie, it just could have been way better.
As a side note, I am, for some reason, oddly attracted to Malachai, but--and hear me out-- only when his mouth is closed. His mouth is WAY too big and his lips just flap everywhere when he talks.
No Malachai stop. Shut your big mouth.