Children Of The Corn (1984)

DVD Cover (Image Entertainment)
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Overall Rating 52%
Overall Rating
Ranked #1,820
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Connections: Children Of The Corn

A boy preacher named Isaac goes to Gatlin, Nebraska and gets all the children to murder every adult in town. A young couple on a road trip stop in Gatlin to report a murder and seek help, but the town seems deserted. They are soon trapped in Gatlin with little chance of getting out alive. --IMDb
Peter Horton
Peter Horton
Linda Hamilton
Linda Hamilton
R.G. Armstrong
R.G. Armstrong
John Franklin
John Franklin
Courtney Gains
Courtney Gains
Review by Crispy
Added: February 08, 2012
Some places are just synonymous with creepy mayhem, and cornfields are definitely ranked in the top three. The Children of the Corn franchise is the sole reason why.

Things have gone very wrong in the small, rural town of Gatlin. On a seemingly ordinary Sunday morning, all the children have gathered for a meeting in the cornfield, where a demonic entity living in the cornfield makes its presence known. Shortly after, these children slaughter the adults and begin running the town as a theocracy, led by Isaac and his enforcer, Malachai, in the name of He Who Walks Behind the Rows. Still, not all of them are happy with the status quo, and one of them tries to escape. Unfortunately, he's met in the field by Malachai, who slashes his throat and pushes him into the street, where he's run down by Burt and Vicky, a couple driving to Seattle to begin Burt's new career. Looking for help, the pair follow the signs to Gatlin, right into the waiting arms of the killer kiddy cult.

You know, I watched this movie years ago, and hated it. I decided to fire it up again, and twenty minutes in, I realized I was actually enjoying it. The initial massacre was an awesome scene, and the chemistry between Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton was quite good; I fully bought them as a couple. Even when they got to the town, things slowed down sure, but not enough to ruin things. But then we come to the climax. We could have had Citizen Kane up to this point, and the nonsense in the final twenty-five minutes would have tore it down just as succinctly. You see, the majority of the movie ran on fear of the unknown, that unsettling feeling that something is definitely wrong. Then they threw all that out the window, and we're treated to an eye-rolling, one-on-one confrontation between the Hortons and He Who Walks Between the Rows, aka, a giant plume of smoke in negative film and superimposed with a jack-in-the-lantern face. Terrible.

Again, Horton and Hamilton were both very good as our hapless couple, and since the majority of the running time was focused on them, there was little to complain about. That is until the end. Are you noticing a theme here? You see, that's when the children themselves make their presence on screen, and we all know how children in horror movies usually go. Robby Kiger and Anne Marie McEvoy were definitely annoying as the two "good" kids. They were young though. Really young. Courtney Gains had no such excuse. Malachai was supposed to be the feared enforcer of these kids, but you'd have to be a kid to find him threatening. There actually is a silver lining however, and that is John Franklin. Franklin just has a great look for Isaac, and his croaking voice is perfect. While his acting certainly needed to be toned, he was pretty decent for his age. Shame his career never amounted to more than this role and Cousin Itt from the Addams Family.

To its detriment, the script departs radically from its source material. Some things didn't make much difference, like Vicky and Burt initially being on the verge of divorce, but others would have been better served without the exclusion. Job, Sarah and the pissing contest between Isaac and Malachai were all thrown in there for the sole purpose of padding out the running time. He Who Walks Behind the Rows and his relationship with the kids were also handled infinitely better on paper than on screen. The Syfy Channel remade it in 2009, and apparently it stays truer to King's version. We'll have to see how that one fared. Hopefully, at the very least, it retains how dark and noir the book was.

Despite its lack of anything worthwhile, Children of the Corn has carved itself a definite niche in the horror world. It's a shitty movie with a huge legacy. Figure that one out. 2/10.
Big D #1: Big D - added 08/21/2004, 06:32 PM
You gave it 0/10? Moron. It's an excellent classic like Halloween and Friday the 13th. Sure the enemies, in those kind of movies, appear in every location, but I don't care. It's WAY higher than 0/10. Shame on you with that rating. >:|
Chad #2: Chad - added 08/21/2004, 07:56 PM
Maybe it would have ranked higher had it not put me to sleep and caused me to have to rewind to catch what I'd missed. Bad review, as most of my older ones are (before I put any effort into them), but I stand by the rating.
Christopher #3: Christopher - added 08/21/2004, 08:00 PM
If it's a classic like those two films, he gave it a correct rating.
Schillinger #4: Schillinger - added 08/22/2004, 05:36 AM
Calling the owner of this website a moron? Not a very smart move if I may say so myself. COTC was corny and full of cliches. I never saw why it spawned so many god-awful sequals.
Big D #5: Big D - added 08/23/2004, 02:40 AM
I know it isn't a smart move (DAMN ME!!!), but I still think it deserves a higher rating than 0/10.
Crispy #6: Crispy - added 09/10/2004, 10:00 AM
OK, in King's defense, his version of Children of the Corn was very nicely done. Whatever asshole got his hands on the movie rights need to be crucified in the middle of the fucking cornfield. In King's version, the "demon" living in the cornfield was a minor subplot and was handled extremely subliminally. I fully reccomend giving it a read, it's actually a short story in the book "Night Shift" which was a collection of stories. But yeah, the movie sucked ass
Chad #7: Chad - added 09/10/2004, 01:48 PM
I realize that the story was good, I've read the vast majority of his work. It just irks me that whenever a movie is made out of something he did (this, Mangler, Lawnmower Man, etc) it usually comes out completely different and winds up being shitty. That shot at King wasn't in reference to his original version, more along the lines of the way he allowed this film to be handled, as I believe he did have quite a bit of input on how the film version was done.
Cryptorchild #8: Cryptorchild - added 03/09/2007, 11:16 AM
I agree with Crispy. Loved the story but wasn't too fond of the movie. It wasn't that the movie was awful, its just....I dunno, it could have been WAY better. I would give it like a 6.5/10.
Rik #9: Rik - added 01/09/2008, 10:56 AM
Children Of The Corn was amazingly bad. I never want to watch it ever again.
Optimus Prime #10: Optimus Prime - added 01/22/2009, 12:56 PM
I don't really agree with 0/10 cause it wasn't hard to sit through this movie. It just wasn't good. 3/10
Shakes #11: Shakes - added 01/22/2009, 01:07 PM
1.5/10... maybe... ok, nuff said. OUCH!
Ginose #12: Ginose - added 12/16/2009, 10:46 AM
Wait... what?
Fuck you, "Lawnmower Man" was fucking awesome!!

This, however... yeah... 0.4/10 for the dozens of parodies it spawned which were much better than this sorry piece of shit.
Bill Wolford #13: Bill Wolford - added 02/09/2012, 12:45 AM
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