• Ivan Lalic28 January 2018
    5/10
    NOT TO BE UNDERESTIMATED
    Warning: Spoilers
    There are different kinds of Stephen King's movie adaptations, and the one about the blood thirsty religious cult of children in some God forsaken village in Nebraska is not one of the milder ones. Pretty gory for its era, it tends to dissipate its script when it comes to credibility of the entire concept, but nonetheless, 1984 version of ''Children of the Corn'' will give you a few goosebumps. Acting will be solid, especially when it comes to children, but much of the true story behind the cult will be saved for the much weaker sequels. ''Children of the Corn'' is still to be considered as one of the more serious horrors of the 1980s.
  • skybrick73628 January 2018
    7/10
    Children of the Corn 7/10
    Stephen King's short story Children of the Corn is wickedly disturbing, the idea of a small town being overrun by a cult of children, worshiping an ungodly entity is quite spooky. Credit to George Goldsmith and Fritz Kiersch for pulling of the chilling King concepts and atmosphere. The editing and sound was uniquely done, using odd shots, grittier images and fast paced filming techniques. Also, the filmmakers delivered on portraying the children as gruesome, evil figures. Both the young actors, John Franklin and Courtney Gains worked perfectly together as the film's arch villains, Isaac and Malachai. There roles were equally sinister, and their lines delivered to each were enthralling. The lead roles of Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton were also a team that had good chemistry on screen. A couple downfalls with the film include situational scenes cliché in horror and a subpar ending. Children of the Corn is underrated 80's horror flick that shouldn't be skipped by the genre's viewers.
  • Ilikehorrormovies30 November 2017
    8/10
    I like it
    This is not a bad movie honestly. I enjoy it and it is a slow burn movie and like I said before I don't mind slow burn movies because some could be good. This movie is better than the sequels and I haven't watch the sequels yet but I remember watching the remake but I didn't watch the whole thing so yeah. Good movie, good watch
  • dworldeater22 October 2017
    7/10
    Cults, cornfields and killer children, oh my!
    Children Of The Corn is a somewhat dated, but still enjoyable Steven King adaptation delivered on a low budget. This is driven by a good score and intense performances by John Franklin and Courtney Gains respectively as cult leader Issac and heavy henchman Malachi. Children Of The Corn has a pretty solid story and has some great atmosphere. Performances are decent, but for the most part not the best. Some of the special f/x are downright horrible. This however does'nt work against the film and plays as campy entertainment. This also features an early performance from Linda Hamilton who will next star in another classic, James Cameron's Terminator. John Franklin is a great villain and gives a very creepy but classy performance. Courtney Gains is also effective as a badass brute force and has some great hair that embodies the power of true metal. I can not comment on the book or the sequels, but the film holds up pretty good and was a hit at the box office when it was released theatrically. Children Of The Corn is not my favorite Steven King film adaptation, but it is a good one and one that I like.
  • Mark Turner5 October 2017
    7/10
    Back to the Beginning
    Warning: Spoilers
    When CHILDREN OF THE CORN was released I was working as a theater manager in Indianapolis. I had access to most movies coming out, was an avid fan of horror films and when I couldn't see them that way would rent them since this was the early age of the VCR. When I heard that a new movie was coming out based on a Stephen King novel I looked forward to it, expected to be chilled to the bone. The end result was entertaining but not quite that frightening.

    The story opens with a town in which all of the young people for reasons as yet unexplained kill off the adults. They do so at the behest of Isaac (John Franklin), a holy roller styled child preacher. Fast forward to several years later was young couple Burt and Vicky (Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton) are on their way to Burt's new job as a doctor. Driving through the fields of corn they hit a young boy standing in the middle of the road. Burt realizes he didn't die from the accident but from a slit throat so the couple go searching for help.

    They find themselves directed to the tiny town of Gatlin with its empty streets and corn stalk filled cars and stores. Eventually they come across two small children, our movie narrators, who don't tell them much. When the rest of the youth find them they capture Vicky and plan to offer her as a sacrifice. Will Peter be able to rescue her? Will he discover what is actually going on in this town? And will the evil that has been behind it all be revealed? Based on a short story the plot is fairly simple and the story here is as well. It involves a lot of moving from one place to another and listening to two factions in the town struggling with one another: Isaac the long term leader who has controlled it from the beginning and the devout follower Malachi (Courtney Gains) who thinks things haven't gone far enough. Their struggle is as menacing to watch as is the deaths they've perpetrated and now prepare for.

    The acting here is what one would expect from two pros like Horton and Hamilton. Both were well on their way to stardom when making this film, he on TV's THIRTYSOMETHING and she in the TERMINATOR films. What makes this movie stand out though is the performances of the young people involved. Franklin (although older than he looks) is the perfect fit for the character of Isaac. And Gaines looks like the local skateboard teen who could be trouble but in this case carrying a butcher knife and proving that he is.

    For being a horror film as well as one with an R rating there is very little in the way of blood or gore here and no nudity at all which makes one wonder why the MPAA would choose to pass this off with that rating. In the extras even the producers were stunned by the rating which was given without any explanation as to how to fix it. In any event, fans of the film and of Stephen King will want to pick this one up.

    That being said with a blu-ray edition out earlier why would anyone pick up this one? Two words: Arrow Video. Yes, I'm still singing their praises. The quality of the picture here is fantastic with a gorgeous transfer. The extras are very numerous and include a brand new audio commentary track with horror journalist Justin Beahm and CHILDREN OF THE CORN historian John Sullivan, an audio commentary track with director Fritz Kiersch, producer Terrence Kirby and actors Franklin and Gaines, HARVESTING HORROR: THE MAKING OF CHILDREN OF THE CORN a retrospective piece on the film full of interviews, AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD THEM a brand new interview with actors Julie Maddalena and John Philbin, IT WAS THE EIGHTIES! an interview with Linda Hamilton, FIELED OF NIGHTMARES a brand new interview with writer George Goldsmith, RETURN TO GATLIN a brand new featurette revisiting the film's original Iowa locations, STEPHEN KING ON A SHOESTRING an interview with producer Donald Borchers, WELCOME TO GATLIN: THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF CHILDREN OF THE CORN an interview with production designer Craig Stearns and composer Jonathan Elias, CUT FROM THE CORNFIELD an interview with actor Rich Kleinberg on the infamous lost Blue Man scene, DISCIPLES OF THE CROW a 1983 short film adaptation of the original King story, a storyboard gallery, the original trailer and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork. With all of these extras you can see why if you're a fan of the film you need to pick up this version for your shelf.
  • hellholehorror1 October 2017
    6/10
    Enjoyable and occasionally scary horror
    A nice little gritty horror movie from the eighties. It relies on the suspense built up from effectively menacing kids of the cult. There are some laughable bits like the corn parting to make a path and the occult effects at the end but I forgive these as they were just trying to make the film more supernatural. The only thing I didn't like was the religious and moral overtones. I got the impression that this was a Christian film warning of the dangers of other religions. That aside this is an enjoyable and occasionally scary horror film with two really evil characters.
  • Stevieboy66630 September 2017
    7/10
    Looks dated now but still good
    I can remember renting this out on VHS back in the 1980's when it came out & watching it twice within 24 hours. Don't think that I've seen this, the original, since, until now, having just sat down with my teenage son - who's a bit of a Stephen King fan - and watched it on DVD. Certainly looks dated now, especially the demon effects, and also a lot tamer than I remember (my copy is rated 18 but surely it would now be a 15), though there are a couple of jump scenes. I also recall reading the short story, needless to say that it was better than the film. However, it's still good viewing & I'm giving it 7/10, nostalgia being reflected in my score.
  • greenblu423 September 2017
    5/10
    A classic movie of lost souls and a leader to guide them into destruction.
    Warning: Spoilers
    This movie started simply, kids decided to kill their parents with no information beyond what their leader(Isaac) told them, which was that he was ordained by God to lead these children. I know, heavy. But for some reason this wasn't as terrifying as it should have been.

    You are then watching a man(Burt) and a woman(Vicky) who are traveling to Burt's new internship position as a physician. Meanwhile a child is killed and is struck on the road by the couple's car when he staggers out in front of them. When it happens it surprises you, but again no fear. They take the child and search for answers and when they're not able to avoid a little town named Gatlin they decide to go there and find answers, but they find more than what they bargained for. Children have been led to believe that "the one who walks behind the rows" will protect them and lead them to prosperity. This is of course false and Burt realizes this. He is attacked and Vicky is kidnapped.

    After an explanation from a confused believer, Burt saves Vicky and explains to the children that they have been misled. This is where it gets interesting. A beast consumes one of the children, as it is part of a ritual sacrifice and their leader, Isaac, is sacrificed as well but returns and kills the heretic, Malachai, that sent him to his doom. This was the most thrilling scene.

    Burt and the confused believer concoct a plan to destroy the beast. They end up removing the demon that was present and leave that God forsaken town.

    In the end it did have some clever shocks and it stayed true to the Stephen King short story, but it felt dragged along at points. It also doesn't provide the thrill you expect until the last 15 or so minutes. The soundtrack stayed true to its eerie premise and gave an overarching sense of suspense but beyond that it lacked true fear you expect from a horror movie now. But for 1984 I'm sure it was enough and I commend the actors for bringing it to life.
  • classicsoncall23 August 2017
    7/10
    "He who walks behind the rows seeth all."
    Warning: Spoilers
    I couldn't help thinking that the Stephen King short story and this film on which it was based, was inspired by a 1961, Rod Serling Twilight Zone episode titled 'It's a Good Life'. In that one, Billy Mumy portrays a boy a few years younger than Isaac (John Franklin) in this picture, who condemns an Ohio community by sheer force of mind and will. Instead of killing his opposition though, he telepathically transports them into what he calls a corn field, which one never gets to see in the story. Stephen King probably would have liked the kid.

    Well I know there will be some horror movie fans who will consider this film a top notch Stephen King adaptation, but when I plug it into my IMDb list of movies based on works by the horror master, it comes in dead last out of nineteen movies I've seen so far (as I write this). You can check it out in my list of Stephen King flicks I've watched and reviewed.

    This felt like a made for TV movie more than anything else, and it never seemed credible to me why Burt (Peter Horton) and his girlfriend Vicky (Linda Hamilton) decided to hang around the drought afflicted town of Gatlin, Nebraska, except for the fact that Horton ran down a kid in the middle of the road, who for all intents and purposes was already dead with a slashed throat. They eventually run across a kid cult led by a creepy leader called Isaac, and a henchman who he later suffers a falling out with. The actor Courtney Gains was perfectly cast as a psychotic looking killer who for comparison purposes was Mick Jagger ugly times two. When the time came for Burt to tangle with Malachai one on one, you'd have to conclude that their battle was done pro-wrestling style, that is, most of Burt's punches missed by a mile.

    Well I've read more than my share of novels and stories by Stephen King, and some of the movie adaptations of his work are outstanding ('The Shawshank Redemption', 'The Shining'), while others plumb the depths ('The Dark Half', 'Sometimes They Come Back'). As I mentioned earlier, this one sets the bar in the wrong direction, but if you just have to, go ahead and see it. But don't be surprised by such things as the size and shape of the blood stain on Burt's shirt change from scene to scene after he gets stabbed by a corn obsessed delinquent.
  • erosthanatosfilms6 June 2017
    2/10
    Plot holes of the Corn.
    Warning: Spoilers
    This has got to be one of the worst Stephen King adaptations and worst horror films ever to become popular. There are so many plot holes and idiotic characters that even my migraine medicine won't take away the pain inflicted upon my brain.

    Let's start with when the kid is trying to sneak away and the little girl screams "OKAY NO ONE IS WATCHING, GO NOW!!!"

    Seriously?.... Seriously?

    Then the dumb kid gets cut up and decides to run into the middle of the road... Only to get hit.

    How did the lead couple manage to not see the kid when it was a very straight road and the kid was already standing there???

    Also, does Vicky have narcolepsy? She fell asleep REALLY fast after she was left alone while Burt went go investigate.

    Also, why is the main couple lost when they clearly had a map in an earlier scene? Why not... USE YOUR MAP!

    This on on scratching the surface of a poorly put together film that basically bastardized Stephen King's work in favor of a schlock fest... Only watch if you want to see how to tell a horror story poorly.
  • thelastblogontheleft7 January 2017
    4/10
    Not Quite There
    Warning: Spoilers
    This was another re-watch for me and I said the same thing this time that I did after the first viewing: I just don't think kids are that scary. I know lots of movies try to pull of the whole "creepy kid" thing and it just doesn't do it for me.

    Ultimately, I think this movie starts off really strong and it gave me high hopes. The whole chaotic scene at the diner, with the kids watching as the adults are poisoned and murdered… awesome. I mean, they put a dude's hand through a meat slicer and that creepy music with the kids chanting is playing and you can see beady-eyed Isaac (played awesomely by John Franklin) peering through the window, very pleased at what's going on, and you think hell yeah, I am in for a fun ride.

    Then we cut to Burt (Peter Horton) and Vicky (Linda Hamilton), who are on their way to Burt's new physician job. They're driving along, cornrow after cornrow whizzing by, and BOOM, out lurches one of the children, half dead from these tiny cult members. It's an intense scene, with a closeup of the kid rolling under the tires, and you can almost feel their sense of panic and confusion. Again, hell yeah, we're on the right track here. We even get an awesome jump scare when Vicky drifts off in the car while waiting for Burt to return from looking for help.

    But then… I don't know, things get a little silly. They try to find a phone to no avail — the town is abandoned, with corn leaves strewn all over — what? Are the kids just constantly covered in corn leaves and accidentally leaving them places? Is it some kind of calling card?

    There's some transfer of power with Malachai (Courtney Gains), the brain of the operation — who is by far the scariest looking kid — insisting that Isaac be sacrificed. The whole thing is way too easy, the kids need NO convincing whatsoever, and then boom, Isaac is up on a cross. But He Who Walks Behind the Rows (admittedly a super creepy moniker, but not actually creepy in reality since it just kind of burrows its way under the dirt) is not very discerning, apparently, and takes Isaac despite his pleas. The special effects are shockingly, laughably bad. I want to say maybe it's charming — it was the mid-80's after all. Burt tries to talk some sense into the kids and tell them they're worshipping a false god (which is also VERY easy to do), and then Isaac comes back as a sort of zombie-Isaac and kills Malachai. Wheee!

    They gather the kids into a barn and realize they need to destroy the cornfield to stop the evil, and they figure the best way is to burn it all up. They do so, and there's a LEGIT SAD FACE IN THE SMOKE AS IT BURNS. I COULDN'T EVEN HANDLE IT WHAT? WHAT??

    Then everything is hunky dory and Burt and Vicky are leaving (with Sarah and Job in tow) and it's kind of implied that the kids are going to stay with them?? And then one of the evil kids is hiding in the car and attacks them but Burt just kind of annoyedly stops her and they're on their way. SO FREAKING WEIRD.

    I don't know, I wanted to like it — it's based on a Stephen King story after all — but I think the rest of the movie couldn't even try to compare to those first couple scenes. It has its few very brief moments but nothing else to really grab you. Womp.
  • matic-paska13 December 2016
    6/10
    Good slasher, but not convincing enough
    Not really the best of slasher films, but considering it as one of Stephen King's works, this had to be a bad transition from a novel to the screen. Typical horror flick; music, plot and acting are pretty much the same as in other similar films of that time. It gives you chills on occasion, but there is not enough excitement as in other slashers. Leading up to the kills are shot perfectly, no arguments here. It is kind of creepy; there are kids doing the killings, that is always a bit more scary. Field of corn adds the thrill, but if you don't consider music one of the prime elements, it's just not good enough to be compared with other classics of the genre. I would say that soundtrack is my favorite part of it, as in many other similar films. Story just doesn't convince me to love it.

    You should still watch it though, it's a must-see for classic-slasher lovers.
  • OllieSuave-00727 October 2016
    8/10
    A decent horror flick.
    I first watched this movie in its entirety as an adult, but did remember watching parts of it as a kid. It was a pretty intriguing movie about a demonic cult formed of children whose goal is to kill people over 18, and plans on sacrificing a couple who stumbled onto their town, Burt (Peter Horton) and Vicky (Linda Hamilton), to the devil.

    The plot was fairly fast-paced from start to finish, from the attention-grabbing introduction to the thrilling climax; the concept of a cult with children, them chanting fearlessly and leaving a murderous path in the town, was pretty creepy. The music score was fairly haunting and the acting was quite mediocre - some you might actually find corny and emotionless. But overall, it's a decent horror flick.

    Grade B
  • Harhaluulo5420 October 2016
    3/10
    So shallow it made me perform a facepalm - A look into 80's horror, part 2
    Warning: Spoilers
    My mission to watch 30 horror movies from the 80's continues with Children of the Corn (1984). Shamefully bland and empty shell of a movie - hopefully none of the next 28 are as bad.

    This movie is all about corn. It is so much about corn, but just to make sure you realize it is about corn, they spoon-feed that corny corn to you to a point where it becomes just silliness. Neither the story or characters' actions are believable. The movie doesn't hold water - but rather drowns into its own drool.

    The writing and actions are very forced and unnatural. Followed by a logic that can only be used by characters who are used as plot elements in the movie. Why does person A do a thing B? So that story would lead to a point X where we can conclude an action Y. The simplicity and one-dimensional approach kills this movie and its nonexistent atmosphere, making the movie so bad it gives entertainment value solely as a comedy.

    All in all so lacking you won't even be mad at how bad it is. Recommend to watch with friends who have dark sense of humor and can -in generally- make fun of everything. 2.50/10.
  • Eric Stevenson29 August 2016
    5/10
    Corny
    Looking back, I really haven't seen that many Stephen King movies. I'm not going to go through all the work of seeing the miniseries, just his regular feature length movies. The main problem with this film is that it's needlessly padded. There are so many scenes that drag on that just show the characters looking at corn. We never even really get a good idea of what the monster is. Is it actually a manifestation of the corn? This has some of the goofiest scenes I've ever witnessed in a horror movie. We see the monster being represented by a bunch of roots tunneling through the ground. At the end, the monster appears in some weird cartoonish thing.

    This movie was based on a short story and you can tell. I guess it's hard for me to really hate it, seeing as how it did entertain me with how ridiculous it was. If nothing else, I'll give it credit for starting off a series and it does genuinely seem better than the sequels. This film series actually set a record for most bad entries in any franchise! Seriously, I think there's at least ten bits of material centered on this, probably the most of any Stephen King adaptation. Maybe I'll have to read the story. Isaac is the most entertaining as the zaniest, as pointed out by the Nostalgia Critic. If there's anything legitimately good, it's that the main guy does show some courage at the end. If you have to see this, ignore the sequels. **
  • Realrockerhalloween19 August 2016
    A creature is steering in the corn field
    Warning: Spoilers
    I have been infatuated with This story ever since I read it in Stephen King's night shift about a small town taken over by children in legacy to "He who walks behind the Rowe".

    There have been discussions over the years that the entity who habits the corn may be Randall Flagg from the stand who appears in many novel's causing echoes and forming a group of followers willing to die for him.

    A married couple Vicky (Linda Hamilton) and Burt (Peter Horton) star as a married couple on a cross roads trip when they stumble upon the creepy backwards town of Gatlin Nabraska.

    The leads play well off one another portraying a real life married couple in the prime of their lives.

    The sound track sounded like a hymnal from the omen which fits perfectly here since it does deal with religious imagery. Stephen King grew up during a time of change with war, high unemployment and the ride of radical destructive cults.

    The sacrifices of The eldest cults, images made out of corn husks and gathering in circles made out of corn to hear an unhinged ministers draws many similarities to fringe hippy groups.

    The effects of he who walks behind the Rowe was always ominous and looming over head ready to strike at anyone foolish enough to cross it.

    The ending was poetic license as it differentiates from the book and Yet becomes a tour de force to be reckoned with. A great caution tale that shouldn't be taken lightly.
  • ohkcomputer5 July 2016
    8/10
    The film that made walking the dog scary for me.
    The many, and admittedly mostly very poor sequels to Children of the Corn, already prove that the original movie did something very well for them wanting to revisit this concept.

    From the incredibly creepy opening scene to the introduction of the actual likable two main characters the movie sets the tone of the suspense to come perfectly. There is no weak acting in the movie and even the children do a phenomenal job. Two of them are actually really high in my list of creepiest characters horror movies. And that soundtrack! It's easily just as eerie and effective as the Halloween soundtrack by John Carpenter. Admittedly, this movie has a few weaker scenes but some are so brilliant it easy to forgive the movie for those. The story is quite simple, maybe even thin, but that in no way hurts the atmosphere and the viewer becoming invested in what happens on screen.

    The first time I watched it I remember being scared at every corner while walking my dog for quite a while, my imagination making the worst out of my actually very peaceful and somewhat boring village! Maybe by today's standards, this movie isn't that scary anymore but I bet many people who haven't seen it yet will still really enjoy this underrated little gem.
  • robertlauter2515 June 2016
    9/10
    The best King adaptation
    I'm streaming this movie on netflix while I write this. It's been available since I signed up about 5 months ago, which means a younger generation finds this movie as interesting as original fans do. Plus the price remains right. This movie along with Halloween and Friday the 13th set the mold for the low budget horror flick. It was way better than A Nightmare on Elm street which was released the same year.

    COTC was universally trashed by critics, which is nothing new. If you read any of their reviews, there's no substance in the criticism. People forget professional critics are doing their jobs, and many times I truly believe they spew venom without actually even looking at the movie.

    Forget, the haunting theme, and creative camera work, or the subject matter from the contemporary master of horror, for just a second. Forget the cast, which was a mixture of unknowns, seasoned B actors and the up and coming leads and the fact this movie cracked the top 100 in 1984 one of the record setting years in cinema as far as box office success and critical acclaim. Instead focus on and how this movie makes you feel after watching it. Horrified and unsettled, which is exactly what a real horror film should do. If Hitchcock had seen this movie their is no doubt in my mind as a student of cinema he would have approved.

    My only criticism of this gem is that there wasn't more emphasis on the underlying dogma of the tittle characters. For all I know the scenes wound up on the cutting room floor. As a result the impetus for the cult seems vague, and probably could have been cleared up with 90 seconds of additional dialogue or monologue. That much said COTC is a horror flick that has stood the test of time. Just ask a millenial.

    I've never understood how people claim king adaptations have been so mishandled. COTC,The Shining, Stand By Me and Carrie qualify as classic. Pet Semetary and the Dead zone where good. Creepshow, Christine, Dream Catchers,Cujo and Salem's Lot where at the very least above average. Graveyard Shift, Silver Bullet, it and the Stand where flawed but at least mildly entertaining. And yes I've read all these books and stories.

    Stephen King has often maligned many of these movies, but this was the guy who made Maximum Overdrive which was truly awful. He's a much better author than a movie maker so his criticism should be taken with a grain of salt. He turned his nose up at this movie. And I can't for the life of me understand why.
  • Rainey Dawn6 May 2016
    9/10
    One of the Best 1980s Horror Films
    These are some of the brattiest and most terrifying "creepy kids" ever on film. IDK who is worse: Malachi or Issac? Issac is the (evil) reverend that started it all but it is Malachi that has the strongest lust for blood - murder or umm sacrifices "to He Who Walks Behind The Rows"" and will even defy Issac to kill.

    This film is a classic horror in it's own right. It's a part of the 60's through 80's horror classics that many of us grew up with. The film is downright terrifying at times. It's a supernatural horror film that has stood the test of time - quite a good one if you ask me.

    I've never read Stephen King's novel (technically short story) but even if I did I could not compare the film to the book - it's unfair. They have to make some changes sometimes in order to translate things to the screen and for time allotment. There are various reasons for the changes from book to film - so it's never fair to compare the two I don't think. Even when I read a book then see a film I rate the film as Hollywood entertainment and the book as a good or bad book separately.

    9/10
  • ironhorse_iv5 March 2016
    5/10
    Children of the Corn shucks! This horror movie is too corny.
    Warning: Spoilers
    Set in the fictitious rural town of Gatlin, Nebraska, the film tells the story of a couple, Burt Stanton (Peter Horton) & Vicky Baxter (Linda Hamilton), getting caught up in a ritually sacrifice murder plot run by the children of the town to ensure a successful corn harvest after years of droughts. This movie had a lot of potential of being a great corn in a cob movie about natural corn killers; instead, the movie fed its audience, chicken feed. What a huge disappointment! I was really looking forward to this movie as a kid. After all, I was a huge fan of 'the bad seed, horror genre'. 1956's Bad Seed, 1960's Village of the Damned, and 1993's The Good Son are some of my favorites. However, this movie really goes against the grain. It wasn't any fun of a great horror popcorn flick. Based upon the 1977 short story of the same name by fame horror author, Stephen King & directed by Fritz Kiersch, the movie was very lackluster. It didn't translate well into film. In my opinion, the awful screenplay is one of the reason, why this movie didn't work. King wrote the original draft of the screenplay, which focused more on the adult characters of Burt and Vicky and depicted more backstory on the uprising of the children in Gatlin; however, this script was disregarded in favor of George Goldsmith's screenplay, which featured more violence and a more conventional narrative structure. Because of this change, we don't see, how the children of this town, got tempt by this malevolent entity, that they call God, nor how they were able to maintained and keep themselves, isolated from the rest of the world. Here is a bigger question, what was the reason, they felt, the lone mechanic (R. G. Armstrong) around? I get that, maybe, they keep him around to help run the machines for the harvest, and help isolate themselves, from outside visitors, but it doesn't make sense in a plot sense, because, their God AKA 'He Who Walks Behind The Rows', stated out, that all adults in their town, must die, or he will lower the age to 18, rather than 19. Plus, he wasn't there in the original source material. The movie also starts off awkwardly, with all of the adult figures, being killed off. It's felt like we jump into the third act, without knowing it. In my opinion, I would rather have, the mystery of the child getting ran over, opening from the source material over this. It builds more suspense. Since the movie has large story gaps, it's not very well-paced. Lots of slow and dull moments. It was not flesh out enough. Another thing, I didn't like, about this movie is the main good child, Job (Robby Kiger). He reads the narrative, with seemingly no emotional reaction. A good example of this, is when he talks about his father being killed right in front of him. Also, for a character that is supposedly, very smart. He does a lot of stupid decisions, like shouting out, when people are able to escape. His sister, Sarah (Annie Marie McEvoy) is just as stroppy. She gives no emotional side of trauma, as well. Nor, does she ever seem to be in fear of her life. I also hate the fact, that her character started drawing pictures that predict the future, without any backstory. The two adult leads, are also pretty bland as well. Peter Horton looks and acts like director Michael Bay. His character has a very offensive and fake-looking attitude, when it comes to him looking for action. It's pretty lame, how easily, he can escape from these maniac teenagers. For Linda Hamilton, it's very jarring to see her, play the damsel in distress after last, seeing her, play a semi good heroic in 1984's Terminator. It's sad to see, that her character, here, doesn't really add, anything to the movie. Anyways, their action scenes, together, barely counts as thrilling. I really find the movie, very weird that it's Rated R, yet, most of the deaths, are not really gory, or graphic. The camera always seem to cut away. Another fault of the movie is the lame, and not frightful, jump scare. They mostly pointless, nor make any sense. A good example is the kid's dead body scene. It's a bit odd, for her to know, in detail, what the kid look like, when she didn't see the body, at all. Even, the anti-climactic ending was bad. The movie ends so abrupt. I would rather have, the tragic yet, somewhat bitter sweet ending of the book over this, any day. If there was anything scary about this movie, it wouldn't be the dated, special effects in this film as well. It wasn't impressive at the time, and it sure, hasn't aged well, since then. It looks like radioactive VHS static. The creature toward the end of the film, also looks like a recycle copy of the Master Control Program (MCP) character from 1982's computer fantasy, Tron. The only thing, that was somewhat good, about this film is how menacing, the then-25 year old, John Franklin as the cult lead, Isaac Chroner was. He really save the movie, with his chewing of the scenes. Courtney Gains as his second in command, Malachai Boardman, also deserves credit. He was foreboding, most of the film. Overall: While, this movie was badly made. It did started a thread of sequels and remakes, hoping to capitalize on Stephen King's name. As of this writing, eight sequels have since been produced, and a 2009 remade, TV Movie was filmed. In the end, I felt like this movie could had been better. It's not the worst Stephen King movie, I ever saw, but it's not even, near the best. It's just disappointing. Not a-maize-ing. Let's hope, in the future, somebody can tackle, the source material in making a film with some respect.
  • Leofwine_draca26 February 2016
    5/10
    Deeply flawed but has its moments
    Warning: Spoilers
    In a remote ghost town, children kill any adult who enters the village; their motive, false religion. One day a couple drive into the town, soon learning something is wrong, and it is up to them to stop the senseless sacrifices before they are slaughtered. Aided by two innocent children, they are up against the manic Malachai and some unseen horror known only as He Who Walks Behind The Rows...

    My expectations were low for this film after seeing so many other distinctly average offerings from the "based on" Stephen King catalogue of cinema. However I was pleasantly surprised by the film, it's not often that I find myself laughing out loud at a movie, but I just couldn't help myself in this case. It starts off well enough, as a spooky little atmospheric film, the most effective scenes where the helpless couple are driving around seemingly endless dirt tracks in the corn.

    However, as soon as the main male lead, played by Peter Norton, is stabbed in the chest (with seemingly no effect) things just go a little over-the-top and start to get funny. They then build up to the climax where I was pleased to see bad '80s animated special effects come into play. Well, some of them weren't that bad, but they weren't exactly VOLCANO-style computer generations. Maybe I am spoilt by SFX these days, but back projection is getting a little dated.

    The monster really remains unseen during the film, appearing underground in a TREMORS-style way, it tears up the ground as it speeds along. The acting was also good for a change. The children weren't too annoying, and I actually found myself liking the unaffected kid in the film. Malachai I recognised from somewhere, and the IMDb soon revealed to me that I also saw him in THE 'BURBS a while back. Isaac wasn't exactly what I'd call scary though.

    Peter Norton was quite good as the lead, he redeemed his nondescript acting at the start of the film by a speech where he shouted that "religion not based on love is false!" Linda Hamilton, in the same year she made THE TERMINATOR, sadly has little to do but run around and scream as the heroine. Come to think of it that's about all she did in THE TERMINATOR as well. At least her character was fleshed out a little there. The film remains unsettling at times, and is enhanced by the director's decision not to show some of the deaths, instead only hint at them (saying that, there is a meaty scene where an old guy gets his hand pushed into some sort of grinder). It wasn't overly gory but this added to it for me. The climax was fairly entertaining, but really a case of "big explosions don't compensate for tying-up plot threads" again. It's not a good film by any means, and it remains clichéd, but I enjoyed it and that's what counts.
  • GusF29 November 2015
    A wonderfully awful horror film
    Warning: Spoilers
    Based on the 1977 short story of the same name by Stephen King, this is a wonderfully awful horror film. I have no idea how closely it sticks to the story since I never read it or any of King's work for that matter but the script is horrendously written with more plot holes than you can shake a stick at. The only even remotely clever bits such as the depiction of the mob mentality engendered by cults are taken from either much better works or, unfortunately, real life incidents.

    The film takes a dash of "Village of the Damned" (1960) and a pinch of "The Wicker Man" (1973) to come up with a storyline concerning evil children who sacrifice people to ensure a good corn harvest. Now, I like corn as much as the next guy but this approach seems a little excessive to me. Isaac is basically an older version of Damien from "The Omen" (1976) crossed with Wesley Crusher and the film's score is a poor man's version of that film's. It's essentially a rehash of earlier horror classics. Unlike "The Wicker Man", however, this film actually attempts to make the relevant crop frightening in a few scenes. Amazingly, it doesn't work very well. The director Fritz Kiersch is hardly Richard Attenborough or Kenneth Branagh but he's no Ed Wood or Tommy Wiseau either. Some shots are downright or at least borderline competent.

    The plot concerns the lovely little town of Gatlin, Nebraska which is ruled by Isaac and the other followers of He Who Walks Behind the Rows. Three years earlier, Isaac, clearly a very persuasive guy, convinced the rest of the town's children to ritually murder their parents and every other adult in town (bar one mechanic). The town has been occupied only by the cultists since then and no one has noticed in the meantime. Isaac even used his powers of persuasion to convince cartographers to take Gatlin off the maps, apparently. John Franklin's performance as Isaac could not be described as good but, by God (or should I say by He Who Walks Behind the Rows?), it is entertaining. He steals all of his scenes and makes the film far more entertaining than it would been otherwise. My favourite line is "Question not my judgement, Malachai. I am the giver of his word." His delivery and contemptuous expression are simply hilarious. It's a great verbal bitch-slap.

    Linda Hamilton and Peter Horton play the hapless interlopers / outlanders Burt and Vicki who wind up in Gatlin while on the way to Seattle. Hamilton and Horton are actually good actors who deservedly went on to bigger and better things: the "Terminator" franchise and "Beauty and the Beast" (1987) for her and "thirtysomething" for him. On the bright side, they keep the film from being even more terrible. On the less bright side, they keep the film from being even more unintentionally hilarious. The two of them have good chemistry even though their characters express little affection for each other until the end of the film. However, every time that Vicki yelled "Burt!," I mentally added "Ernie!" The only other actor in the film who gives a genuinely decent performance is R.G. Armstrong as Diehl, the aforementioned mechanic. Courtney Gains, whose career peaked the next year with his one line role in "Back to the Future", is awful as Isaac's disloyal second-in-command Malachai but he is not quite as hilariously awful as Franklin. But, hey, he at least put everything into it! The same is true of most of the other child actors, none of whom went on to great success. Incidentally, "Back to the Future" is my favourite film of all time. This film did not threaten that status.

    I mentioned a few of the plot holes already but this is one of the biggest. In the early part of the film, Burt and Vicki exhibit genius level intelligence when they run over a child named Joseph who turned out to be already dead, having had his throat slit. It just wasn't his day. They then decide that it is a good idea to bungle his corpse into the boot of their car and look for help. Right...Did it not occur to them that if they were stopped by the police and they found the body, it might look just a tad suspicious? No one with half a brain would believe that he had been killed by someone else and they were on their way to the authorities. Besides which, wrapping him in a blanket and shoving him into the boot would destroy any and all forensic evidence that may exist. He is never removed from the boot, meaning that he is left there to rot. Very conscientious!

    Another notable one is that the cultists kill Diehl, admittedly without Isaac's permission, for no reason whatsoever as he seems just as willing to abide by the condition that he tells no one of their existence as he was before. Furthermore, Job describes the brutal murder of his father which took place within several feet of him in a very calm fashion. One would think that this would traumatise a child but he and his sister Sarah take their parents' deaths and all the other horrific events in Gatlin in their stride. They actually giggle at the end, amused by the fact that Burt and Vicki kiss. Oh, and Sarah has the unexplained ability to predict the future through her drawings. Sure, why not? When He Who Walks Behind the Rows manifests, he is killed by a comparatively small explosion caused by a Molotov cocktail. One would also think that a demon from the fiery depths of Hell would be made of sterner stuff but apparently not.

    Overall, this is a great "so bad, it's good" film. It may not be down there with "Plan 9 from Outer Space", "Troll 2" or "The Room" but it's still pretty far down there.
  • grantss8 November 2015
    5/10
    Mediocre adaptation of a Stephen King novel
    Mediocre adaptation of a Stephen King novel. Had great potential. While it was still a "children go insane, start killing adults" movie, it was interesting. Then, at a point, the movie moves from thriller- horror to supernatural-horror and it loses all focus and intrigue. After that it is just a random mess.

    Decent performances by Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton in the lead roles. John Franklin as Isaac provides the unintentional comedic touch: his shrill chipmunky voice and "respect my authority" routine had me bursting out laughing on many occasions. Courtney Gains as Malachi was irritating and over-the-top. This performance is probably the single biggest reason why people tend to have a natural dislike for red-headed kids.
  • adonis98-743-1865038 November 2015
    10/10
    Great Low Budget Film
    Warning: Spoilers
    Children of the Corn is a 1984 low budget film starring Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton (The Terminator & Terminator 2). First of all this film was entertaining from start to finish the characters were really good and none of them didn't deserve to die and the movie is full of creepy kids with creepy music on the background. As always even tho the film wasn't a big critical success Hollywood decided to milk the cow and make more and more sequels so don't bother with those just watch this one and you will be fine. Many brag about the ending i thought the ending was good for a horror film and at the end i think it was a pretty good film with a good cast and a good story.
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