Saturday, October 15, 2016

Halloween Movie Review #15: "Children of the Corn" (1984)

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Movie"Children of the Corn"
Director: Fritz Kiersch
Year: 1984
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

In the small town of Gatlin under the orders of religious zealot Isaac (John Franklin), the children of the town are convinced to murder all of the adults. A short time later, a couple on a cross-country drive have an accident and head to Gatlin looking for help or a telephone. They quickly realize something is not quite right about this town, and unbeknownst to them, they may become the next victims of these murdering children.


"Children of the Corn" is the feature film debut of director Fritz Kiersch, who would later go on to direct such wildly successful hits as "Tuff Turf" and "Gor." The screenplay is written by George Goldsmith and is based on a short story by horror writing master Stephen King. The film revolves around a small Nebraska town called Gatlin, where a boy named Isaac, played by John Franklin, leads a religious cult of children to murder their parents and all of the other adults of the town. A couple named Burt and Vicky, played by Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton, are driving through Nebraska on their way to Seattle where Burt has a job as a physician waiting for him. While driving down this remote stretch of road, a child trying to escape Gatlin runs out into the road and is struck by their car. Burt jumps out to examine the boy and notices he had his throat slit prior to being hit. The two gather up the boy's body and look for help or a phone. Unfortunately, their search lands them in Gatlin where they have to deal with Isaac and his brutal red-haired enforcer Malachai, played by Courtney Gains.

Horror movies like to turn things on their head. They enjoy taking what is typically perceived as innocent and turning it into something sinister. In "Children of the Corn," the children of Gatlin have been turned into murdering little psychopaths. There is little reasoning with this cult of children as they believe they are doing the will of a higher power as spoken through Isaac. Another great source of horror is the religious cult, and Isaac and his killer kids also check that box as well. Religious murder tots...genius! There is a little bit of gore here and there, as well as some brief moments of tension, but overall, this movie is pretty damn cheesy. It's very, very dated and hasn't exactly held up very well over the past 30+ years. Even though it is somewhat fun, it isn't all that engaging and the story itself is a little ridiculous. The narrative isn't as cohesive as it should be, but still, look at all of these freaky religious kids killing adults! Without this insane premise, "Children of the Corn" would have nothing. We can't even say the performances are all that great because they are also pretty bad, but still, if you can look past its dated exterior, you may find enjoyment in this movie.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 38%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.
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One year ago, we were being scared by: "The ABCs of Death"

Two years ago, we were being scared by: "The Mist"

Three years ago, we were being scared by: "The Convent"

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