Children of the Corn (1984)
Written By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Fritz Kiersch
Producer: Donald P. Borchers, Terence Kirby
Screenplay: George Goldsmith
Film based on novel: Stephen King’s Children of the Corn
Date Released: March 9, 1984
Linda Hamilton as Vicky Baxter
Peter Horton as Burt Stanton
John Franklin as Isaac Chroner
Courtney Gains as Malachai Boardman
R.G. Amrstrong as Diehl
Robby Kiger as Job
Anne Marie McEvoy as Sarah
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Vicky (Linda Hamilton) and Burt (Peter Horton) are on a road trip and travel to a Town called Gatlin, located in Nebraska. Filled with farm land and cornfields, they arrive at the town which at first, appears to be abandoned. However, Vicky and Burt find out is that the town is in fact, overrun with children. As Vicky and Burt investigate the town, they soon find out that a young boy named Isaac (John Franklin) became the children’s leader and overran the town, killing all the adults in it. Isaac with his companion, Malachai (Courtney Gains) began a religious cult where adults are offered for sacrifice to a greater power called “He Who Walks Behind the Rows”. The story follows Vicky and Burt as they struggle for survival in this child-controlled town in Nebraska.
It is clear from the outset that minimal special effects were placed in this film. In many respects, it was a bit comical. For example, towards the end of the film, the greater power ends up absorbing Isaac causing the crucifix and Isaac to fly into the air. Of course, the crucifix looks like a small model used to make the scene. Unfortunately, these scenes take away from the eerie theme of the film rather than add to it. Overall, the special effects and gore were poorly integrated. With a budget of $800,000, some critiques say that the lack of special effects work was due to budgetary restraints. Even so, a little creativity goes a long way.
The Grave Review
Children of the Corn (1984) had an interesting story line and at the time, there was nothing like it. From an originality standpoint, there is much to be praised regarding the film. Since its 1984 release, the film has received a large cult following that by any horror fans standards would be considered a classic. The plot, itself, was well executed and as was the paced of the film.
From a scare standpoint, the problem with these types of films is that some people do not find children to be intimidating or threatening unless your new to parenthood. Engaging the masses in a film like this is very difficult. One of the downfalls of the film is that you never truly felt threatened. Vicky and Burt are nearly double the size of these children (with the exception of Malachai), and in that respect, it is very difficult to believe that they would allow themselves to be captured so easily. The more disturbing aspect of this film is the fact that the leader of the group, Isaac, created this strange religious cult, which may not be so far-fetched from some aspects of the world.
The actors in conjunction with the dialogue in this film were somewhat dramatized but nevertheless entertaining to watch. For example, Isaac and Malachai along with some of the other children speak in an adult and old-english manner. The way in which the children interacted with each other reminded me of the story of Lord of the Flies where the children created groups and rebelled against one another. Such mannerisms as in this film brought back some fun reminders of past stories.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Children of the Corn (1984) three graves out of five Graves.
Do you agree with our review? Comment below.