Stephen King’s Children Of The Corn

Children Of The Corn is such an iconoclast franchise packed to the brim with as many sequels as your Hellraisers or your Pumpkinheads, and it has firm roots in horror pop culture so I was excited to finally check out the original 1984 that started it all and my strongest thoughts are that it’s just not a good movie. Like… this? This is what spawned an entire legacy that, to this day, still won’t quit? I expected something memorable, legendary and possessive of some quality or spark that genuinely lives on in your mind and fears after the credits roll, some quality that justifies two dozen sequels that stretch right into the new millennium, something that most lore-expansive horror franchise’s first efforts usually have, that this one simply doesn’t. All there is to this story is a young couple (Linda Hamilton & Peter Horton) driving through a desolate county filled with miles of cornfields, a region populated only by creepy little brats who have all killed their parents and every other adult in the area at the behest of some unseen deity who when finally made visible via some truly abysmal special effects, is a laughable, mostly absent antagonist. The child actors, spearheaded by irritating John Franklin and hammy Courtney Gains, are forgettable and nothing close to naturalistic or scary, the locations are over lit and drab, I’ve never seen a horror film set in and around cornfields squander the incredibly potent setting, there’s just no atmosphere at all. The story honestly just reminded me of that South Park episode where all the kids get their parents locked up for “molestering” them and live alone, which now that I think about it, they probably based that on this. I wish I had something nice to say about this but sadly I was so so letdown by a film whose reputation curiously says otherwise. I suppose there’s two of the little kids that give decent performances and elicit sympathy, I can’t find their names now on IMDb as they’ve grown up and the photos look different but they’re a brother and sister of maybe 5 and 7 with telekinesis who wish to defect and run away from this cult, they had my sympathy and I liked their work, but other than that this was just dire. There’s about as many sequels to this out there as there were weird little kids running around in the corn here and if you’ve seen them and know of any that, like those two little kids, rise above the B grade, cheap shit vibes of this one let me know, but I was about as unimpressed as possible here.

-Nate Hill

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