When a young couple
find themselves stranded in the isolated community of Gatlin, Nebraska,
they discover that all of the town's adults have been slaughtered by a
religious cult of twisted children who worship a mysterious cornfield deity.
Can these adults escape the fanatical wrath of these adolescent zealots,
or will they become the next blood sacrifices to 'He Who Walks Behind The
"Don't just stand there! Seize him! Punish him! I am the giver of his laws! Disobedience to me is disobedience to him! Do it now or your punishment shall be a thousand times a thousand deaths! Each more horrible than the last!"
In my opinion this
is a great film and here's why: Even before we see anything we feel that
the score will be of great importance in this film. Aside from a slightly
electronic new wave 80's score provided by Jonathan Elias the film is also
scored by a children's choir appropriate and both chilling in tandem with
the events that occur on-screen and with the theme of the film.
Like in many
horror films we begin in flashback to prior event that led to current unusual
circumstances with voice over narration of Job who is the older brother
of Sarah. Throughout the film these two are involved in simple activities
which are banned under the cults rules but because of Sarah's gift they
generally are allowed to do what they wish. What separates this film from
most of the 80's is that it's not necessarily focused on gore. We get dead
bodies and the after-effect of the massacres. The obsession of needing
to see the blade or bullet whatever it may be pierce the skin is absolutely
eliminated and the result is even more frightening.
Joseph, a child
displeased with the ways Isaac has placed upon the town of Gatlin, tries
to escape but he is caught. All we see when he dies is a few drops of blood
falling on a suitcase he was going to take with him on the road. Film should
be looked at as a medium that is at times binding to the imagination. When
any director, Fritz Kiersch in this instance, allows the audience to imagine
what may have been done to these people it deserves notice. Another example
of this is the massacre three years prior that kicks off the film. We hear
a mother's death over the phone and see a father's blood splatter over
his son's face. A lot of what makes this film great is the mounting tension
that is created when we see these two trying to get around this seemingly
One of the most
effective techniques Kiersch used to heighten tension while the film was
progressing was the use of shots from an anonymous yet subjective POV...
after we knew the children were already out to get them. There's a shot
through broken glass that's been stained brown, a shot of someone peering
over a garbage can, low-angle shots of the corn when Joseph's being chased.
He also employed time to his advantage because the young couple does not
enter the town of Gatlin where all the horrors will occur until the 39th
minute of the film and even following their arrival things creep along
slowly. There is a great use of wide-angle shots throughout to demonstrate
the emptiness of the town also.
The audio and
visual effects of this film are absolutely breathtaking. There's a great
use of what appears to be time lapse footage coupled with the audio affect
of gushing wind to signify the wrath of God. Near the conclusion of the
film we hear the greatest demonic voices in the history of film (In my
humble opinion). It's deep, raspy and frightening without going overboard.
And just when the most psychotic of all the town's children is going to
walk away from this, Isaac speaks to him in that voice and delivers a line
that helps make the terror unfold: "He wants you too, Malachi. He wants
you too." The escalating horror of the climax continues when there is a
gorgeous fiery apparition in the sky and later an obviously processed flame
beneath it which we assume is supernatural but to say more would be giving
that is a must see for Stephen King fans and also for fans of the possesion/demonic
- On the dashboard of Burt and Vicki's car is a copy of Night
Shift, the Stephen King short story collection in which Children
of the Corn originally appeared.
- 100% of Children of the Corn was filmed in Iowa.
- When Burt is at the crossroads in the car and he stops and complains
about having just passed a sign to Gatlain, the director and crew are reflected
in the side of the car.
- In the original theatrical trailer, Stephen King's name is misspelt as
- Just after Burt's car hits the boy, it skids to a halt, but the tire marks
are in front of the car.
- Children of the Corn was created on a budget of $3,000,000...
the film ended up making $14,600,000 in the theaters.
the original ending of the story Linda Hamilton's character Vicki was killed
by the children. She joined "the blue man" on a cross and had her eyes
of the Corn was released on March 9, 1984 in the USA.
- Linda Hamilton was also working on The Terminator while filming COTC.