Children of the Corn (1984)

   

Directed by: Fritz Kiersch

Written by: George Goldsmith
Stephen King (Novel)

Starring:

Peter Horton .... Burton Stanton
Linda Hamilton .... Vicky
John Franklin .... Isaac Chroner
Courtney Gains .... Malachai
Robby Kiger .... Job
Anne Marie McEvoy .... Sarah

Special Appearances:

R.G. Armstrong .... Diehl
John Philbin .... Amos Deigan


Release Date:
Theatrical: March 9, 1984

Rating:

 

A young boy named Job (Robby Kiger) experiences a group of older kids poisoning and killing adults in his small town of Gatlin, Nebraska led by an evil kid cult leader named Isaac Chroner (John Franklin) with his assistant Malachai (Courtney Gains).

Three years have passed and the town is deserted running with a group of cult kids.
Job and his friend Sarah (Anne Marie McElvoy) are bored as Isaac decided the kids are not allowed to have fun or play games. One of their friends tries to leave the town of Gatlin to try and get help but is killed in the cornfield.

A young adult couple named Burton (Peter Horton) and Vicky (Linda Hamilton) drive to Nebraska as it's Burton's Birthday.
While they enter the town they accidentally hit the boy who was killed and try to go down to Gatlin which is the nearest town to report it.

However, they drive around and the town seems deserted and they go into a house after Burton sees someone opening a door to the house and then closing it. He realises that the house is dusty, cluttered and quiet with nothing updated for 3 years.
They spot Sarah as she draws a picture of Vicky being taken away to the cornfield. After she draws the picture, Malachai and his gang kidnaps Vicky to take her to a crucifix in a cornfield to be sacrificed while Burton tries to look for help elsewhere.
Burton discovers that in the deserted town kids are being sacrificed after the age of 19 and finds himself trapped there and the grown ups are considered outlanders.

Burton needs to find a way to rescue Vicky from Isaac's evil grasp with the help of Job and Sarah.
Burton realises that Isaac had a reason why he went to the corn field as there's an evil demonic spirit lurching in the patch.

 

We spot a moment with a narration by one of the main children in the film which happens to be Job as there's an impressive moment with him in a coffee shop with his father and everything looks good and peaceful spotting the cutomers mingling as well as spotting Malachai playing on a pinball machine plus spotting Isaac looking through a window at him and they both nod which gives you a chilling feeling that something is about to turn deadly in this peaceful small town and it does just that which looked fairly intense and disturbing to watch.
A good moment with a supporting character named Joseph talking to both Job and Sarah about his plan on escaping as the scene looked quite energetic to watch as well as nice fast camera shots on him running through the cornfield with his suitcase. Meanwhile we have some good moments with both Burton and Vicky driving along the roadside with the cornfield going by as well as them spotting the signs welcoming them to the country which looked oddly amusing. Meanwhile a good moment with camera shots looking up on the cornifeld while Joseph continues to run which looks like the field is attacking him as well as a good camers shot looking down on
Malachai's hand with a blade in his hand ready to strike him down as it offers some nice terror to the picture. While we spot Burtong and Vicky driving while sometimes not paying attention to the road this keeps you watching in suspense wondering if they'll hit something on the road that this scene leaves it open for you to think this way which looked well done. and BANG! This moment makes you jump right out of your seat when we spot a surprise camera shot on what's on the road which looked terrifying for sure.
A perfect moment when we spot Vicky sleeping in her vehicle and a nice shot on Malachi slowly approaching the vehicle and spying on her as this looked spooky to watch plus a good moment on her going out and approaching Burton with the dead body on the road as well as a perfect jumping moment that involves this dead body which showed perfect timing as you wonder if this is a dream or not.
A perfect shot on the character Diehl near his gast station with thunder clouds rolling in giving it that nice dark tough to the story as well as him getting frightened inside his gas station while trying to find out on who's there watching him plus a good dark shot on Malachi as well as a good shot on his blade adding nice suspenseful situations here and a nice touch within this scene.
We spot a nice uplifting situation with Job and his sister Sarah playing Monopoly while listening to a record and having fun in an abandoned house where the residents were killed and is off limits to the cult children members as there's great camera shots on them making sarcastic situations playing the game and using Isaac's name which brings your attention carefully to what goes on as well as a perfect shot on a blade being thrown at the boardgame and a nice evil shot on Malachi glaring at them. Another nice touch to the horror story.
Also a nice still moment when Malachi bring the two siblings to Isaac and complaining as well as a good sharp and calm moment by Isaac speaking to these two young one's which was carefully done and dramatic as well as good and serious.
There's a sitation that looked strong when Isaac is preaching towards the children around the conrfield brainwashing them which looked powerfully done and in a great serious type pf fashion too. Good shots on this as well as spotting a crucifix made of corn too which looked creepy spotting this too.
A nice moment with Vicky spending time with Sarah while she colours a picture as well as having the viewers suspect that when she sees the picture especially when Sarah tells she's colouring a pic of her that it's not going to be a good thing. Also perfect suspenseful moments when
Malachai and his gang creeps up to her as well as what he's saying to her which was spooky. This moment will make you cringe for sure and wondering on what's going to happen next.
Good close up shots on one of the cult preachers in a church carving a bloody pentagram on someone's chest which psych's you out wondering on what's happening here as well as good struggling situations with Burton in the church and trying to get away. Plus good distant shots on the deserted town and the kids cornering him lead by
Malachai crying OUTLANDER which is a famous quote in the film well remembered to any fans of the film. Also good suspenseful moments on him running away from this psychotic kids.
The best moments in the film really start to kick in to make up for some of the slow plots here even if it tries to look powerful reavealing the cult scarifice about to happen here as well as Malachi trying to take over and Isaac losing on this situation with the kids putting him on the crucifix along with good dark shots on the thunder clouds rolling in which looked perfectly dark and creepy while Malachi does his ceremony. Plus a nice special effects shot on some powerful force crawling up on Isaac which looked perfectly done. There's also great moments with Burton being straight forward about how poisoning this religion is told to everyone which makes you wonder if they will believe him or not. Also great struggling situations with him wrestling against Malachi as this looked strongly done.
A perfectly effective moment with Isaac ressurected into a demonic type of being and neat demonic voice effects when he approached Malachi as well as a good scared shot on him while he's about to do something to him. For sure this moment looked perfectly dark.
More great dazzling special effects when both Burton and Job are in the cornfield and trying to snuff out the demonic force with nice shots on the ground rolling towards them or a lighten up stromy clouds hovering over them with electric powerfully demonic forces in the air as this will please all you horror fans while spotting all of this.
A perfect touch on the near ending of the film when everyone thinks it's all over when Burton goes into his borken up car to get a map and a surprise attack happens which nearly makes you jump while watching this happen. Pretty well done.
Bottom line is that this is not as bad as some people make it out to be. Not the best, but not too bad. (The film isn't for everyone's taste I should warn you) It had a cult following and inspired many sequels later on.
It's very imaginative of thinking about kids over ruling a small town making adults extinct there and them having more power. Also, it's a terrifying example of a brainwashing type of religion making out that thwe evil things these kids do is what God wants. Now that's frightening. There are many interesting moments like the deadly cult ceremony which explains why they do what they do. However alot of the plotlines were a bit slow until the final moments which really was enjoyable. Based on Stephen King's short novel Night Shift.

The acting is good as I enjoyed all of the performances in this film. Peter Horton (Burton Stanton) had a good sharp and outgoing type of personality as he came across as someone whom is knowledgeable and knows what to do when a problem occurs. Shows off some terrific energy when the terror strikes him adding perfect adrenaline within whatever he does. Shows off some great aggressions especially when telling the onscreen kids off about what they're doing which looked good and natural. Was great in his blocking for alot of the struggling moments offering a nice tough as nails type of personality. Yes he was a fine character actor.
Linda Hamilton (Vicky) was on her rise to fame when she starred in Terminator the exact same year and does well by acting cautious on situations in certain spots of the story which comes across nice and natural. She shows a good calmness to whatever she did. Shows a nice caring attitude in a scene when she talks to an onscreen child actress which also came across as perfectly believeable too. Plus shows it off nicely when she acts alerted when she is approached in a dangerous way which looked sharply done. Also does a good job when she gets scared or nearly acting emotional too as she can really get into this nicely.
Courtney Gains (Malachai) is marvellous playing a second in command to the children's cult making his character believeably nasty. Shows a perfect nastiness to his presence as well as offering perfect loud speaking and nice outrageous aggressions too. Comes across as someone you'd seriously want to punch in the head for sure. He was believeable with his dominating and betrayal attitude too. He for sure studied this part incredibly well and lived to play this role. He is one of the best young actors without a doubt.
However, the best performer I found in the film was Jonathan Franklin (Isaac Chroner) as the cult leader as he became a cult favourite to horror film buffs. His speech is great when he does his teaching with the cult kids and really says his words very powerfully. Shows a perfect wicked calmness and sounding nice and clear. Also does a great job acting fearful and screaming out in a scene when he's betrayed which he adds some perfect adrenaline. Also shows off a perfect demonic glance and presesence during the end of his performance which was a classic moment. Well done Franklin!!!!
Robby Kiger
(Job) showed off a real sharp personality as a wise cracking type of kid in which he was great by acting wise and mature about stuff. Plus does a good job having fun while playing a borad game with his sarcasm which offers some good chuckles and was believeable acting like a natural kid trying to have fun. He was eneretic in every way too.
Anne Marie McEvoy (Sarah) really brought out her cute happy type of charming attitude especially when she giggles and acts happy playing a game. She also does a nice job while getting into a conversation before starting to draw a picture. Has the convincing type of innocence within whatever she does here. Also had the right look for this as well which was a great bonus.
R.G. Armstrong
(Diehl) does a nice job with his eccentric personality as well as having a good disturbed type of attitude when discussing a situation to someone as he adds a nice mysterious type of presence into this. Had a nice gruff speaking as well as doing a good job by acting frightened during another situation. Plus does a good job acting cautious as well as on target with his blocking while slowly pulling out a knife and looking around which showed nice timing.
We also have a small supporting role by John Philbin (Amos Deigan) in his very first acting gig on screen as his character explains why the people are sacrificed at a certain age. Was very convincing as someone whom is believeably brainwashed and not with it. Does a good job with his dazed expressions like he is not all there. Also does a good job with his aggressions in another spot.

Nothing too gruesome. Alot of the killings are offscreen. There is a throat slit of a child and the results later is very bloody, some stabbings and lots of blood splashing around but nothing your stomach can't take.

Jonathan Elias did a nice job composing the music for this flick as you can tell he knew what to put in for a scene and shows great chanting for the very eerie parts as it almost sounds similar to the Amityville Horror there's some perfect violin high type of symphony along with good drum beats and chiming sounds along with some nice pleasant uplifting piano composing for a scene where a child tries to run across the cornfield in the daylight for freedom which totally fits the plot. The music really sounds good and dark for when the sacrifice happens or during the demonic storm in the cornfield with the other survivors trying to struggle through the madness happening at the present time.

Vicky: Is he...
Burt: Oh, yeah.

Burt Robeson: I spy, with my lttle eye, something that starts with C.
Vicky: Corn.

Vicky: What are you going to do when you catch them?
Burt: Ask them for directions, what else?

Burt: [about the Bible] What, did you rewrite the whole thing, or just the parts that don't suit your needs?

Malachai: What Hath the lord commandeth?

Malachai: Make sacrifice unto him! Bring him the blood of the outlanders!

Issac: Behold, a dream did come to me in the night, and the lord did show all this to me. In the dream the lord did come to me and he was a shape, it was He Who Walks Behind the Rows, and I did fall on my knees in terror, and hide my eyes, lest the fearfulness of his face strike me dead! And he told me all that has since happened. He said; Joseph has taken his things and fled this happy place because the worship of me is no longer upon him... so take you his life and spill his blood Like water upon the earth! but let not the flesh pollute the corn, cast him instead upon the road!

Isaac: I am the word and the giver of his laws!

Malachai: And so it was done... Joseph the betrayer was cast out.

Isaac: And He who walks behind the rows did say; I will send outlanders amongst you... a man and a woman, and these outlanders will be unbelievers and profaners of the holy and the man will sorely test you. for he has great power, even greater than that of the blue man!

Children: The Blue man! Yes, The Blue Man!

Isaac: And just as the Blue Man was offered up unto him, so shall be the unbelievers!

Children: Praise God! Praise the Lord! Praise God! Praise the Lord! Praise God! Praise the Lord!

All the children: Praise God, praise the lord!
Isaac: Behold, a dream did come to me in the night and the lord did show all this to me. In the dream the lord did come to me he was a shape, it was He Who Walks Behind the Rows, and I did fall on my knees in terror, and hide my eyes that the fearfulness of his face strike me dead, and he told me all that has since happened, he said Joseph has taken his things and fled this happy place because the worship of me is no longer upon him, so take you his life and spill his blood. I brought you upon this earth, but let not the flesh pollute the corn, cast him instead upon the rows!
Malachai: And so it was done, Joseph was cast out!
Isaac: And He who walks behind the rows did say I will send outlanders among you a man and a woman, and these unbeliever and profaners of the holy, but the man will sorely test as he has great power, even greater than that of the blue man!
All the children: The Blue man! Yes, the blue man!
Isaac: And just as he was offered up on to him, so shall be the unbelievers!
All the children: Praise God, praise the lord! Praise God, praise the lord! Praise God, praise the lord! Praise God, praise the lord! Praise God, praise the lord! (chants)

Malachai: Outlander! Outlander! We have your woman!

Burt: What's going on here?
Richard 'Amos' Deigan: It is my birthday.
Burt: You've got a pretty sick way of celebrating, pal!

Isaac: 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!
Malachai: They are tired of your talk, Isaac. I've shown them what I can do.
[to the children]
Malachai: Cut the woman down. Put Isaac in her place.
[to Isaac]
Malachai: We shall see how the Lord favours you...

[Isaac is really angry]
Isaac: Malachai! He wants you too, Malachai! He wants you too!

Isaac: Disobedience to me, is disobedience to Him!

Burt: Any religion without love and compassion is false! It's a lie!

Burt: She's out cold. What are going to do now?
Vicky: Send her a get well card from Seattle. Let's get the hell out of here!