Macabre...ish Horror Review: Children of the Corn




Children of the Corn, 1984/ 1 hr 33 min.


This film is narrated by a boy named Job and opens with some town teens slaughtering the adults in a cafe. The sister of out narrater has developed some psychic ability and draws pictures of the horrors she sees.


It’s also Burt’s birthday and it’s about to be the worst birthday ever.


On a road trip to California for a new job, a bickering couple, Vicky (Linda Hamilton) and Burt (Peter Horton), hit a boy who’s  in the road, his throat has been cut. They load his body into the car, in search of the police in the nearest town, Gatlin, Nebraska. All signs point to Gatlin and there is nothing but fields of corn.


On the way, the only radio station has a fire and brimstone sermon. No music, no news. Just hellfire.


They arrive in Gatlin and encounter a ghost town. The entire town has been abandoned but the church. Burt ignores Vicky’s pleas to leave this place and searches a house and find Sarah, Job’s sister. She explains all the adults are in the  cornfield.


Burt returns to find Vicky gone, kidnapped by kids, dressed in home spun clothes, carrying farm tools and the car has been vandalized. He searches the cornfield and finds a church full of kids, preparing a sacrifice and he stabbed.


Burt is hidden by Job and hears the tale of Isaac, a child preacher, his coming and how his sermons changed everything. He later finds crucified remnants of the towns adults, in the clearing,,as well as finding Vicky.


The children of Gatlin are now a cult who worships an entity that inhabits the cornfield, known as He Who Walks Behind The Rows. Not all of the kids, some are just waiting for an opportunity to escape.


Apparently this demon is displeased that the kids have neglected to kill Burt and others and as a form of punishment have lowered the age of sacrifice from 19 to 18. And on top of that, there is in fighting amongst their leadership and mutiny.


After a ritual sacrifice, Burt confronts the kids about what they’ve become and when Malachi neglects to enter the field, he is summoned.


This is based on a Stephen King short from Night Shift which is much heavier and darker than the movie, originally published in Penthouse Magazine in the 1970s. Also Gatlin is next to Hemingford Home in The Stand and mentioned in IT.