Children of the Corn Movie Review

Children of the Corn

And a Child shall lead them...


Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R.G. Armstrong, John Franklin

Courtney Gains, Anne Marie McEvoy, Robby Kiger, John Philbin, Julie Maddalena, Jonas Marlowe, Dan Snook, David Cowen, Suzy Southam, D.G. Johnson, Patrick Boylan, Elmer Soderstrom, Teresa Toigo, Mitch Carter, Eric Freeman Update Cast


During the 70's Stephen King became a household name writing some of the scariest novels ever. In 1976, the first of many hit movies based on his works hit the streets in the form of Brian DePalma's "Carrie."

Although all too often the cinematic versions bore little more than a passing resemblance to King's original work, for years to come, seldom did anything from the hands and mind of Stephen King, NOT get made into a movie. His short story Children of the Corn was no exception.

3 years ago, before the main events of the story happened, just after Sunday church services, all seems normal in the small town of Gatlin, Nebraska. Job (Robby Kiger) was the only boy in church that day, his sister was home sick, and all the others were in the corn field with the mysterious newcomer, Isaac (John Franklin).

Enjoying a milkshake at the local diner, Job takes note of Isaac standing at the window giving his unspoken order to Malachai (Courtney Gains). After the teenage waitresses poison the coffee, Malachai and the other children slaughter all the adults in the place, including Job’s father. That day, Job’s sister Sarah (Anne Marie McEvoy) begins to draw strange pictures. As the credits that roll in, these pictures give impressions of the many horrors that are to follow.

In the present, young couple Burt (Peter Horton) and Vicky (Linda Hamilton) set off on the road to get to Burt’s new job and they take to the roads of Nebraska. One child tries to escape the little town of Gatlin, but finds his throat slashed at the hands of Malachai. Stumbling out on to the road he is mowed down by Burt and Vicky’s car. With a dead boy on their hands the two need to find a phone and Gatlin is the nearest town. A local mechanic (R. G. Armstrong), sternly warns them not to go, but, drawn in by some mysterious force they are unable to leave, which results in the children murdering the mechanic, who failed to keep the outsiders away.

Now, Isaac, the leader of the children, orders that the outsiders be captured for sacrifice, to appease their god, ‘he who walks behind the rows’. After splitting up to look for help in the seemingly deserted town, Vicky is captured and tied to a cross. Now Burt, with the help of Sarah and Job, must save her and stop the mysterious evil that dwells in this town.

The first half of the movie is the part that is scary, it’s also where all the deaths take place (not including the deaths of the villains). It is a tad slow-paced, but it does help add to the suspense. The second half of the film frequently falls into the realm of silliness. The children no longer hide in the shadows and are now out in the open. We then get exposed to some silly speeches from Peter Horton, preaching about their misguided beliefs. The ending is, for many, disappointing.

A change of mood from the downbeat ending of the original novel to a more 'Hollywood' sappy ending leaves the viewer a tad let down...

Author: Wen C BaileyUpdate This Review


Children of the Corn from the Stephen King collection of short stories, Night Shift, is now mostly forgotten amongst many people. It was never, by any means, a great movie, but it wasn’t terrible either. Perhaps one of the problems with this film is that movie goers didn’t know what to make of it, it wasn’t normal horror movie fair. It may have originally been intended to be rated PG, there is after all no particularly gory violence, nudity or foul language (although a movie which stars children killing people is not the sort of thing that would be exposed to younger audiences). Overall, Children of the Corn was a pretty good movie, and is at least worth a couple of bucks to rent. I considered it good enough to warrant buying it on DVD, and I suggest that if you are a horror movie completest that you buy this yourself.

Children of the Corn was a fairly creepy and suspenseful movie. The performances from the younger actors are quite good. Better than many other killer children movies out there, although the second half of the movie leaves something to be desired. 9 years after it was made the first Children of the Corn sequel was released followed by 5 others. A good, suspenseful thriller that is worth seeing at least once.

Scary, suspenseful opening, great score.
The ending is pretty silly for a movie with an overall serious tone.

Rewind Rating


The Movie Data

Key Crew

Director: Fritz Kiersch
Writer: Stephen King, George Goldsmith
Producers: Donald P. Borchers, Earl A. Glick, Terence Kirby, Mark Lipson
Locations Manager:

Update The Crew


Release Date: 09 Mar 1984
MPAA Rating: R
Studio: Angeles
Production: Angeles Entertainment Group, Cinema Group, Gatlin, Hal Roach Studios Inc., Inverness Productions
Genre: Horror / Occult

Update The Data

The Movie Trailer
Jump To: Music & Soundtrack Vibes
1984 Angeles
V4_27 Powered by Rewind C21 CMS