Film Review: Children of the Corn (1984)

Also known as: Stephen King’s Children of the Corn (complete title)
Release Date: March 9th, 1984
Directed by: Fritz Kiersch
Written by: George Goldsmith
Based on: Children of the Corn by Stephen King
Music by: Jonathan Elias
Cast: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R. G. Armstrong, John Franklin, Courtney Gains

Angeles Entertainment Group, Hal Roach Studios, New World Pictures, 92 Minutes

Review:

“Any religion without love and compassion is false! It’s a lie!” – Burt

Linda Hamilton had a big career making year in 1984 between this film and The Terminator, which was released months later.

I was never a big fan of this movie, even as a kid, but I guess I appreciate it more now. I mean, it’s certainly eerie and effective. However, everything in it seems kind of pointless, other than it’s cool seeing fucked up, murdering children that pray to some evil god birthed from the mind of Stephen King.

This is an example of why some things work much better as a short story, as this was originally written. There just isn’t enough here to justify a longer story and seeing it adapted into a movie turned it into a slow, drawn out affair where almost nothing really happens, except in the prologue and at the end.

Other than that, half the movie is driving around cornfields and then the other half is hiding from killer kids carrying farm tools.

The story is about kids in a small town following a child preacher who convinces them to kill all the adults. Whenever other adults wander into town, they get sacrificed to the bizarre cornfield god that travels through dirt like the monsters from Tremors.

I do like Isaac, the primary villain in this, though. I always thought he was scary but he also had something a bit off about him. I didn’t know until years later that the actor was actually in his 20s when he played this role. He dies in this but he would return years later in the sixth film. However, I’ve never seen any of the sequels but I may dive into them to review because why not?

Overall, this is slow as hell but I wouldn’t call it boring. As for Stephen King film adaptations, this is one of the poorer ones of the ’80s. A lot of people liked it, though, and I could be in the minority. I just feel like it doesn’t come close to holding a candle to the best of King’s adaptations or the horror classics of its decade.

Rating: 5.25/10
Pairs well with: its sequels, as well as other Stephen King film adaptations.