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Children of the Corn Film Review

Updated on October 14, 2019

The Cast

John Franklin
Courtney Gains
Robby Kiger
Anne Marie McEvoy
Julie Maddalena
Peter Horton
Linda Hamliton

About the film

Released: 1984

Producers: Donald Borchers, Terence Kirby

Director: Fritz Kiersch

Running time: 1 hr 32 mins

Genre: Thriller, Horror

Distributed By: New World Pictures

Budget: $800,000

The film

The film is set in the fictional town of Gatlin in Nebraska. The year is 1980 and there doesn't seem to be too much in the town apart from a Church, which we see at the beginning of the film. There is also a small café and some shops. We see Malachi in the cafè playing a pinball machine and Isaac, the leader, standing outside. Isaac has brainwashed the children of Gatlin and gets them to join his religious cult, He Who Walks Behind The Rows. The children are brainwashed into murdering anyone in the town from the age of 19 upwards, since 18 is considered between child and adult. The only 2 children who aren't involved with the cult is Job and his sister, Sarah. Near the start of the film we see how all the adults in the café are murdered by Isaac and his followers.

Fast forward 3 years, Burt and his girlfriend Vicky are travelling through Gatlin on their way to Seattle. But as they are driving through the town, they run over a young boy who is fleeing from the cult. They accidentally kill him leaving them in shock. As Burt and Vicky head into Gatlin to try and get help, they quickly learn that things are not all what it should be. As they start exploring the deserted town, Burt is intrigued and wants to try and figure out what is going on, although Vicky is pretty eager to get out of the town.

It is pretty soon that they encounter Isaac and his group of young followers. Not only do they need to try and save themselves, but also they need to try and help Job and Sarah too. As they try to flee from the demonic and crazed Isaac and his followers, we see how Vicky is offered as a sacrifice on a cross made of, yes, you've guessed it, corn.

My Thoughts

I have watched this film several times over the years. Don't ask me why because I don't know. When it comes to horror films, this certainly isn't one of the best out there. And it's not particularly scary or frightening. I think the only bit in there which would be classed as remotely scary is when Isaac, the leader, shows his demonic side and you see his eyes turn red and his voice turns all demonic. The children themselves I think did a pretty good job at acting, especially the young actors who played Isaac and Malachi. They were still very young at the time of filming, but I think they did quite well at playing such menacing parts.

At just over an hour and a half long, we see how the children have taken over the town and got rid of all the adults. Considering this was made in the mid 80's, the special effects aren't too bad, although they are minimal. The scenes with the demonic effect near the end of the film is quite good for the time, along with the evil Isaac. With the added effect of the background soundtrack, which is pretty eerie, it does add to the suspense of the film. For a 'retro' horror film, this isn't too bad, but I have seen a lot better.

Children of the Corn Trailer

© 2019 Louise Powles


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    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      13 months ago from Roanoke

      Children of the corn brings back a lot of memories.

    • profile image

      Jacqueline G Rozell 

      13 months ago

      Cheryl, it's creepy in an insidious way that, at the time it was released, made it one of the top horror films. My children's favorite game at the time was to play hide and seek in the cornfields and when they had friends camping out to divide into teams and see who could stay lost in the cornfield the longest time. After this movie, the male cousins wouldn't try to stay hidden but would stalk the female cousins and jump out at them sending them screaming through the corn stalks. I just LOVE this review. It has brought back so many memories.

    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      13 months ago from Roanoke

      This is one creepy story. I saw the movie but never read the book.

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      13 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Hello Jacqueline. Yes, you could be right there. I think kids do things in life for survival and are easily taken in.

    • profile image

      Jacqueline G Rozell 

      13 months ago

      Louise, do you think the children were all that easily persuaded or that after a few evil ones killed their parents who were supposed to be invincible (most young kids think their parents are ten feet tall and bullet-proof), they joined the cult as a subconscious means of surviving? It seems to me that teens are more susceptible to becoming taken in by "false prophets" than are the very young who appear to be protected by their innocence. And you are correct about adults, who are the most gullible of all.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      13 months ago

      Louise, maybe what is truly horrifying about this film is the way children or adults can be persuaded to become part of a cult- any cult. And these cults aren't about being a follower of Christianity but about following leaders who are insane and don't even understand what it is to be a christian or a truly loving human being. You've revealed through your article how dangerous cults can be especially with naive minds or those that don't ask questions and blindly follow. I enjoyed your review. Very good article. Thank you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      13 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for the review. I appreciate the warning about the demonic Isaac. It lessens the horror.

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      13 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Jacqueline, thankyou for the lovely comment. Sounds like you have fond memories of you and your sister at Halloween. =)

    • profile image

      Jacqueline G Rozell 

      13 months ago

      Louise, I have the same reaction to this film as you appear to have. Though not the best ever made, for some reason I have watched it several times. It's at the top of the list for all members of family at Halloween who are below the age 70... lol. There is just something about it that puts it in the realm of a "cult classic." Sometimes I think it's because the main characters who are "good guys" all make it out alive. Some of us have discussed it and we are SO over all the horror movies of the last couple decades where the evil wins and has dozens of sequels. I realize there have been sequels to the original of this but I've never watched them so I have no idea as to their quality. I'm leaving well enough alone. Your review is right on the mark. A house full of teen relatives were watching this with lights turned off, laughing at the goings-on in the film. My sister and I sneaked outside after carefully unlocking the windows in the den and lifting them just enough to make it easy to throw them upward. We put on Halloween masks and at an auspicious time threw the windows open with flashlights under our chins. Ah, the satisfaction!! Oh, they were all my place because we were going on a trail ride the next day. I live in the woods and the only flat land around the house had been planted in corn.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      13 months ago from USA

      I recall watching this when I was babysitting way back in the day and it scared me quite a bit but I was just a teenager alone in someone else’s home late at night.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      13 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I haven't seen the movie, but I'd like to watch it. It sounds interesting and scary. I'm going to look for the story it's based on, too. Thanks for the review, Louise.


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