Children of the Corn - 4/31 Days of Halloween
Updated: Oct 24, 2018
It's day number four of our 31 Days of Halloween, and today's movie comes from the master of terror, Stephen King! Today's movie is 1984's Children of the Corn.
You'll probably be shocked to learn that I've never watched this one before. I remember other kids raving about this movie and how scary it was when I was young, but Stephen King has always been hit or miss for me, so I avoided it. Today, I decided to find out just what all the fuss is about.
The film opens with narration from a boy named Job, and we see the adults in the small Nebraska town of Gatlin being murdered by their children under the instruction of a boy named Isaac and his lieutenant Malachai, who spends 90% of his screen time stretching his mouth to superhuman dimensions and shouting "Outlander!"
A doctor named Burt and his girlfriend Vicky (played by The Terminator's Linda Hamilton) are traveling past Gatlin when they accidentally run over a boy murdered by Malachai during an escape attempt. The couple take the boy's body and go in search of help, and after meeting a deliberately misleading mechanic, go on a winding journey that forces them into Gatlin, which appears to be a ghost town. The couple are soon besieged by Gatlin's sole inhabitants, a cult of orphans who worship an entity known as He Who Walks Behind The Rows. Burt and Vicky team up with Job and Sarah, the only living children not under Isaac and Malachai's sway, in order to escape Gatlin and free the town from He Who Walks Behind the Rows' influence.
The verdict? I liked it! Once again, Stephen King shoehorns supernatural mental powers into the story in the form of the young girl Sarah, who has visions and draws them in pictures. King often trots out telepathy and telekinesis when he's written himself into a corner and doesn't know how to get out, but that really wasn't the case this time, so I'll let it slide. I'll never forgive King for the final 1/3 of Cell.
John Franklin is fantastic as Isaac, the leader of the cult. I was actually disappointed to see him usurped so easily by Malachai. When Isaac gets his... second wind... I actually cheered for him. What? Cheered for the villain? Sure did. That's when you know they're good villains.
The film's backstory intrigued me enough that I'm interested in checking out at least some of the sequels, especially since one of them is titled "Isaac's Return." There are ten films in all, including a made-for-TV remake. One would think that after so many films they'd start to get... corny.
I'll see myself out now. See you tomorrow.