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Children of the Corn (1984)

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A young couple is trapped in a remote town where a dangerous religious cult of children believe everyone over the age of 18 must be killed.

Director:

Fritz Kiersch

Writers:

Stephen King (short story), George Goldsmith (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,840 ( 182)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Horton ... Burt
Linda Hamilton ... Vicky
R.G. Armstrong ... Diehl
John Franklin ... Isaac
Courtney Gains ... Malachai
Robby Kiger Robby Kiger ... Job
Anne Marie McEvoy Anne Marie McEvoy ... Sarah (as AnneMarie McEvoy)
Julie Maddalena ... Rachel
Jonas Marlowe Jonas Marlowe ... Joseph
John Philbin ... Amos
Dan Snook Dan Snook ... Boy
David Cowen David Cowen ... Dad
Suzy Southam Suzy Southam ... Mom
D.G. Johnson ... Mr. Hansen
Patrick Boylan Patrick Boylan ... Hansen's customer
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Storyline

A boy preacher named Isaac goes to a town in Nebraska called Gatlin and gets all the children to murder every adult in town. A young couple have a murder to report and they go to the nearest town (Gatlin) to seek help but the town seems deserted. They are soon trapped in Gatlin with little chance of getting out alive. Written by Éamonn Green

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cult | boy | corn | pagan ritual | worship | See All (135) »

Taglines:

And a child shall lead them... See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 March 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stephen King's Children of the Corn See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,042,821, 11 March 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$14,568,989
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (Ryder Sound Services)

Color:

Color (CFI)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael and Corey Frizzell, the nephews of legendary country music stars Lefty Frizzell & David Frizzell and sons of Country Gospel great Allen Frizzell (once married to country star Shelly West), played extras at the age of 8 and 9. Michael was also Robby Kiger's (Job) stunt double. Corey was also a stand in for Kiger. See more »

Goofs

After Sarah takes the needle off of the record player, the record continues to spin to a stop, then in one shot it stops spinning. But in a following shot it is still spinning. See more »

Quotes

Vicky: Is he...
Burt: Oh, yeah.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The director's intial cut was much longer than the version that eventually made it to theaters and video. Amongst the missing footage:
  • A longer prologue where several other adults are killed, most noticlbly a deputy whose throat is slashed and then stabbed in the chest, and a farmer who is hacked to death outside his barn by a group of pick-axe wielding kids.
  • A scene between Sarah and Job's parents before the slaughter. They talk over the breakfast table about Sarah's drawings of the upcoming massacre and how they think something awful is about to happen.
  • A scene where Isaac prays to He Who Walks Behind The Rows only to receive a horrific vision of his impending fate.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Hocus Pocus (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

School is Out
Courtesy of Frank Guida / Rockmasters
International Network
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
And a child shall lead them...
20 September 2007 | by cedde6See all my reviews

This is the tale of a young couple (Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton) stranded in the deserted little town of Gatlin, Nebraska and stalked by a pack of adult killing children worshipping a demon living in the surrounding cornfields.

This very atmospheric piece is a rather humble b-movie that boasts an unusual and interesting premise (thanks to a pretty good short story by Stephen King) and delivers some decent performances from its cast (which is rare with children in general).

Although soft in its depiction of violence, the movie offers some creepy moments (especially in the still effective opening sequence). John Franklin, excellent as the child-preacher Isaac, makes for one odd and creepy looking kid and Courtney Gains inhabits his psychopathic Malachai character with obvious delight.

The cornfields are beautifully shot and the overall is boosted by a pretty efficient score by Jonathan Ellias. And to top this all up, R.G. Armstrong makes here an appearance (albeit a too short one) as a recluse gas station owner.

Don't be fooled though. The movie is far to be a masterpiece. At leading endlessly its main characters around cornfields and then through the deserted town (direct effect of superficially expanding a short story to feature film length), the movie ends up suffering from its slow pace ("Things just aren't happening fast enough" even says Horton at some point) with the characters taking what seems like an improbable amount of time to realise what is afoot.

The danger of young and impressionable minds blindly following extremist religious leaders is certainly an interesting theme but is here barely tapped into.

Finally the climatic sequence, with the manifestation of the collieflower looking "He Who Walks Behind The Rows", is a bit of a let down to say the least.

Those (not so minor) details however are not enough to warrant the bad press the movie gathered upon release (and Stephen King's severe criticisms). "Children of the Corn" is a well performed little soft core horror b-movie that surprisingly enough spawned a franchise and still provides eerie ambiance and creepiness that even, at times, make the few cheap scares work.


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