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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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4,796 ( 473)
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

Taglines:

In their world adults are not allowed... to live. 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

When asked by a fan how the effect for the burrowing "He Who Walks Behind the Rows" was created, special effects artist Wayne Beauchamp revealed that it was accomplished thanks to a special device called the "Turtle" - a wheelbarrow bucket flipped upside-down with added wheels. The device was set in rails in a trench, attached to a pulley system connected to a tractor, and then covered in a tarp with a layer of dirt and vermiculite on top. The tractor would pull forward and the Turtle would move beneath the tarp, creating a mound of earth that traveled from one point to another. The trench ended in a sharp hill, giving the illusion that the creature beneath was diving deeper into the ground. Beauchamp added that the trench itself was dug by a local group of Boy Scouts who were interested in learning how films and special effects were made. See more »

Goofs

As Joseph is about to run away through the corn field, the shot pans across the corn and it is blowing in the wind. In the very next shot as Job says, "You're not going through the corn are you?" the corn is now totally still. See more »

Quotes

Vicky: [Malachai and his fellow Corn-Children have located Vicky at Job and Sarah's house. Malachai and Company storm in just as Vicky emerges from upstairs] ... What do you want?
Malachai: [with a diabolical smile] We want to give you Peace.
[to the other Corn-Kids]
Malachai: Get her!
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

Featured in Cut from the Cornfield (2017) 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

 
Another so-so film based on one of Stephen King's books
9 June 2005 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Stephen King is often cited to be the father of modern horror, and this view isn't wholly unfounded. King's stories have had a large impact upon the horror genre, and many of them are very good stories in their own right also. However, when it comes to translating King's words onto the screen; many filmmakers have proved that they are not up to the task. I haven't read the book, 'Children of the Corn', but I'm sure it's better than this movie. While the film isn't especially bad; it's hardly a tour de-force of horror cinema either, and like many Stephen King films; this one could have been a hell of a lot better. Actually, this story isn't one of King's better efforts; it follows a small town whose children murder their parents on the instructions of a mysterious preacher; a little kid calling himself Isaac. The story picks up three years after this terrible event when a young couple drive into town for some reason. They find the village completely devoid of adults and it isn't long until they discover what's happened and seek to put an end to it!

This film has missed several opportunities, the most glaring of which is the subterranean manifestation that dwells beneath the soil in the cornfields. We get several glimpses of this creature, but we never get to see it properly; and because of this, the monster is about as threatening as a bunch of little kids. Oh wait. Anyway, the film draws parallels with other evil kids films such as Village of the Damned in the way it plays out, but it never really gets out of first gear. While the atmosphere of the town is foreboding and well done on the whole, the plotting isn't very exciting and there's very few moments of real tension or suspense, which ensures the film isn't as engaging as it could have been. The cornfields and the corn that inhabits said field's makes for an unlikely horror prop, and some scenes within the fields are genuinely creepy. The kids themselves are rather well done also, with both of the main ones having good screen presence. If you were to pigeonhole King's films into 'good' and 'bad', this one would firmly be in the latter side. On it's own, however, it's not all that bad, and if you're a fan of King's work, you'll no doubt find something to like here. Or you might hate it for not living up to the book, one of the two.


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