Children of the Corn: The Gathering (1996 Video)
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This film is pretty creepy and I always remember seeing the previews for it when I was a child before Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers which is an awful in & out. It's one of the few COTC films that I remember renting in video stores along with COTC II. I developed a crush on Naomi Watts and wanted to see her in more things and later on she became the Scream Queen for Classy Horror films I never understood why all 90's films have the same sideways camera angle but hopefully I'm not the only one who has noticed this.
No doubt, one of the most memorable things about this film is Naomi Watts' performance, who showed chops even her in her first lead role. I'm sure most people who see this will recognize her from the hit Japanese remake "The Ring."
Even still, "Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering" is one of the standout films of the series for a variety of other reasons. It is well-shot, for one; while it is a direct-to-video picture, it surprisingly doesn't really look like one. There is an unnerving sleepiness to the film that plays off of the bucolic midwestern set pieces, and some phenomenally creepy sequences featuring Karen Black as Watts' agoraphobic mother. The film makes ample use of its dusty farmhouses and the sinister images of children lurking across the road.
Granted, the film does show its B-movie teeth in some of the murder sequences, which are far- fetched and at times absurd, but the splatter factor here is strong and the gore effects are rather convincing overall. Another obvious but vital element to this film working as well is it does is the strength of the performances. Watts, again, is great in her first lead here, and Karen Black is phenomenal as she always is— the role leaves her plenty of room to act out the eccentricities she does so well. Even the performances from the children are above-average for a film like this.
Overall, if you're a fan of the series, this is one of the better (and perhaps maybe the best) sequel. It's a "Children of the Corn" sequel, so obviously it is not a flawless film, but it is well-shot and there are a handful of genuinely effective moments to be had, and the film paces itself well without devolving into schlock. Enjoy your straight-to-video splat with a side of Watts and Karen Black— how can you go wrong? 7/10.
I remember renting this particular installment of Children of the Corn at the fresh young age of 14 for a slumber party with some friends. We had all seen COTC 1, 2, 3, so what the heck, why not check out 4? There was nothing particularly different about the plot: again, the children of a midwestern town all mysteriously turn evil, killing their parents in interesting, grotesque ways. There were the same laughable moments in which writers contrive clever new ways for a child to kill an adult and the same lame horror film dialogue. It was all the same. Except one thing.
The performance of the lead heroine was stunning! Not your typical STV calibar performance, but instead, WOW--complex, understated, and intense, I was very impressed with the no-name lead actress.
Fast forward to seven years later, in which I am reading an interview with my favorite new actress, Naomi Watts and she mentions, "I was in Children of the Corn IV" and ohmygosh, the planets have aligned, it all makes sense! This stellar actress was giving stellar performances long before she was cast into stellar movies.
So the short of it, if you are at all a fan of Naomi Watts, this is not a bad one to get a glimpse of her pre-Mulholland Dr. work. Yeah, it's campy and lame and gratuitously violent, but with Naomi, it's not so bad.
Rating: 4 out of 10 (on the whole), Naomi's Performance: 7 out of 10
I have a few problems with this movie.
1) It is in no way related to the first three Children Of The Corn movies.
2) None of the children actually kill anybody, all the killing is done by the dead preacher kid.
3) As far as i noticed there was no sign of any town in this, just a few places in the countryside.
4) Not once was there a relation to the children and the corn apart from a corn field that the preacher kid killed the sheriff in.
5) Not once was there a mention of 'he who walks behind the rows'.
6) Unlike the preacher kids counterparts in the first 3 films he doesn't do any preaching at all. Strike you as odd?
7) The actual story (what little there was) seemed rushed and ended up muddled.
8) What the heck ever happened to Gatlin?! Not good enough to include anymore eh?!
9) These Children Of The Corn movies (except the first one) aren't that good. Kind of taints the first one.
However, there is plenty of cool gore scenes and erm decent acting by a few of the cast. Better than the third movie though. I've only seen Children Of The Corn 1-4 so i guess i'm going to have to endure the rest. 5/10
This really doesn't have very much to do with Stephen Kings' story, other than the prospect of a boy preacher, evil children, and a small nowhere burg. Instead, director / writer Greg Spence and his co-writer Stephen Berger take the opportunity to spice up the tired old formula with a bit of science (as Grace and friendly local doctor Rob Larson (William Windom) do their tests, and a strong touch of the supernatural. Undemanding horror fans will be pleased with the savagery of the killings (one poor chump farmer REALLY gets it bad near the beginning) and the areas' atmosphere.
Plus, there's a chance here to see a future Hollywood star paying her dues in this sort of thing, and Watts does a solid job as the kind of tough, intelligent, ass kicking heroine certain to win audience favour. Veteran character actor Brent Jennings is likewise good, in a rare major supporting role as the area resident who helps Grace save the day. Jamie Renee Smith is an appealing child actress as Graces' much younger sister. And Black & Windom are always good value in anything.
All the necessary exposition / back story is dumped into one key scene, and the attempt by the filmmakers to throw us for a loop with a supposed "big twist" doesn't really work. Most people will probably see it coming. But overall, this entry in this seemingly never ending series is good for some amusement.
Six out of 10.
This one was far better than it should've been. One of the best aspect about this film was it's very high gore quotient as while there isn't all that huge of a body count, what's there is some of the more imaginative kills in the genre. These are particularly brutal and are even more impressive in that they are all involved in some big action scenes. The main attack on the family sets this off nicely while the other attacks on the doctor in the hospital wing or the later scene of the nurse investigating the incident for herself and meets a similarly gruesome and brutal fate there all gives this a pretty enjoyable aspect, and with some hallucinations thrown in it's quite a surprisingly gory effort. Aside from the fine gore, it's also quite fun when it goes for the interweaving of it all through the action and story lines found in this. The opening half's dealing with the strange virus and the mystery is pretty well- handled, giving a glimpse of what's to come while even throwing a surprise into it as well with the resurrection being quite chilling and bringing about the attack on the family that makes for an overall fun time. The last good part here is that the ending confrontation is full of action and suspense as well with the big confrontations at the farm and out in the cornfields for the big fire-filled approach which sends it out on a perfectly appropriate spectacle ending makes this one all quite fun. There really isn't a whole lot that really didn't work in this one, and it's got to deal with the fact that it rarely has anything to do with the other films. It discards the cornfields and the psycho-babble that the others dealt with and instead concentrates on a mysterious disease and the race to discover what it is. That is a wrong move for two reasons. It's already quite clear very early on what's going on, as an early murder and resurrection is dealt with in this manner that goes undiscovered for quite a long time to be truly believable. By the time it's been discovered, it's been so long coming that it's merely old hat by then which is very rare when a film is that far behind the audience as this one is. The other major problem is that it never once really put anyone that was supposed to survive in any danger of them possibly not making it. There's always a very easy way out of the suspenseful parts where they're supposed to be tortured, and it's always a shame when it's all over so quickly and easily. It's decent enough, but it's by no means all that spectacular entry in the series.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and several scenes of children-in-danger.
a medical studen,t who has moved to the country side, to discover what evil force is holding away with the town's children.
It as some really good intense moments and the story flowed really well.
I really enjoyed some of the real cool deaths scene, which were really well made and can be z tad gory, some of the deaths were really clever.
The acting in this was decent, from the whole cast!
I enjoyed this movie, good movie, but it was not as good as the Children of the corn 3 but I am still going to give this movie, a 5 out of 10
My Rating: 5/10.
Here in "The Gathering" we see all the towns children get sick with a mysterious virus only to awakan claiming to be someone else. Soon the killings begin and it comes down to a young Naomi Watts to combat their evil scheme.
Going in I expected the worst, all 3 previous movies had failed to impress and could not be referred to anything beyond passable. Somehow this has been the best one so far and is true 90's horror at its core.
I think the whole Children Of The Corn concept has gotten somewhat over convoluted by this stage and doesn't even remotely resemble Stephen Kings creation. Regardless this is a passable enough little fluff piece that should keep fans of the series entertained.
Some inventive kills
Still suffers many of the franchises weaker tropes
Things I Learnt From This Movie:
A scythe to the genitals might be an unpleasant way to go
What seems strange is that this entry doesn't involve child ministers, corn or even mention he who walks behind the Rowe. Originally this was a script sitting around at the studio they dusted off and slapped the brand name on it without further thought.
Though some may argue the host boy seen briefly is the demon himself. Yet the movie added A lot of filler without any further thought into how it connects. Even of it had been released under its untouched format doesn't seem to mush.
It wants to be shocking, scary and dark, but without any guidance or revelation to what it all means it ends up falling flat.
Naomi Watts looked stunning and gave a great performance and it takes true talent to shine when almost everything else in production stinks.
The music wasn't bad, the picture looked great and was enjoyable even though the plot was all over the place.
Not the worst corn movie yet, but you can start to see the rot.
As luck would have it, Watts has arrived just in time for "The Gathering". Area kids get feverish and act weird. They come from the original one, who possibly inhabits in the corn field. His story is told, later. The story is stupid, but looks like it would be fun make for all the kids in the cast. Nice to see veteran William Windom as the kindly doctor (Rob Larson) and Brent Jennings (as Donald Atkins) performs his heroic role well. When the cameras are kept still, Greg Spence directs smoothly.
**** Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (10/8/96) Greg Spence ~ Naomi Watts, Brent Jennings, Karen Black, William Windom
Grace Rhodes comes to her hometown of Grand Island, Nebraska to take care of her mother June who is having nightmares of sick children. June has also become to paranoid to leave her front yard. In addition to looking after her mother, she has to take care of her younger siblings. June's nightmares also include a young boy dressed in a preacher like outfit, and we later find out his name is Josiah. Anyways, June's visions of sick children comes true. All of the kids in Grand Island start becoming ill with high fevers and pretty soon their teeth begin to fall out. And that's when some of the adults in town begin dying off in gruesome ways.
The big plot reveal (told to viewers near the end of the film) is that Josiah was taken in by some travelling preachers as a child and eventually became a very gifted preacher. Over the years, Josiah never grew out of boyhood and stopped aging. The travelling preachers gave him over to darkness to stunt his growth, but when word got out, they abandoned him. Josiah killed the preachers and then the townspeople burned him alive and sealed his remains in a well. Grace also finds out that Josiah can control all of the children in the town by finding a child like himself (a lie child). That child is Grace's "sister" Margaret. The lie surrounding Margaret is that she is actually Grace's daughter whom Grace abandoned years ago. It's up to Grace to destroy Josiah and save the children.
Children of the Corn IV is a step up from part III. The films itself looked a lot cleaner and sophisticated then it's predecessor and I liked the franchise returning to the rural setting. There were some gory moments and genuinely scary scenes which was missing from the third film. I recommend it. Acting was great (Naomi Watts), had a good story...definitely one of the better sequels in the franchise.