Children of the Corn

Critics Consensus

Children of the Corn's strong premise and beginning gets shucked away for a kiddie thriller that runs in circles.



Total Count: 25


Audience Score

User Ratings: 84,891
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Movie Info

Narrator Job (Robby Kiger) relates the tale of Gatlin, NE, where one day the children, led by a boy preacher named Isaac (John Franklin), rose up and slaughtered all the grown-ups. A few years later, Job and his sister, Sarah (Ammemarie McEvoy), help their friend, Joseph (Jonas Marlowe), try to escape through the cornfields of Gatlin. Meanwhile, Burt Stanton (Peter Horton), a commitment-phobic young doctor, and Vicky Baxter (Linda Hamilton), his frustrated girlfriend, travel through the cornfield-lined roads of Nebraska on their way to Burt's new internship in Omaha. Their car hits Joseph, who appears out of nowhere, but upon examining him, Burt realizes the child's throat was slit before he ever wandered out from the corn. Attempting to locate help, Burt and Vicky turn to gas-station owner Diehl (R.G. Armstrong), who urges the couple to go anywhere but nearby Gatlin to report the murder. Several contradictory street signs later, they arrive in Gatlin anyway, and, befriending Sarah and Joseph, attempt to uncover the mystery behind Isaac's cult and its mysterious deity, known only as He Who Walks Behind the Rows. Stephen King cash-ins flooded the market between the successes of Brian DePalma's Carrie (1976) and Rob Reiner's Misery (1990), many of them, like Children of the Corn, based only loosely on the author's fiction. The original short story appeared in the collection Night Shift.

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Critic Reviews for Children of the Corn

All Critics (25)

Audience Reviews for Children of the Corn

  • Jul 23, 2015
    A mess of contradictory tones and creative ideas, yet weirdly enjoyable. I love the musical score despite its sometimes ridiculous turns (the English spoken-word child chants are hit or miss). There's a gruesome off screen stabbing that feels especially chilling and cringe inducing- and yet one of the kids utters a snap-worthy 'excuse me!' during the film's climax. There were people working on this film who cared and those creative fumes barely made it out from underneath the hood of this absolute moving mess.
    Paris S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 27, 2015
    Awful. This is one of the dumbest films I've ever seen, and I feel a lot dumber for having watched it. I know that Stephen King is capable of writing really good works of drama and horror, but there's just times where his writing flat-out blows. That's how movies like this get made, and this is fucking dreadful.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 15, 2014
    "Outlander!" An iconic '80s horror film, Children of the Corn is a chilling tale from Stephen King. Based on one of his short stories, a couple traveling cross-country stop at a small town called Gatlin where they discover a cult of children that have overthrown the adults and sacrificed them to their new god. Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton lead the cast, but there are no good performances here. However, the director does a good job at creating a creepy, atmospheric tone that's full of suspense. And for the most part the terror is kept psychological, which is quite effective. While Children of the Corn is full of bad acting and cheesy effects, it ends up being the right mixture for an entertaining campy B-movie.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 12, 2013
    And our horror month continues with another slightly below average horror film. I'm having the absolute worst luck picking decent horror movies this month. Anyway, I didn't really like this movie. It's not bad by any stretch of the imagination, just pretty below average. A large problem is that the movie doesn't really wanna tell you how the children came to be the way they are. Apparently, Stephen King had written a backstory detailing what happened to the kids that made them murder every adult in town. I thought that would've made for a more interesting movie than what we ended up getting here. However I did think some of the ideas here were cool, Isaac being this preacher that is being told by this 'monster' what to do, and how he lies to the other kids in the village in order to do his bidding. That was pretty decent, but I don't know, the movie just lacks something. It's not really scary to be honest and it's really not that gory. The movie just relies on the murderous kids to tell its "story". What I liked about Come Out and Play, another movie with murderous children, is that they were still happy and carefree children. They played, laughed, ran around, etc. They did everything kids do with the one little exception that they were murderous maniacs. And I think that's infinitely scarier than having mean looking kids, like in this movie. It just looks and feels goofy. The acting is adequate for a horror movie, though I must say that John Franklin, Isaac, was way over-the-top in his delivery. He had some scenes were he was fine, but the over-the-top scenes certainly take the cake. The movie also has one of the most random endings I've ever seen. After killing Malachi, Isaac, and the monster, I don't even know what it was, Burt, Vicky, and the kids decide to leave for Seattle. Burt gets in the car and finds out that one of the "kids" had been hiding in there waiting to kill him. He stops her, slams the car door in her face and then the movie just ends. It was so ridiculous, that I couldn't help but laugh. This movie's not bad, I just think it could've used a little more backstory and more interesting scares rather than just relying on murderous children for its horror.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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