Stephen King's Original "Children of the Corn"


Released in the Spring of '84 "Children of the Corn" is another in a long series of classic horror movies based on a story by Stephen King.  It mixes two popular horror sub-genres in religious horror and creepy killer kids.  Although there have been numerous sequels, 7 to be exact.  Nothing compares to the original in its iconic evil main characters Isaac and Malachi.  It's a great story that really is pure evil.

The story opens in the small Midwestern town of Gatlin, Nebraska in a little cafe where many of townspeople gather.  Little do they know that the children have planned a sort of reckoning and soon they will be left to fend for themselves.  Their leader is the child preacher named Isaac.  Isaac is probably about 12 or 13 and is short for his age.  His voice is fairly high and has quite the violent temper.  His second in command is the equally vicious red-haired Malachi.  They're a couple of little Christian fundamentalists that rule with an iron fist and warn to fear "The one who walks behind the rows".  They all congregate in the cornfields and listen to Isaac spew his sermons.

Our adult heroes are Burt and Vicki (Linda Hamilton) who are traveling across the country back to Seattle when they accidentally hit a kid who ran out a cornfield.  They find that his throat was slit and stick his corpse in the trunk.  Trying to find a phone (no cell phones it's1984) they run into one of the oldest horror clich├ęs know to man.  The rundown gas station in the middle of nowhere run by a crazy old man.  The station's phone is not working and is also out of gas for that matter.  They are told to avoid Gatlin and to go to the next town over for help.  Although they do try to find the other town, it seems that all roads lead to Gatlin.  When they arrive they find nothing but a ghost town and no working phones.  They search a few houses and end up finding Sarah, a little girl drawing pictures.  She has the power to see the future and her drawings are very important to the group.  She and her brother Gob are two kids who want to get away from Isaac and the cult but are too afraid to do anything about it.  Vicki stays with the girl while Burt goes to look for others.  The house is then attacked by Malachi and company, taking Vicki hostage.

The plot is pretty simple but the characters are memorable.  Some of the visual effects are pretty laughable, but it's still a scary film even by today's standards.  Just like the classic films "Village of the Dammed" or "The Lord of the Flies" the children form their own society and things get pretty intense.  However, the "Children of the Corn" have a bunch of help from the devil himself or is it an angry God?