Children of the Corn

Children of the Corn

4.0 9
Director: Fritz Kiersch

Cast: Fritz Kiersch, Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R.G. Armstrong


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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Although by no means a horror classic, this low-budget Stephen King adaptation stands out from a crop of similar '80s slasher films by virtue of its scary premise, spooky music, inspired casting, and tightly plotted, if frequently hammy, script. Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton star, but it's the child actors who make the most indelible impressions. John Franklin has one of those faces that looks ancient before it even hits puberty, making him the perfect choice for pint-sized cult leader Isaac. Redheaded teen actor Courtney Gaines is even better as Malachi, Isaac's menacing, machete-wielding henchman. Robby Kiger and Annemarie McEvoy make convincing if occasionally cutesy young protagonists. And in one of the few adult roles, horror-Western veteran R.G. Armstrong plays a crusty gas station owner with campy aplomb. Despite a few unfortunate digressions into primitive-synthesizer mode, Jonathan Elias makes great use of a haunting children's choir in his deeply creepy score; the music works especially well during the clever title sequence, which tells the story of the titular children's rise to power in a series of sicko crayon drawings. Cheap special effects keep the climax from measuring up to the opening credits, but for the first two acts, director Fritz Kiersch relies on ambience and the mere suggestion of violence to exact maximum nail-biting intensity from the material. Kiersch does occasionally let the hoary dialogue get the best of his actors -- particularly Horton, whose character bizarrely attempts to argue morality with a group of bloodthirsty, parentally unsupervised young religious fanatics who are holding him at knifepoint in a derelict church. But several truly scary scenes and bits of dialogue -- "He wants you too, Malachi" being only the most quotable -- made this film a staple of suburban nightmares when it appeared on cable channels throughout the mid-'80s.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Starz / Anchor Bay

Special Features

Audio commentary with directior Fritz Kiersch, producer Terrence Kirby and actors John Franklin and Courtney Gains; Fast film facts; New Welcome to Gatlin: the sights & sounds of Children of the Corn: an interview with production designer Craig Stearns & composer Jonathan Elias ; New It Was the Eighties! an interview with Linda Hamilton ; New Stephen King On a Shoestring: an interview with producer Donald P. Borchers; Harvesting Horror: Children of the Corn - a documentary featuring interviews with director Fritz Kiersch and actors John Franklin and Courtney Gains ; Theatrical trailer; Original storyboard art; Poster and still gallery; Original title sequence art

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Horton Dr. Burt Stanton
Linda Hamilton Vicky Baxter
R.G. Armstrong Diehl
John Franklin Isaac
Courtney Gains Malachi
Robby Kiger Job
Annemarie McEvoy Sarah
Julie Maddalena Rachel
Jonas Marlowe Joseph
John Philbin Amos
Mitch Carter Radio Preacher
David Cowan Dad
Dan Snook Boy
Suzy Southam Mom

Technical Credits
Fritz Kiersch Director
Max W. Anderson Special Effects
Bruce Paul Barbour Stunts
Donald P. Borchers Producer
Jonathan Elias Score Composer
George Goldsmith Screenwriter
Harry Keramidas Editor
Stephen King Screenwriter,Source Author
Mark Lipson Associate Producer
Raoul Lomas Cinematographer
Cricket Rowland Set Decoration/Design
Barbara Scott Costumes/Costume Designer
Craig Stearns Art Director,Production Designer
Charles Weber Executive Producer


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Children of the Corn 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
InnocenceDiesAbbyDosent More than 1 year ago
Its ok
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not for all tastes, but pretty well done... features early film appearances by Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton (made the same year as the TERMINATOR)... plus... have to love a movie with R.G. Armstrong in it... Also of note... Jonathan Elias' spooky score...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this movie,butI was a little dissapointed because it wasnt as scary as I thought it would be.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best COTC films yet and don't flame them because the gore scenes and vilolence was a bit low. It was written in 1984 so yeah! But this movie was by far the best. Rent-no- BUY it! IT is so worth it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Everyone ridicules it but I thought it was really cool. I liked it better than the short story by S. King.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie Children of the Corn is not scary and not bloody, but interesting. This movie made me watch it till the end. Sometimes it is suspenseful and fun, rent it or watch it on TV.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my most fav horror movie ever! The music score make the movie more eerie than it really is. You should rent or BUY this movie, just give it a try! You won't regret watching it, IT ROCKS!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hard to imagine that this film is now... 24 years old (released in 1984). Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton star, along with veteran character actor R G Armstrong. The opening of the pic is a grabber. By the time the titles roll (aided to great degree by composer Jonathan Elias) I was engrossed. Though not really scary... the pic has atmosphere to spare. As a child I would drive across the country with my parents, passing these little towns... they always gave me the creeps. The adult actors are quite good... and the kids make for some of the most effective villians in recent memory. Well worth your time. And, once again, the score by Jonathan Elias is just awesome. BTW... the film is currently being remade by the Sci Fi channel and directed by the original's producer. Time will tell.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago