First published in 1977, Children of the Corn is a short story by Stephen King which was later collected for the Night Shift collection. It was adapted for screen in 1984 by George Goldsmith, and was directed by Fritz Kiersch. It starred Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton (better known as Sarah Connor from The Teriminator series).
Set in a fictional town of rural Nebraska, Children of the Corn is the story of Burt (Horton) and Vicky (Hamilton) who pass through there on the way to Burt’s new job in Seattle. Whilst travelling, Burt hits a small boy with his car, and in his attempt to find a phone the couple venture into the small town of Gatlin. This is no ordinary town though, and it soon becomes apparent that all is not well: there are no adults residing there. The town is run by a young preacher named Isaac, and they all who fear the existence of “He who walks behind the corn”. Before long, the couple discover that they may not leave the town alive.
I’m not going to bore you with the details, or go in depth with this one. It simply isn’t a great movie. The short story was fine and an entertaining read, but it certainly doesn’t transfer to screen well. Tension is minimal, and whilst the idea of the plot is an interesting one, it’s spread thin to fill a feature film run time. Hamilton and Horton are satisfactory as the distressed couple, but it’s a young John Franklin as Isaac and Courtney Gains as his main man Malichai who are the best things about the film. The final minutes of the third act are utterly ridiculous, and take what is essentially a metaphor for God into laughable, literal extremes. How it managed eight more films is beyond me, but seeing as I own the entire collection, I’m sure I’ll find out.
Certainly not an essential watch.