Movie Review: Children of the Corn (1984)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1984 thriller starring Linda Hamilton and John Franklin.

Synopsis: After striking a child with their car and learning the kid's throat had been slashed prior to the accident, a young couple looks for help in the rural Nebraska town, Gatlin. However, as they quickly discover, there are no other adults in Gatlin, just a religious cult of children that believes everyone over the age of 18 should be killed.


My wife and I had some time to watch a movie last night and, after discovering this film was once again on Netflix, I decided to watch the horror classic with her. And, as has been the case the other times we have watched this movie, we were not disappointed.

There are a couple reasons why I like this film. The main one is the fact it involves a bunch of creepy children, something that always manages to scare me for some reason. 

And, in this particular case, the two main evil children, Isaac (Franklin) and Malachai (Gains) are just awesome. Isaac has a memorable (and maybe a bit annoying) voice that really stands out whenever he speaks and gives him the proper amount of uniqueness to pull off the whole youthful preacher role.

Malachai is his perfect opposite. He isn't as eloquent as a speaker but provides the muscle Isaac can't provide. That, in addition to making him much more menacing than you would expect a teenager to be, also sets up the natural tension between him and Isaac.

Another thing I like about this movie is the way it works really hard to build up the suspense. The young couple's (Horton and Hamilton) exploration of the deserted farm house had me on the edge of my seat because, every time he walked into a new room, I was expecting one of the kids to jump out of a closet with a knife.

Just one bit of warning, because of when the movie was made, the special effects are a bit weak. This is especially true at the end, when the creature that lives inside the rows of corn attacks.

Also, Horton's character, Burt, is a bit of a jerk throughout the movie, especially toward his wife (Hamilton). This, in itself, probably wouldn't be that big of a deal. But, he is supposed to be one of the heroes and there are plenty of times when it is hard not to hope he gets killed. Fortunately, the rest of the cast does a good enough job to make up for that.

Final Opinion

As I said, some of the special effects are a bit weak, at least when compared to today's movies. But, some great acting and suspense building do make it a movie that is worth taking the time to watch.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 03/18/2016, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 01/24/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
Me too, I agree with you and your wife's reactions to this scary film.

Speaking of an unsettling peer group that does not appreciate their elders, have you all see Village of the Damned? If so, which version is you all's preference: the 1960 original or the 1995 remake?

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