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11/9/16

CHILDREN OF THE CORN - REVIEW


There are plenty of Stephen King movie adaptations out there, enough to fill a small country, and this is one of them. Children Of The Corn was released in 1984 and was based on one of the legendary horror writer's short stories.

Linda Hamilton and Peter Horton play a couple who struggle to make their way back to civilisation after driving into an already dying child on a road near a cornfield. As it turns out, they have entered a town completely populated by kids who not only killed off every adult around brutally but who are part of some bizarre corn-themed religious cult. When poor old Vicky (Hamilton) is kidnapped, it's up to Burt (Horton) and a couple of younger kids to save her from being another human sacrifice. The film starts off on a gory note as we see the creepy children turn a diner into a bloodbath in what is the start of their grown-up eradication. After that, the film slows down quite a bit and we spend some time following Vicky and Burt wandering around empty houses, trying to find someone to talk to or at least a working phone. Some side characters are murdered, of course, but mostly off-camera.

The interesting thing about Children Of The Corn really isn't its main characters, far from it, but the main concept which evokes the likes of Lord Of The Flies or Village Of The Damned. It's a dark satire of religious, rural America and that is sold effectively by some stand-out child performances, notably from boy preacher Isaac (John Franklin) and bully-turned-serial killer Malachai (Courtney Gains). There was a fascinating, really scary horror movie in there somewhere but, perhaps due to budgetary restrictions, the best aspects of the film are left unexplored. With even more violence and more at stake (killing off Vicky mid-way might have been a solution), this could have easily stood out as one of the better King adaptations. As it stands, the anti-climactic ending with its dodgy-looking special effects, helps to bog the film down to just an average, mostly forgettable thriller.

It may not be the best Stephen King movie out there but fans should enjoy most of it as it's certainly entertaining and over-the-top enough to keep anyone interested.

Serviceable.

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