Children of the CornTitle: Children of the Corn (1984)
Runtime: 92 minutes
Director: Fritz Kiersch

I’ve seen the first half of this film quite a number of times, but something always came up, and I was never able to finish it (sometimes, it’s me losing the battle with my eyelids). The opening scene of the film promises for a kick-ass horror film. Alas, it lies. Children of the Corn is little more than a snoozefest.

The idea for this movie is really great: the youth of a small town is brainwashed by a young, fanatic cult leader. They stage a hostile takeover of the entire city, leading to the kids killing all of the adults in a violent fashion. Later, two unsuspecting city-folk travel through the city on their way across country, and – of course – car trouble keeps them there, much to their dismay.

Stephen King knocks this idea out of the ballpark in his short story. That short story, though, doesn’t contain enough depth to be fleshed into a feature length film, and that fact is proven by this movie’s shortcomings (let alone nine sequels!). The story moves along at a snails pace, and the characters barely develop at all. So what is the viewer watching for 92 minutes? Mostly, two adults running around an otherwise adult-free town, slowly realizing that something sinister is amuck. This doesn’t make for suspenseful viewing when the audience is already in on that same secret. The plot structure could’ve been improved upon to actually create a tense movie, but that isn’t the case.

As much as I love the original short story, the film adaptation leaves a lot to be desired. The children actors are fine to good, but no one ever blows me away. I’m curious where the sequels take this story, and seeing as I own all of them on DVD, I’m sure I’ll find out sooner or later. If they’re any worse than this, though, I doubt I’ll be watching many of them anytime soon. Children of the Corn is a classic example of a mediocre horror film that doesn’t live up to its potential.


Original Uncut DVD

Rent on Netflix

Branden Chowen
Editor-in-Chief at Cinefessions
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn't until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor's and master's degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.