One Fan’s Perspective: A Children of the Corn Retrospective Part 1
I can’t help but start things off with my first experience watching Fritz Kiersch’s Children of the Corn. I was in elementary school (1990-1995) and had never seen a movie quite like it before. I want to say that I had seen Pet Sematary previously so it wasn’t too shocking or “out there” to me, but Children of the Corn was pretty bizarre. I don’t really know what it was… it could possibly have been Courtney Gaines (Malachai) or John Franklin (Isaac) that moved me or the oddly beautiful and eerie corn-filled countryside of Gatlin, Nebraska.* All I do know is it was a pretty darn scary movie to me when I was little.
Watching the movie in present day is a different story, however, and I find that the film is more entertaining and most definitely fascinating. One of the standout moments, in my opinion, is the diner scene when Isaac gives the “nod” to the rest of the children that it’s OK to start slaying their parents (or poison their coffee). It’s a pretty visceral scene and one hundred percent disturbing to watch something like that at the tender age of 7. Even now, it haunts me. But it’s all good, you see, because the children were just trying to appease the evil demon/god that lives behind the rows of the delectable Nebraska corn (yikes!).
Another aspect of the film is the score (thanks to Jonathan Elias). As a matter of fact all of the Children of the Corn sequels feature a chilling score (most filled with swelling strings and eerie children chanting) and if you think about it, Elliot Goldenthal; the man behind the music in Pet Sematary and Lalo Schifrin; The Amityville Horror (1979) also utilized similar scores. If there’s one thing that will absolutely win me over in a horror movive every time it’s creepy ass children chanting.
Bringing in $2,042,821 (the budget of the film was an estimated $800,000) Children of the Corn did pretty well in theaters opening weekend. Fans of Stephen King’s original short story were pretty livid, however, at the many changes screenwriter George Goldsmith made to the film (I honestly love both versions). The religious overtones are fantastic (i.e. a crucifix made out of corn) and the idea that little kids are kicking ass and taking over the world one toddler (or pre-pubescent teen) at a time is pretty amazing.
I could go on and on about Children of the Corn, but the whole idea of this article is to thumb through each sequel and highlight what makes each individual movie so mother-huskin great, right? I know, I know, some of you will disagree with what I have to say, but that’s more than fine. Just know I value your opinion. And so does “He who walks behind the rows.”
*Note: Unfortunately the movie was mainly filmed in Iowa and parts of California, but the imagery is enough to make you crave a big ‘ol blood soaked ear of corn