A few nights ago, I watched Children of the Corn for the first time. My friend Stacey came over and we had a whole Children of the Corn themed night! We even made snacks to represent the movie's title.
Here are the children...
...and here's the corn:
The sugar cookies turned out to be amazing, even unfrosted. Stacey brought over some coffee and beer. We poured ourselves some drinks and got ready to be scared.
Before watching the movie, I had thought we were going to be watching these kids:
Nope. Those kids are evidently from Children of the Damned. I wasn't the only confused person, though. I found the above picture labeled Children of the Corn on several web sites! It was important that I watch this movie, because I am always making references to it. This is funny, considering I was referencing a movie I'd never seen and was thinking of different children.
The reason I am often referencing Children of the Corn is that many of the kids in my town act strange and standoffish. If you pass a group of them on the street, they'll look down and not say hello. Or just run away. I understand that kids have a lot to be scared of nowadays, and are trained to be scared. Still, it's weird. Every time this happens, I say something like "There go the Children of the Corn." Well, it turns out that I have it pretty good, because if I really lived in a town with the Children of the Corn, well... I wouldn't exactly be living anymore. This is because I'm over the age of 18, and the kids in this movie kill off anyone that old.
I don't want to give much away about this movie's plot, because I really think you should all see it for yourselves. I'll just give you the very basics. In the movie, there's a town in Nebraska, called Gatlin. Only children live there, because all the adults were killed after a child "prophet" arrived. After the death of the adults, the town is a mess. Well, you can imagine how messed up and dirty a town would look with kids running things. Somehow they manage to stay fed and not blow everything up. Still, it's plenty dusty and there's corn stuffed in every building.
The prophet leads the kids into a cult-like lifestyle. At first, it seems Christian based, but as the movie goes on, it's looking more like Satanism. A running theme of this movie is false prophets, and questioning any religion that doesn't involve love.
One child tries to run away from Gatlin, but is killed. When a couple who are driving down the road run over his body, they're left with a problem. This is before the days of cell phones (1984) and there's no pay phone nearby. I wondered as I watched the movie, what I would do in their position. What I probably wouldn't do is load the dead kid's body into my trunk. This is what they choose to do. The movie had a few moments where I was saying "don't do that" but I guess every horror movie has those. I mean, if the characters had common sense, there would be no plot!
Anyway, the couple drive off with the boy's body, in search of a nearby town. After driving through never ending corn fields, guess where they end up? Gatlin! Since they're adults, they aren't exactly welcomed with open arms. I just summed up maybe the first 20 minutes of the film, and I'll leave it there.
I really recommend Children of the Corn. I found the couple to be likeable, and you will care about their fates throughout the movie. Watching this left me with a few questions, and I can see how it could fuel a good discussion. Also, I appreciated how it was filmed. Sometimes the view is through the corn, or a window. I like when the viewer sees a movie through multiple visual perspectives and levels. I thought it was pretty artistically filmed, and the special effects were good for 1984.
As you watch the movie, you might recognize one of the villains, Malachai.
Malachai is played by Courtney Gains, who also played the memorable "Hans" in The 'Burbs. He can definitely play creepy roles, but he has also done some non-creepy work over the years. I was looking at his acting portfolio on his web site today, and was pretty entertained!
Just to take a poll, who here thinks Courtney Gains was scarier as Hans, and who thinks he was scarier as Malachai? If you haven't seen either movie, here are a few samples:
I know that last one was taped off someone's TV, but you get the idea. I think something could be said for either character's creep factor. It's clear that Malachai is a threat, but it's hard to tell what someone like Hans is capable of. Sometimes the quiet weirdo is scarier. I could really go either way on this.
The other villain in Children of the Corn is Isaac (the prophet) who is played by John Franklin.
I thought of posting a trailer of the film in this post, but I wasn't too fond of the one I watched. So, instead I'm going to leave you with a fun video I found on YouTube. It's amazing how music can set the tone for a film. Substituting the Benny Hill theme song in place of spooky music adds a whole new flavor to the chase scenes!