Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Film Review: Children of the Corn (1984)

Children of the Corn (Review)
United States/1984
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"Aside from the pacing and some bloating, the film is otherwise enjoyable."

In Gatlin, Nebraska, Isaac Chroner (John Franklin), a child preacher, tells the town's children about a prophecy and convinces them to kill the adults.

Children of the Corn continues to follow couple Burt (Peter Horton) and Vicky (Linda Hamilton) as they stumble upon the town after a car accident Burt deems suspicious. It takes them some time to find the town due to a useless mechanic, but they make-do. The town, however, is seemingly desolate on arrival. Eventually, Burt and Vicky run into some children -- some helpful and some malicious -- but no adults. The couple soon find themselves targets of the cult children and the mystical entity they worship. The ending is good, but it seemed to drag a bit.

 In fact, that's one of Children of the Corn's major problems: it often drags. Some scenes take much longer than they really need. Couple that with a slow pace and you have a film with a few dull moments. Aside from the pacing and some bloating, the film is otherwise enjoyable. Sure, I would've loved more character throughout, but it's still a very interesting story. On the surface, it's a killer children story; a little deeper, it has some interesting religious and occult undertones. It's not really frightening per se, it really only offers jump-scares, but the concept is still creepy. All-in-all, I like the story -- it's very memorable and original.

The acting is more hit-or-miss. Our lead, Peter Horton, is good. John Franklin was also very good. The child cast suffers more, though -- they hardly seem believe, they speak with little emotion or conviction. I liked the cinematography, the film is shot well. The music is also great, it really helped in developing the supernatural themes of the film. Technically-speaking, it's a fairly standard film. Despite the pacing issues, Director Fritz Kiersch crafts an enjoyable horror film; it doesn't stand out as much due to the lack of character development and the inconsistent pacing, but it's a film that's memorable and entertaining.

Overall, Children of the Corn is a good horror movie. It has some pacing and character issues, but the story is ultimately effective. It's not perfect, but it offers more than enough to warrant a rental or cheap purchase. This is one of those cases where I wouldn't mind a more thought-out remake. Take it for what it is.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood.

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