Plot: What’s it about?
When Burt (Peter Horton) and Vicky (Linda Hamilton) find themselves stuck in small, rural town for a spell, they expect an uneventful stay, but little do they know what awaits them. As they explore the Nebraska town, they notice that no adults can be found and while some residents do remain, they’re all children. In a strange turn of events, it seems as though the older residents were murdered and as the visitors soon discover, it was the youngsters that were behind the crimes. The danger is of course obvious, but the two are so curious about what happened, they decide to stick around and investigate a little more. Soon enough, the truth becomes very clear and when the children’s cult like obsession with the corn fields surfaces, the two realize just how serious this entire situation really is. Now the two have escape from the town before the kids can capture them, or else they will be the next sacrifices to whatever lurks within the countless rows of corn…
This seems to be a movie that scared people when they were kids, but when returned to as an adult, just seems stupid. Although I never found Children of the Corn to be that scary, I’ve always liked it and I think that’s due to a few reasons. Of course, I love horror movies and while this is a bad one, those are often the best kind. The laughable moments add a lot of pleasure to the flick, which is more than welcome. I mean, I can see how some folks would be let down as far as scare factor, but if you know this is just a bad movie, then I think it manages well enough. I say that this is a bad movie, but frequent readers will know that I love bad movies, which is why this review is so positive. I like to watch cerebral flicks and a good scary movie, but sometimes I can just sit back and turn off the thinking cap, just to watch a hilarious movie, even if it wasn’t supposed to be humorous. The cast has some decent names like Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, and Courtney Gains, but don’t expect much in his realm, or else you’ll be let down. In the end, this one is recommended to fans of course, but also anyone who likes bad horror movies.
Of course, this film was based on a story by Stephen King, but aside from the source material, he had no impact on this feature, not in the least. I never thought the story was that good, but it seems to translate well enough, so long as you can overlook (or revel in) the bad elements. The atmosphere within the film is more potent than the story I think, due to the amount of silence found in the flick, which of course, books pack in lessened impact form. But I don’t want to make either seem like atmospheric terror, as that’s simply not the case. The premise is a good one to be sure, neither King nor the filmmakers here seem to be able to deliver upon the premise’s potential. The cast of Children of the Corn includes Peter Horton (Side Out, The End of Violence), Linda Hamilton (Dante’s Peak, Terminator 2: Judgment Day), John Franklin (Children of the Corn 666, The Addams Family), Courtney Gains (Can’t Buy Me Love, The ‘burbs), R.G. Armstrong (Bulletproof, Predator), and Anne Marie McEvoy (Invitation to Hell, Hostage Flight).
Video: How does it look?
Children of the Corn is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Once again, Anchor Bay has taken a cult level film and given it the royal treatment, as this movie has never looked this impressive. The source print here is clean and shows minimal grain, which offers a massive improvement over previous editions. The colors also have a natural, lush appearance, while flesh tones seem normal and warm also. I was also pleased with contrast, which is much sharper and refined than other versions I’ve seen, very impressive work here. Some small flaws surface, but not enough to make me lower the score much.
Audio: How does it sound?
In a welcome notion, a new Dolby Digital 5.1 track has been included and while the results aren’t overwhelming, I think the new mix enhances the film’s impact. The surrounds are given some nice presence here, both in the subtle times and the sequences that need extra audio impact. It isn’t often that this movie needs a little kick, but whenever it does, this mix is more than able to provide whatever is needed. The dialogue is also well presented, very clean and always easy to understand, no real complaints to make here. This disc also includes English captions, in case you’ll need those, which you just might.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s theatrical, as well as a sixteen page collector’s booklet. I don’t usually discuss the insert booklets, but this one is better than most and has a lot of text information, as well as some still photos from within the flick. I’d love to see a booklet like this in every release, very cool stuff indeed.