Next to the original film, this fourth part of the Children of the Corn series is by far the best. It was released straight-to-video in 1996, which is why I think so many people may have counted it out. Straight-to-dvd does not always mean it is bad. Furthermore, this one stars a younger Naomi Watts in one of her first starring roles. It does not follow along with the original story per se, but it does take place in Nebraska, only this time, in Grand Island. Naomi Watts, Grace, returns home from college to help her mother who is suffering from agoraphobia and terrifying dreams. Her mother knows something is about to go wrong, but her doctor and daughter both think she is just nervous and afraid for no reason. The two other children in the house, James, and Margaret, are also annoyed with her frantic behavior.
After Grace returns home, she takes her old job back at the doctor’s officer in town to make some extra cash. Soon, all the kids in town get sick and feverish on the same night. It appears to be caused by a dead boy preacher from years ago who was murdered, who is somewhat like He Who Walks Behind the Rows. His goal is to gather children, and to possess them and influence their actions. Their actions include killing adults. Their fever doesn’t last long, but afterwards, they all become very despondent, and some begin to act like they are other people, including two creepy twin boys, Charlie and Scott. They are brought into Doc Larsen’s office by their freaked-out mother, and they call each other names of two boys who were murdered by their father during the Great Depression. The doc doesn’t find this “joke” funny, but later on, the joke’s on him, because the twins murder him. Another little boy also watches as a group of children gather outside his home and murder his mother. The town blames the father, so he is on the run.
Grace is also concerned about Margaret and runs blood tests on her to see what is wrong. By now, all the kids are sick again, and Grace’s mother is lured outside by who she thinks is James, and is murdered in a barn. Grace is confronted by Donald, the man who the police believe is responsible for his wife’s murder. Together, they solve the puzzle by going to visit two old ladies, Jane and Rosa Nock, who speak of the boy preacher, Josiah, and how he never seemed to age and the adults used him to lure crowds to the preaching tents. He was given up by his mother because she was considered too young to have him, so he is looking for a young child in a similar situation to take his place. This is Margaret, who we find out is not Grace’s sister, but her daughter!
Well, Donald and Grace figure out a way to save the day by defeating Josiah and saving the children. At the end, the children are all normal again, and Grace leaves town with Margaret and James in tow. This movie is actually really good, much to many people’s surprise. There are a few jumpy scenes, especially if you get freaked out by cloven hooves on people like I do! The kid, Josiah is kinda creepy and very gory looking, and there are some really neat death scenes. If you want, you should really give it a chance, you may surprise yourself. Of course, it’s a little cheesy, but what isn’t? That doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining, and a bit creepy! Oh yeah, and James, Grace’s little brother, is played by…..
Mark Salling, It’s PUCK from GLEE! Just thought you might wanna know 😉