Normally, I’m not a big fan of children. In fact, I usually go out of my way to avoid them. But in movies, when they are creepy, weird little beasts that murder people? I’m totally on board. This is another film that I completely adore, but have no idea why others don’t like it. Who, as a child, never imagined all the grown-ups being gone and you just runnin’ the joint? Yeah, don’t lie. Of course, we never fantasized that it would happen by way of murdering little religious zealots who worship something that lives in a cornfield. But what can ya do? This is what we were given, and will work with it. Released in 1984, this movie is based on a short story by the lovely Stephen King, and stars Linda Hamilton, and Peter Horton.

We begin by witnessing all the children in the town of Gatlin, Nebraska, killing all of the adults at the same time, apparently on the command of Isaac, a creepy little thing who is actually quite intriguing. A little boy, Job, is at a diner with his father after church, where he sees his dad getting his throat slit. Meanwhile, his little sister, at home sick with their mother, is also witness to their mother’s murder. Sarah had been sick, and it is later revealed that she has the “gift of sight”. Flash forward to a few years later, and we are introduced to Burt and Vicky, a young couple preparing to travel cross-country for Burt’s new job. He just graduated med school and is anxious about his work, and Vicky really wants a commitment. Already, this is really realistic. The viewer also sees Job and his sister Sarah talking to a young boy, Joseph, who is preparing to run away because he is sick of living under the thumb of crazy Isaac and his henchman, Malachai. The children are not allowed to do anything child-like, such as listening to music or playing games. He runs away into the corn with his suitcase, but soon is stalked by Malachai and other followers, and has his throat slit. You wanted him to make it to the road alive, but he makes it to the road nearly dead, just as Burt and Vicky are driving up and accidentally hit him. They don’t realize that he was practically dead already when he was hit, but they find out upon investigating the body.

Burt finds Joseph’s suitcase with blood on it and knows something’s up. They pack up the little dead boy in their trunk and go looking for help in a neighboring town. We meet an old man and his cute dog, who was seemingly allowed to live by the killer children in exchange for fuel and keeping outsiders out. He tells the couple not to go to Gatlin, so of course they head straight there. The old man is subsequently killed, as well as his dog, by Malachai because he feels Isaac has become to powerful and he wants power to himself. Once arriving in Gatlin, they find it weird and abandoned, but they come upon Sarah in her old house and talk to her. Burt goes off to investigate, while Vicky stays with Sarah. Soon, Malachai and others break into the home, and kidnap Vicky, and this is what Sarah had predicted all along. Burt encounters Job and helps to hide him, as Job and Sarah explain where Vicky is and what is going on in the town. Darkness falls, and Burt prepares to venture into the corn, where Malachai has ordered Isaac to be sacrificed instead of Vicky. He gets into a struggle with Malachai, and attempts to bring some sanity to these loony children by telling him that a religion without love and compassion is false. They start to believe him, just as Isaac emerges from the corn, bloody and scorched. He tells Malachai that He Who Walks Behind the Rows wants him too, so Malachai is killed.

The children take off, and hide in the barn, as the couple and the two siblings try to figure out how to stop the demon in the corn. They read a passage from the Bible, that instructs them to use fire. So Job and Burt take off to make a cocktail to throw into the corn and destroy the monster. He Who Walks tries to stop Burt by attacking him by way of the cornstalks, but he breaks free, and sets the field on fire. All is calm, and the foursome walk back to their car, that has now been filled with corn. A young girl in the cult is hiding in the backseat and tries to attack Burt, but he knocks her out. As they make their way down the road on foot, they discuss maybe adopting the two siblings, and the film ends.

I love this movie for several reasons, and think many people need to give it another chance. First of all, these kids (above) are the two cutest kids I have ever seen. They are pretty good actors especially considering the bizarre subject matter. Secondly, it is creepy. Not scary in a general sense, but creepy. The kids in this cult are so loyal and completely devoid of any real thought of their own, which is scary in and of itself. I have always been interested in cults and how someone could actually follow someone blindly with no rhyme or reason, especially when they are killing adults in horrific ways and worshipping something that lives underground in the cornfield. Granted, in the movie, the creature is real, as we see it moving along under the dirt, but what happened to make them worship it? Isaac came along and spouted a few things and all of a sudden, kids are killing their parents. I think the human mind and what it is capable of conjuring is probably the scariest thing of all, so to think that children could be engaged in these actions is terrible. Also considering, cults do exist, and crazy people do go around committing murder and mass suicide because of some imaginable belief in their head, so in a general sense, this kind of thing may be possible. Though, I must say, I doubt that no one would have found out before three years, and that these kids still dress like its 1887 is a little far-fetched, but hey, whatever Isaac says, goes.

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About Aloha Mister Hand

28, horror-loving chick, lover of animals, movies, and her boyfriend.

25 responses »

  1. jcannon23 says:

    I finally picked up the Blu-Ray of this last week. Probably the last of big 80s horror flicks I hasn’t seen. I can see why some don’t like it, particularly those raised on CGI action spectacles. It has this cheesy quality that I really dig. I’ve heard the sequels are pretty hit-or-miss so I don’t think I’ll be going out of my way to track them down. It’s a damn shame that aren’t any small independents like New World Pictures anymore, that take specialize in genre film. New Line and Lionsgate used to be, but they seem to be focused on bigger and better things nowadays.

  2. rwhyan says:

    Creepy kids? Hell yes they are creepy. Great review, this one is pretty dirty I wouldn’t even want people our age taking over a town let alone these young bastards. I like this movie a lot but I actually think it suffers a little bit just like many of Kings other adaptations. The acting isn’t great and the special effects are soooo dated, but then again… the cheese factor can be a lot of fun. I actually think this is one of those rare cases where if someone worth a damn directed and they had a decent budget, this could be a great remake. I know it was recently remade but I’m sure its pure crap haha.

    • Haha, thanks! I dunno, I like the original, and you know me and remakes. Yeah, the remake sucks sooooooo much. Do not watch it, it is completely worthless. Haha, I wouldn’t want people our age running anything either, at least not most people lol 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

      • rwhyan says:

        I figured it would be total crap, that’s why I avoided it! I hate remakes too but sometimes I feel like they are justifiable. Like in this movie’s case, it suffers from a small budget and the special effects look pretty weak today and the acting in parts aren’t great. If you could fix all of those things with better technology, like The Thing and The Fly did, they could make a really legit remake.

      • Yeah, I can definitely see what you mean, but I don’t see anything wrong with any of those aspects of older movies, I mean they are what they are. If I like ’em, I can look past a few flaws. Some remakes are okay, but IDK I think it makes today’s kids not respect older movies and not know anything about the past…but that’s just me! LOL 🙂

      • rwhyan says:

        It’s not just you! Thats a very good point. I feel like there are two groups of horror fans, no matter what the age. Theres the 1 group that like horror movies and go back to watch all of the films that really started it and become fans of the classics and see great original ideas being made. Then you have the other group of horror fans that buy into all of the paranormal activity stuff saying it’s “the scariest movie ever”. That second group you could show them a movie like The Exorcist and they would laugh. There is a huge lack of respect and a part of that is all of the Hollywood crap that is being passed as “horror”.

      • Exactly! That’s precisely what I mean! I mean, how can anyone think the Exorcist is funny but Paranormal Activity is scary? WTH? Paranormal Activity was the dumbest movie I’ve ever seen. I am definitely in the first group you described 🙂 You are so right, most of Hollywood is absolute crap. They wouldn’t know a scary movie if it bit em on the ass!

      • rwhyan says:

        There you go. I was forced to watch Paranormal Activity and I was couldn’t believe that people were considering THAT to be horror. We live in sad times haha. Horror is supposed to be more than loud noises and doors opening by themselves, but people these days could care less.

      • Haha,omg, I know. Me too, people were jumping and I was sitting there with this absolutely ridiculous look on my face. I wanted my money back. So lame. People these days are so sheltered and pussified (haha yeah, i used that word), they think a door opening is scary. And yes, in some movies it might be. But don’t hype up a movie when it is nothing but fluff. That’s why it was hyped, because they knew no one would see it unless there was mystery surrounding it. Then they make two sequels! AHHH, help me! LOL

      • rwhyan says:

        Yea, it’s pretty pathetic anymore and I was the exact same way when I watched it. Two sequels! I know! They are probably working on 4 more as we speak, like the saw franchise……….. The saddest part about all of these shitty movies is that there are AMAZING horror movies being made right now that don’t ever see the light of day because no one want to see them. Can you imagine, we are this frustrated, but think of how these filmmakers must feel when their movie get’s one day of a theater run because people would rather see “The Devil Inside”. Gag.

      • That is so true! There are probably so many sequels in the works. I miss when movies were made to entertain, scare, make people think, or piss them off by the content, not jut to make money for the fucking CEO’s. Isn’t that, or wasn’t that, the point of movies? Where would they be without the audience? They need to realize we are not dumb, and movie profits are down because what’s there is crap and we’re not gonna pay 15 dollars to sit there and want to kill ourselves for an hour and a half, lol!

      • rwhyan says:

        Someday true horror will return, just hopefully that will happen while I’m alive! If the “greatest” horror movie that came out in my lifetime ends up being Paranormal Activity, I’ll be a very sad old man. lol.

      • Haha, right? Don’t worry, it won’t be the “greatest” in your life. Look what we do have – Scream, Devil’s Rejects, Audition, The Strangers, and some others. Hey, as long as we like ’em and stay loyal, that’s all that counts lol! Thing is, I don’t mind creepy movies or anything like Para. Act. in and of itself. Just don’t pretend it’s something it isn’t. Like, if I want gore, I’ll see gore, etc. Hollywood fakers! LOL

      • rwhyan says:

        Yes for sure! Thanks for listening to my rant! hahah I know it wasn’t easy.

      • Haha, no worries, I enjoyed it, and agree with ya! It’s so true, it’s no wonder people make fun of horror movies cuz of all the shit out there these days!

      • rwhyan says:

        I’m almost done with my post! It should be up soon.

  3. HorrorBore says:

    It’s been so long since I have seen this movie. You have just inspired me to watch it again 🙂

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