CHILDREN OF THE CORN. That's all you have to say. Who doesn't know CHILDREN OF THE CORN? It is a thing of legend. People that have never seen the movie know the plot. Its reputation precedes it, but is it the classic many make it out to be? The film finds a young couple that becomes stranded in a deserted mid-Western town overrun by a cult of killer kids who decide to sacrifice them to their monstrous god. What is most memorable about the film are the performances of the two lead children in Isaac and Malachai, both of who are extremely convincing and organically evil in different senses. The other players are all good as well, but the prophetic sermons demanding the deaths of all adults by Isaac and the shrill cries to the "Outlander" in the barren streets by Malachai are staple scenes in genre history. What I have always found to be the most disturbing are the closely framed shots of groups of children bearing all sorts of bladed weapons. The anticipation in the film far outweighs any of the actual violence or gore. Kiersch also includes several wide establishing shots of the emptied town covered in dried corn husks that set a somber and unsettling mood. Where the film falls short is in the slow pacing and repetitive plotting. It offers a steady build, but there are many scenes that would have benefited from stricter editing to improve the forward momentum of the film. The special FX in the closing scenes are also extremely dated, let alone the fact that they are confusing and anti-climactic. CHILDREN OF THE CORN is not a perfect film, but it stands out in the genre because of the violent nature of the plot and the underlying fears it represents in the uprising of children against their parents. It is good, and even with its inherent flaws, it is a nostalgic flick that still makes for a creepy classic in the long line of killer kids films.
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