Somewhere in Bible belt Nebraska sits the town of Gatlin. Most days the townsfolk work the fields which grow tall with corn. On Sundays, they go to church, then to the local diner for coffee and cake. It’s outwardly idyllic. Real America. Honest America. But one Sunday the town’s children, inspired by the creepy, sinisterly eyebrowed Isaac murder all the adults and a new religion is born, one that worships and fears ‘He who walks behind the rows.’ Enter urbanites Burt and Vicky (Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton) and folk horror ensues.
For the most part Children of the Corn is a functional, effective Stephen King adaptation. The kids are scary if a little awkward in places, and the film awakes a fear many of us suppress of quiet, rural towns that always contain malevolent secrets and shadows…don’t they? John Franklin stands out as the psychotic Isaac, and director Fritz Kiersch maintains an unsettling atmosphere throughout. The film does labour in the middle act as, being adapted from a short story, there isn’t enough substance to keep the plot moving and we’re left with what becomes an elongated chase scene.
Where this new 4K UHD set does impress is in the content. Including the two direct sequels (only on Blu-ray, however) Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (essentially a poorer version of the first film but set a few years later) and Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (Cult in the City) there are more than enough commentaries, featurettes, interviews, and extras to keep any fan occupied for hours.
One for the completists.