Rankfest: Children of the Corn

I’m pretty sure OneRepublic found influence for their international hit Stop and Stare in the Children of the Corn films, as there’s a whooooole lot of that going on. Staring. Kids in creepy clothes with dork-ass names like Jedidiah and Mortichai. Always staring.

At the of writing I haven’t ‘experienced’ Children of the Corn: Runaway (2018), but I’ve not read a whole lot of positive, so I’ll get back to y’all on that.


9th best: Genesis (2011)

children of the corn genesis

Holy House Plants, this reboot stinks! A budget south of the cost of renting the car in which a young couple drive to become stranded – almost nothing happens for the entire run time of the movie and it re-uses car chase footage from fucking Bad Boys II.


8th: Children of the Corn (2009)

children of the corn 2009

For all the critical rocks pitched at the 1984 original, it’s at least nowhere near as boring as this made-for-TV more ‘faithful’ adaptation of King’s short story (which was way shorter than I ever thought). Burt and Vicky are drawn as horrendous people, so why not cheer on the Children? Because they suck just as hard, especially the 8-year-old playing Isaac, who can barely fill his oversized hat, let alone the shoes of John Franklin.


7th: Isaac’s Return (1999)

children of the corn 666 isaac's return

COTC‘s H20 moment: Isaac didn’t die after all and has just been in a coma all this time! So when the daughter of his and Rachel (the girl in the church) turns up looking for info about her past and Isaac wakes up, the usual occurs. Notable only for He Who Walks Behind the Rows appearing in human form, but almost nothing else.


6th: Revelation (2001)

children of the corn revelation

 Claudette Mink goes to visit grandma, who has (very recently) disappeared. Various residents of the same housing complex start falling victim to the glarey children hanging around the locale. A few familiar faces from low-end horror and not terrible production quality, but nothing new is brought to the table either. Corn with corn it is, then.


5th: Urban Harvest (1995)

children of the corn iii

Brothers Joshua and Eli are Gatlin orphans fostered by an LA couple. Eli brings with him a few cobs, which he plants in a lot behind the house and goes about corrupting his high school classmates. Notable for Chalize Theron appearing as an extra and the world’s cheapest looking monster.


4th: The Gathering (1996)

children of the corn iv

Naomi Watts goes home to stay with unhinged mom, Karen Black, and her younger siblings, when the kids in town start getting sick and killing their parents. It’s remarkable how many future stars started off battling these brats.


3rd: Fields of Terror (1998)

children of the corn 5

And now Eva Mendes’ turn to go up against homicidal little shits as she and buddies break down outside of town where a cult convinces people to jump into a silo, Eva included. Despite its undeniable naffness, there’s a sense of late-90s fun to it all and nobody looks to be taking it too seriously. Eyes peeled for Kane Hodder as a barman.


2nd: The Final Sacrifice (1992)

children of the corn ii

The only legitimate direct sequel to the events of Gatlin sees the orphaned kiddies sent to temporarily live with the good folks of neighbouring Hemingford, where people soon start dying all over again. Death by hijacked electric wheelchair, the nosebleed from hell, and a cute send up of The Wizard of Oz are highlights.


The Best One: Children of the Corn (1984)

children of the corn 1984

It may not have been wanted Stephen King wanted – he likened the experience to sending his daughter off to college with high hopes only for her to do drugs and get raped – but it’s clearly the best of its series, with offbeat performances from John Franklin as Isaac, and Courtney Gains, as Malichai. Uneven, sure, but still a bit creepy.


So, objectively, none of these films are ‘good’, but a few of them have some cheesy rewatchability if nothing else. Anyone for a OneRepublic sing-along while we chomp some Green Giant?

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