Welcome, dear readers, to Substream’s 31 Days of Halloween. While every holiday captures the hearts and minds of the Substream staff, Halloween holds an especially important place in our hearts. Now that we’ve entered the month of October, it’s time for us to share our love for this holiday with you.
Every single day in October, our collection of spooky staff writers and ghoulish guest contributors will walk you through a horror or Halloween-themed movie they adore. The goal is to both celebrate the titans and icons of the season while also introducing you to new films and scares to fill your autumn nights. Lock your doors, check under your bed, and settle in as you join Substream for our 31 Days of Halloween.
Day 16: Children of the Corn (1984)
The scare factor of horror movies is usually pretty subjective. Some people are terrified of gore, while others are fidgeting uncomfortably due to the building anticipation. Whatever your horror movie scares are, we can all agree on one thing: children in these films are downright creepy. Make the children part of a cult in a Nebraska town with an eerie cornfield, add a bloodthirsty deity that lives in said cornfield, and you’ve got a movie that is sure to scare anyone. Reader, I introduce you to the wonder that is Children of the Corn.
Children of the Corn is a movie adaption of horror master Stephen King’s 1977 short story of the same name. As we know, movie adaptions of books are a hit or miss. Children of the Corn falls somewhere in the middle. It stays true to the general storyline: Vicky (Linda Hamilton) and her boyfriend, Burt (Peter Horton), are on their way to Seattle for Burt’s new job when they run over a boy in remote Gatlin, Nebraska. They realize his throat has been slit and decide to put him in the trunk of their car as they try to find a phone to get help. When they can’t find one, they begin to explore Gatlin. Burt leaves Vicky alone to explore, which turns an already less-than-ideal situation into a nightmare. It turns out that the children are part of a cult that has a pact He Who Walks Behind the Rows, the being in the cornfield.
As I said before, children in horror movies tend to be extremely unsettling, and these kids are no exception. Isaac (John Franklin) is the cult leader and Malachai (Courtney Gains) is his bloodthirsty subordinate. The children in the cult all speak in a strange Biblical-country hybrid dialect, which is both annoying and frightening.
The movie’s plot and progression are overall pretty engaging and impressive. However, the special effects leave a lot to be desired. Granted, the movie was made in 1984 with an incredibly tight budget and special effects technology is nowhere near as advanced as it is today. Additionally, some of the scenes are a little rough around the edges, especially as the movie comes to a close. It does stay fairly true to the original storyline with the exception of the additions of some characters.
Regardless, Children of the Corn is a genuinely creepy, solid adaption of Stephen King’s story. It does stay fairly true to the original storyline with the exception of the additions of some characters, and the scare factor is certainly there. If you can look past the underwhelming special effects, you’ve got a great movie guaranteed to terrify you for 90 minutes.