I love horror movies. I love Stephen King. So the question is, how is it that I hadn’t seen Children of the Corn until this very week?
The truth is, I just don’t know. I “think” I’d seen a few scenes on tv at some point, but I’d never actually watched the whole thing front to back until putting on the great new 4K version of the film that Arrow Video just released. Now, when I say great, mind you, I’m referring to the excellent quality of the scan and the myriad extras this version contains. I am not talking about the film.
Children of the Corn, released in 1984 and starring Linda Hamilton and Peter Horton as a couple that come across a cult of children that worship “He Who Walks Behind The Rows” is not very good. This is probably not a revelation to many horror fans out there, but as someone who was watching it for the first time, I was a little surprised that the movie really was not as great as I’d heard. I’ve read the original 1977 Stephen King short story many times over the years, it’s one of my go-tos whenever I feel like reading something from Night Shift, but the film adaptation really just doesn’t have the same vibe as King’s story. Though Children of the Corn starts off strong for me, as the kids set about killing the adults of the town of Gatlin, it goes downhill after that. The script makes the adults more sympathetic and heroic than they were in King’s story, adds some extra kids that I suppose we’re supposed to empathize with, and delivers a bombastic finale that just didn’t work for this viewer.
However, Children of the Corn has developed a huge cult following over the past nearly-40 years, and spawned countless sequels (only one of which has anything to do with the original, of course); for those fans, this Blu-ray set is absolutely essential, and even had me engaged with all of its in-depth content.
Along with a fresh, 4K-upgrade, Arrow Video’s edition of Children of the Corn contains a bunch of fascinating documentaries featuring interviews with members of the cast and crew, including Linda Hamilton, a 1983 short film titled Disciples of the Crow which acts as another adaptation of Children of the Corn, and a lot more. There’s also an excellent booklet included with the release, featuring two essays, including one on the influence child preachers played on the film.
So, while I may not have loved the movie itself, there’s actually a lot to recommend about this set. Just like the set they did for The Brotherhood of Satan, Arrow Video really gives the consumer their money’s worth with this 4K edition of Children of the Corn, and for fans of Issac, Malachai, and “He Who Walks Behind The Rows” this is a definitive and no-brainer purchase.
As for me, I’m going to find my copy of Night Shift and give the original another reread.