Children of the Corn (also called Children of the Corn: The Movie) is a 1984 horror film based upon the short story of the same name by Stephen King. Directed by Fritz Kiersch, the film stars Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton. The film tells the story of a demonic force that possesses the children in a fictional Nebraskan town, causing them to murder the town's adults. King co-wrote the original draft of the screenplay, but it was disregarded in favor of George Goldsmith's screenplay. The film has spawned five sequels.
Burt (Peter Horton) and Vicky (Linda Hamilton) are a couple passing through Nebraska who hit a boy with their car. After inspecting the body, Burt, who's a physician, determines that the boy's throat had been slashed before being struck with the car. The boy, Joseph, was caught in the cornfields and stabbed by Malachai before wandering out to the road. Stopping at Gatlin, Burt and Vicky find themselves at the mercy of the children's corn-cult. Vicky is captured by the children when Burt leaves her with Sarah, a girl who can draw pictures of the future. Burt walks into the local church and finds the cult planning the ritual sacrifice of a 19-year-old named Amos, who will be sacrificed to "He Who Walks Behind the Rows" that night with Vicky. Burt is stabbed and while pursued by the children, is assisted by a child named Job. Realizing the situation his girlfriend is in, Burt follows Job and Sarah to the cornfield. Meanwhile, Malachai has turned on Isaac when the latter refuses to try and use Vicky as a lure for Burt, Malachai decides to have Isaac crucified as another sacrifice. Night falls, and the ritual begins.
Amos enters the corn-field and moments later, his scream echoes through the corn. Realizing that the creature is coming for him next, Isaac becomes hysterical. The creature's glowing form envelopes the screaming Isaac. Burt intervenes before Vicky is sacrificed, and attacks Malachai. Burt convinces the other children that this religion is wrong. They all leave, much to the chagrin of Malachai who readies for one final attack. However, Isaac's mutilated, seemingly possessed form appears before them, explaining that "he" wants Malachai too. Isaac then grabs Malachai by the throat and breaks his neck.
The actions of Burt and the children have enraged the demon and everyone flees to the barn. Job tells Burt about the police officer who tried to destroy the demon earlier by setting the corn rows on fire. He was stopped by Malachai and sacrificed to the beast. They set gasoline into the sprinkler system and make a Molotov cocktail, which they light and throw into the field, setting it on fire and killing the demon with multiple explosions.
While the children of the corn flee, Burt, Vicky, Job and Sarah return to Burt and Vicky's corn-stalked car. Burt offers that the kids may stay with them for a few weeks, much to their delight. With the car no longer functional, Burt reaches for a map inside that will lead them out of Gatlin. Suddenly, he is attacked from behind by one of the cult's surviving priestesses (the same one who stabbed him earlier), but is able to knock her unconscious. They all then begin the long journey out of Gatlin to the next town, Hemingford on foot.
Five further sequels were later released directly to video:
A script for an eighth Children of the Corn movie was written by Joe Harris, best known for his film Darkness Falls, but the sequel seems to be in limbo. The movie is rumored not to be a sequel but more of a re-telling of the original tale.
Joe Harris stated the following back in 2003 when he was first asked to write the script:
"COTC8" will maintain the spirit of the original film and the Stephen King short story. It will be scary with hardcore thrills and disturbing deaths with elements you'll recognize as signatures of the franchise gorillas (chases through cornfields, deaths by sickles, teenage sex, sacrifices and the triumphant return of "He Who Walks Behind the Rows" included). It will take place in Gatlin and will draw on the history of that town as we know it.Children of the Corn was parodied in the South Park episode "The Wacky Molestation Adventure"