Children of the Corn (1984) (4K Review)
DIRECTED BY: Fritz Kiersch
STARRING: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R.G. Armstrong
RATED: R/REGION O/1:85/2160P/NUMBER OF DISCS 1
AVAILABLE FROM Arrow Video
A young couple travelling cross-country find themselves stranded in the small town of Gatlin, where they meet a mysterious religious cult of children. With no adults in sight the terror brews as the new arrivals find the secrets of the prospering corn fields and the children who inhabit them. Led by the mysterious Isaac and the unhinged Malachi the blood-curdling secrets of the children of Gatlin are soon revealed to their new ‘outlander’ guests. Featuring stellar performances from Linda Hamilton (Terminator) and Peter Horton (thirtysomething) and based on a short story by Stephen King, The Children of the Corn is a horror classic that has spawned multiple sequels and imitators, but none as harrowing as this masterpiece of horror.
If you think kids are crazy today, you should see how the backwoods children of this town were in 1984. The film opens with a shocking enough opening, one that was probably more of a “OMG” moment in the 1980s and for people who had no clue what the book was about then it is for today, but it’s still kinda cool. It’s also cool to have kids running around with such epic names as, “Malachai” and “Isaac”. Of course, these types of names would roll along with the film’s sequels, even if the overall quality didn’t. Also adding to the film’s cool factor and acceptable acting is, Linda Hamilton. You may recall her as Sarah Conners from The Terminator films, but she’s “Vicky” here and she does a fine job. Maybe even more so than her co-star, Peter Horton. But the film’s overall stars and selling points are the kids. And if you want a creepy kid, you sure have on with the character of, Isaac. In the long line of cinematic kids that were weird and creepy, he has to be one of the best. And it really helps sell the movie. It also kinda helps you ignore the more slower portions of the film.
So the film has a few really cool moments, like people being run over, that is memorable. It also packs some very cheesy effects moments that might stand out and catch your attention (even more so here in 4K) for all the wrong reasons, but they still do seem to have their own charming ways about them. But you can’t deny the film does have good elements and people do love the film. Proof of that is in the endless amount of sequels that have followed this movie. Outside of perhaps part 2, I’d say this is the best entry of the franchise and rightfully so, it IS the original. The Blu-ray from Arrow looked amazing as it was but now with the 4K release we have once again given even more life to an older horror movie and if you love 4K and you are a fan of Children of the Corn, you will love this release.
- Brand new 2K restoration from the original negative
- Original Mono and 5.1 Audio Options
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Brand new audio commentary with John Sullivan of childrenofthecornmovie.com and horror journalist Justin Beahm
- Audio commentary with director Fritz Kiersch, producer Terrence Kirby and actors John Franklin and Courtney Gains
- Harvesting Horror: The Making of Children of the Corn – retrospective piece featuring interviews with director Fritz Kiersch and actors John Franklin and Courtney Gains
- It Was the Eighties! – an interview with actress Linda Hamilton
- Return to Gatlin – brand new featurette revisiting the film’s original Iowa shooting locations
- Stephen King on a Shoestring – an interview with producer Donald Borchers
- Welcome to Gatlin: The Sights and Sounds of Children of the Corn – an interview with production designer Craig Stearns and composer Jonathan Elias
- Feeling Blue – an interview with the actor who played “The Blue Man” in the fabled excised sequence
- Theatrical Trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin
- First pressing only: Collectors booklet featuring new writing in the film
Quality of Transfer: 85%