Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering

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Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering
Childrenofthecorn4.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Greg Spence
Produced by Gary DePew
Jake Eberle
Written by Stephen Berger
Starring Naomi Watts
Jamie Renée Smith
Karen Black
Mark Salling
Music by David C. Williams
Cinematography Michael Off
Dean Lent
Charles Hatcher
Richard Clabaugh
Edited by Christopher Cibelli
Production
company
Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Release dates
  • October 8, 1996 (1996-10-08) (U.S.)
Running time
85 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering is the fourth film in the Children of the Corn horror series. It was released in 1996, and directed by Greg Spence. The film stars Naomi Watts and Karen Black.

The first in the series to go straight to video, Children of the Corn IV expands upon the origins of "He Who Walks Behind The Rows"; a deleted scene features Jane and Rosa Nock telling Grace (Naomi Watts) and Donald (Brent Jennings) how the children called the boy preacher Josiah by a different name: that of the malevolent deity of the previous films - thus revealing He Who Walks Behind The Rows to be Josiah's vengeful spirit who sought to establish the secretive mortal cults throughout the series to elevate his twisted soul to godhood through worship and sacrifice.[citation needed] It received mostly negative reception.

Plot[edit]

Grace Rhodes is a medical student who is coming home to her hometown of Grand Island, Nebraska, to take care of her mother, June, who has become very paranoid and refuses to leave her yard. She is having recurring nightmares of being attacked by sick children. Grace also has to look after her younger siblings James and Margaret. She decides to take a semester off from school to take care of her family and gets her old job back, in town, at Dr. Larsen's clinic.

One night, a farmer takes some water out of his well, but finds it full of bugs. There is a body of a child down in the well, dressed as a preacher. The child comes to life and climbs out of the well and kills the farmer.

Later that night, James and Margaret become ill and show symptoms similar to those of the children in June's dreams. The next day, while working at Dr. Larsen's office, Grace notices that many other kids have the same symptoms. During the night all of the kids in town get worse as their fevers skyrocket. At the same time, they all begin to scream and some even have seizures. Suddenly it all stops and the fevers begin to drop. The child preacher begins to watch June from the cornfield across the street.

Donald and Sandra Atkins notice that their son Marcus is acting strangely. Later, Sandra looks out the window and sees many children standing outside. Marcus and the other children watch as Sandra is brutally murdered by the child preacher. The police arrive and begin to question Donald and Marcus. Suddenly, Marcus runs off into the cornfield. The sheriff chases him and finally finds him in a clearing. Marcus tosses him a bag that has the farmer's head inside. Then the child preacher appears and kills the sheriff. Donald finds the body and runs away. Elderly townsfolk, Jane and Rosa agree to hide him.

The children stop answering to their names and claim to be someone else. Dr. Larsen, who has lived in the town longer than anyone, recognizes the identities that the children are using as those of dead children from the town's history. Dr. Larsen has a vision of the child preacher, then he is attacked and killed by two of the town's children. When Grace arrives, Dr. Larsen's body is gone. She runs into Donald who tries to tell her what is happening. Grace also discovers that Margaret's blood test doesn't make sense. The blood is decayed, like it's mixed with something dead.

June has her recurring nightmare again, only to discover that she is not dreaming and that it is actually happening. She flees her house and drives away. Grace returns to the clinic to discover all of the kids are at the clinic, brought there by their parents. All of the kids have a different identity and their teeth are falling out. June spots James entering an old barn and she follows him inside. She is captured and killed by the child preacher. Children begin to gather at the barn.

Grace decides to go to Dr. Larsen's house to find him. Donald hijacks her and her car and forces her to drive at gunpoint. They go to Jane and Rosa's house. They reveal that the child preacher was the bastard son of a local woman and his name is Josiah. He was taken in by some traveling preachers and Josiah became a very gifted preacher. Over the years, Josiah never grew out of boyhood. He stopped aging. The traveling preachers gave him over to darkness to stunt his growth, but when word got out, they abandoned him. Josiah killed the preachers and then the townspeople burned him alive and sealed his remains in a well. Josiah has found a child like himself in the town and when Josiah takes control of them, he will take the rest of the children. Grace realized that Margaret is the child. She is actually Grace's daughter and Grace abandoned and lied to her.

Grace's best friend Maryanne, is attacked and killed by Josiah at the clinic. Grace and Donald return to the clinic and discover Margaret is missing, but they do learn that Josiah's weakness is mercury. It is also revealed that Josiah is Rosa's son.

Margaret, James, Marcus, and all the other children gather at the barn and offer some of their blood to Josiah. Marcus is a hemophiliac, meaning he will bleed to death if he gets even a small cut. Marcus, however cuts his hand, offering his blood to Josiah. Margaret offers Josiah her soul. Marcus collapses from blood loss and Margaret is pulled into the pool of blood. Josiah then emerges.

Donald and Grace arrive at the barn. They connect the barn's sprinkler system to their supply of mercury. Donald fills two of his bullets with mercury and gives the gun to Grace. He sneaks inside and grabs Marcus and takes him out to his truck. The children notice this and chase after him. Donald stops Marcus' bleeding, but the children try to kill him. Josiah attacks Grace, but she shoots him with a mercury bullet. She then finds June's and Dr. Larsen's body. Josiah attacks her again, but Grace activates the sprinklers which shower him with mercury. Grace slashes him with his own scythe, finally killing him. The children stop trying to kill Donald and return to normal. Grace finds Margaret, apparently drowned, but manages to revive her.

Eventually, Grace tells Margaret the truth. After the funerals for the victims, Grace, Margaret, James, Donald, and Marcus all move out of Nebraska.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]