Children of the Corn (film series)

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Children of the Corn
Official film series logo
Created byStephen King
Original workChildren of the Corn (1977)
Films and television
Film(s)
Short film(s)Disciples of the Crow

Children of the Corn is an American film series that began with Children of the Corn, released in 1984 by New World Pictures. After the release of Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992) and the series' acquisition by Dimension Films, the subsequent installments were released directly to video, and bore little to no narrative continuity, beginning with Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995). In 2009, a second adaptation of the short story aired on the Syfy network, via Fox 21 Television. A third adaptation of the short story titled Children of the Corn (2020), was released on October 23, 2020.

Films[edit]

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Producer(s) Distributor
Original series
Children of the Corn March 9, 1984 Fritz Kiersch George Goldsmith Donald P. Borchers and Terence Kirby New World Pictures
Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice January 29, 1993 David Price A. L. Katz and Gilbert Adler Scott A. Stone and David G. Stanley Dimension Films
Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest September 12, 1995 James D. R. Hickox Dode B. Levenson Brad Southwick and Gary DePew
Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering October 8, 1996 Greg Spence Stephen Berger and Greg Spence Gary DePew and Jake Eberle
Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror June 21, 1998 Ethan Wiley Jeff Geoffray and Walter Josten
Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return October 19, 1999 Kari Skogland Tim Sulka and John Franklin Bill Berry, Jeff Geoffray and Walter Josten
Children of the Corn: Revelation October 9, 2001 Guy Magar S. J. Smith Joel Soisson and Michael Leahy
Children of the Corn: Genesis August 30, 2011 Joel Soisson Aaron Ockman and Joel Soisson Dimension Extreme
Children of the Corn: Runaway March 13, 2018 John Gulager Joel Soisson Michael Leahy Lionsgate Films
Remake
Children of the Corn September 26, 2009 Donald P. Borchers Fox 21 Television Studios
Reboot
Children of the Corn October 23, 2020 Kurt Wimmer John Baldecchi, Doug Barry and Lucas Foster RLJE Films
Shudder

Short film[edit]

Film U.S. release date Director Screenwriter Producer(s)
Disciples of the Crow 1983 John Woodward Johnny Stevens and John Woodward

Cast and crew[edit]

Principal cast[edit]

Key
  • A V indicates the actor or actress lent only his or her voice for his or her film character.
  • A C indicates a cameo appearance.
  • A dark gray cell indicates the character was not in the film.
Characters Films
Short Original series Remake Reboot
Disciples of the Crow Children of the Corn The Final Sacrifice Urban Harvest The Gathering Fields of Terror Isaac's Return Revelation Genesis Runaway Children of the Corn Children of the Corn
1983 1984 1992 1995 1996 1998 1999 2001 2011 2018 2009 2020
Burt Stanton Gabriel Folse Peter Horton   David Anders  
Vicky Baxter Eleese Lester Linda Hamilton   Kandyse McClure  
Isaac Chroner   John Franklin   John Franklin   Preston Bailey  
Malachai Boardman   Courtney Gains   Blaine Maye Daniel Newman  
Rachel Colby   Julie Maddalena   Nancy Allen  
Ruth   Kristy Angell   Marci Miller Alexa Nikolas  

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Based on the short story by Stephen King, the first Children of the Corn film follows a couple who are besieged by mysterious children in a small town called Gatlin, Nebraska. Its first sequel begins immediately after the events of the original, and focuses on a reporter and his son who are investigating the events of the first film.

Beginning with the third installment, Dimension elected to produce standalone films that were not necessarily narratively connected.[1] The third film follows two brothers from Gatlin who are forced into foster care in Chicago; the younger brother, under the influence of He Who Walks Behind the Rows, begins to grow corn in an abandoned lot behind his new family home, wreaking havoc. The fourth film returns to a rural Nebraska town where a young medical student attempts to uncover a mysterious illness striking the children of her hometown; the fifth film follows a group of young people who encounter the children, led by a man, Ezekiel, of He Who Walks Behind the Rows, when staying overnight in an abandoned farmhouse.

Part six follows a woman, born of the cult from the first film, who returns to Gatlin to uncover the identity of her birth mother, while the seventh installment focuses on a woman who travels to a small town outside Omaha to investigate the disappearance of her grandmother; there, she encounters bizarre children in the fields surrounding her grandmother's apartment building.

The 2009 remake follows the general plot of the first film, focusing on a couple who encounter the children in Gatlin. The ninth film, Genesis, follows a couple who lodge with a mysterious preacher in the California desert, who appears to be leading a bizarre cult.

Releases[edit]

The first Children of the Corn (1984) was distributed by New World Pictures, receiving a theatrical release in the spring 1984. Its sequel, The Final Sacrifice (1992), was acquired for distribution by Miramax, and was released theatrically in January 1992 under Miramax's Dimension Films division.[2]

After Dimension's release of Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, the company would acquire rights to the series[3] and would release numerous follow-up sequels directly to video, beginning with Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, released in 1995.[4] After the release of Revelation in 2001, a television remake of the original film was commissioned by Dimension,[5] but ultimately distributed via Fox 21 Television Studios, airing on the Syfy channel in 2009.[6][7]

In 2011, the ninth installment, Genesis, was released direct-to-video under Dimension's Extreme label.[8]

Box office performance[edit]

Film U.S. release date Budget Box office revenue
(USD)
Notes Ref.
Original series
Children of the Corn (1984) March 9, 1984 $14,568,989 [9]
Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice January 29, 1993 $6,980,986 [10][11]
Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest September 12, 1995 Direct-to-video
Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering October 8, 1996 Direct-to-video
Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror June 21, 1998 Direct-to-video
Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return October 19, 1999 Direct-to-video
Children of the Corn: Revelation October 9, 2001 Direct-to-video
Children of the Corn: Genesis August 30, 2011 Direct-to-video
Children of the Corn: Runaway March 13, 2018 Direct-to-video
Remake
Children of the Corn (2009) September 26, 2009 Television film
Reboot
Children of the Corn (2020) October 23, 2020 (Sarasota)
March 3, 2023
$575,179 [12]

Critical reception[edit]

Film Rating
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Children of the Corn (1984) 39% (33 reviews)[13] 45
Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice 30% (10 reviews)[14] 18
Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest
Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering
Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror 14% (7 reviews)[15]
Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return 0% (6 reviews)[16]
Children of the Corn: Revelation 0% (5 reviews)[17]
Children of the Corn (2009) 0% (7 reviews)[18]
Children of the Corn: Genesis
Children of the Corn: Runaway
Children of the Corn (2020) 12% (58 reviews)[19] 22

Home media[edit]

The entire series has been released on various home media formats. While all eleven of the films have been released on DVD, only the first seven films were released on VHS before the format was phased out. Additionally, Children of the Corn (1984), Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering, Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror, Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return, Children of the Corn (2009), Children of the Corn: Genesis, Children of the Corn: Runaway and Children of the Corn (2020) have been made available on Blu-ray disc.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Caputo 2016, p. 48.
  2. ^ Perren 2012, p. 50.
  3. ^ Maddaus, Gene (August 24, 2017). "Weinstein Company Sued by Producer Over 'Children of the Corn' Spin-off Rights". Variety. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  4. ^ Caputo 2016, p. 46–8.
  5. ^ Caputo 2016, p. 50.
  6. ^ Gardner, Eriq (August 24, 2017). "The Weinstein Co. Sued Over Movie Rights to Stephen King's 'Children of the Corn'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  7. ^ "Dimension goes back to its roots". Variety. September 24, 2009. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  8. ^ "[Review] 'Children of the Corn: Genesis' Isn't THAT Bad". Bloody-Disgusting. September 1, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  9. ^ "Children of the Corn (1984)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  10. ^ Natale, Richard (February 2, 1993). "Winter of B.O. discontent". Daily Variety. p. 3.
  11. ^ "Children of the Corn II (1992)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  12. ^ "Children of the Corn (2020)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2023-03-04.
  13. ^ "Children of the Corn (1984)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  14. ^ "Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  15. ^ "Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  16. ^ "Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  17. ^ "Children of the Corn: Revelation". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  18. ^ "Children of the Corn (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  19. ^ "Children of the Corn (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 1, 2023.

Works cited[edit]

  • Caputo, Marcello Gagliani (2016). Guide to the Cinema of Stephen King. Babelcube. ISBN 978-1-507-16438-9.
  • Perren, Alisa (2012). Indie, Inc.: Miramax and the Transformation of Hollywood in the 1990s. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-74287-1.

External links[edit]