Linda Hamilton and Peter Horton play a young couple who end up stranded in a small, isolated American town that has actually been taken over by the children and doesn't tolerate the presence of adults. This is largely due to the preachings of young Isaac (John Franklin - AKA the scariest kid on screen ever) and the enforcement of rules by his main henchman, Malachai (Courtney Gains - AKA second-scariest kid on screen ever). The situation goes from bad to worse for the adults and it's a tense battle of wits to see if they can save themselves from being sacrificed to the mighty corn god.
Adapted from a short story by Stephen King, this horror movie impresses
more than it should thanks to its central subject matter - killer
kids. You can do a lot in horror movies but you rarely show animal
cruelty or child fatalities, those are just major no-nos in mainstream
horrors, so having a bunch of kids out to kill adults and being
retaliated against is refreshing in itself. Things are helped immensely
by the fact that all of the young actors are very good (with Franklin
and Gains being the most memorable) and Hamilton and Horton aren't too
Narration is provided by a youngster (played by Robby Kiger) and this is quite a big negative point, it just feels lazy and the viewpoint and speech
used is now more than a little cliche when in the context of a Stephen
Okay, so the short story, made into a screenplay by George Goldsmith, doesn't really provide enough decent material
for director Fritz Kiersch to make a classic and there's definitely a
sagging middle section but you also get a fantastically eerie opening
sequence, some goosebumps raised every time Isaac preaches, decent
tension throughout despite the diminutive size of the baddies and even
an okay ending only really marred by the budgetary limitations that are
so obvious in the special effects of the climax.
Looking slightly deeper into the material, whether it's intended or not (and I think it is), you also have an interesting look at religious dogma, how it is interpreted and preached to others in a way that can cause great harm if not questioned or kept in check. In fact, this is a cult movie in every sense.
It's a fun horror - no more, no less - and one that my nostalgic
fondness for is shown in my, admittedly generous, rating.
P.S. I have yet to see ANY of the sequels but they will be viewed and the reviews appearing here very soon, for better or worse.