Let’s just say that if you’re on the fence about having kids, probably don’t watch this movie. Under the influence of a child prophet named Isaac, these cute little Bible thumpers decide to murder all of the adults in their small Nebraska town. Years later, a couple traveling through the area discovers the secret and helps to destroy the evil influence possessing these children, setting them free.
Like most of Stephen King’s stories, this film plays on several common small-town, rural fears. Beyond the creepiness of the children turning into an army of murderers, the truly scary part (at least for me, anyway) in this film is the power of mob mentality; people who are otherwise decent and good are suddenly swayed to do unspeakable acts and society as we know it breaks down. This happens in real life, which is why this movie particularly feels creepy. Add that in with the taboo of innocent children committing such horrific acts, and you get an understandable creep factor. But beneath the literal “monster in the corn” lies the figurative monster within each human being; the real possibility that lies within all people to get caught up in a wave of evil.
Not to mention, of course, the religious undertones in this movie. The children in this film come from a very religiously conservative background; the religious brainwashing they withstand in their childhood prepares them to believe and follow what seems like just another religious movement. In a world where atrocities are committed in the name of organized religion all the time, this movie presents a very real threat.
And of course, cornfields are creepy. Does anyone else notice the recurring theme of cornfields in Stephen King’s work?