The film begins in a small town in Nebraska called Gatlin. A young preacher by the name of Isaac has convinced the children to murder every adult in town. The children all come together as a cult that worships an evil presence that apparently lives within the corn fields. Not too long after we discover this, a young couple comes wandering into town with a murder to report, only to find that they might not make it out alive.
The concept alone is frightening enough to think about without even needing the visual (kids killing adults? Yikes!). Unfortunately, the movie moves at a glacial pace that makes the viewer extremely impatient, practically begging for something, ANYTHING, to happen. When I watched it, I finally skipped forward to the final 5 minutes just to see who lives and who dies. I just couldn't sit and get sleepy any longer.
The children themselves are a big problem within the film as well. As mentioned above, the idea of children killing adults is pretty darn scary. While I might be a tad bit overcritical of child acting in the 80s, I have to say the performances by the kids are pathetic, practically comical. None of them are truly scary, especially Isaac, who is just completely obnoxious, hardly threatening at all.
It's really a shame that a film with a clever concept like this originated by Stephen King is such a disappointment. Maybe if they had better actors, or perhaps better writers. Who knows? What baffles me is that there are so many sequels to this, plus remakes. I cannot even keep track of them all.
Its poor quality could also be a factor of the time period in which it was released. While I certainly love everything 80s (I always say that I wish I was a teen during this time period), I really cannot think of a single horror movie from the 80s that is even watchable. They are all very poorly made and not scary at all, and "Children of the Corn" fits right in.