Doing nothing to disprove my theory that IMDB doesn’t like giving horror higher than a three rating, the next entry in Retro Horror month is Stephen King’s Children of the Corn.
I’ve always liked this movie, even as a kid. This was one of the first horror movies I can remember watching, and I think I watched it at least once a wee when I was in high school. At the time it was one of Syfy’s favorite movies to through into rotation and then never take it off the air.
There is something fundamentally jarring about children and religion-especially when the children begin to bring their own brand of morality into play. Children have morality, but it’s not the way that adults function. Adults have a strong sense of right and wrong, and have the socialization to be able to parse apart shades of grey. At least, I like to think they do. Facebook often tells me otherwise but that’s a discussion for another day.
Children are much more black and white in their interactions with the world and do those things that feel right to them. It’s not that they are unaware of consequence, exactly. It’s more that they don’t think about it the same way that we do. The children in the film are aware that there will be consequences to adults appearing in their town-it’s just that there’s something else at play to their reactions than it is for the adults that find themselves in the middle of the movie.
This film differs from a movie like The Wicker Man in that the push of the religion is treating differently here. This is a god that requires blood, like the gods in Wicker Man-but here, it’s almost more primal in that you don’t offer yourself up to it. This is a god red in tooth and claw and I have to wonder if part of the reason that He Who Walks Behind the Rows is so creepy is because of the fact that he uses children to get his power. Not because children are innocent and therefore it triggers some sort of parental reaction-but that because children rely on blue/orange morality, they frankly don’t seem anything wrong with stringing up the Blue Man and dancing in the fields.