Children of the Corn: The Gathering (1996)

Welcome back to October of the Corn! Today we’re talking about Children of the Corn: The Gathering (the “IV” on the poster and generally accepted title doesn’t appear in the movie), the most forgettable one in the entire franchise. Pretty impressive, right? Fields of Terror has the kid who looks like an Oriental shorthair cat; Isaac’s Return has the return of Isaac (naturally); Revelation has the weird apartment complex; Genesis is the one in California; and the reboot and Runaway are dumb but have at least one or two things about them that I remember. I mean, fuck, this is the one that has the sex offender from Glee and even that didn’t leave any sort of lasting impact on my brain! Don’t worry, I’m not spending any more time on him.

Grace (Ms. Naomi Watts in her first top billed movie) moves back to Grand Island, Nebraska to take care of her ailing mother June (Karen Black), and her two, much younger siblings. See, June keeps having this dream of a sick boy turning into a monster and killing her, and it’s messing with her head. Then a sort of pandemic sweeps the town, infecting all the children and making them very sick. When they recover they’re all either brainwashed or possessed by the souls of dead children–it’s never properly explained. This is all the work of Josiah, the spirit of a dead boy who decades ago ran with tent preachers who poisoned him with mercury to keep him looking young. He was apparently abandoned by his mother, and his resurrection involves Grace’s sister–who is actually her daughter–because… she was also abandoned? Somehow that’s a key feature of the plot. Anyway, mercury tainted water is used to defeat him, and the day is saved. I mean, minus all the people who died… Like June, who had a sick boy turn into a monster and kill her.

Did you notice a lack of He Who Walks Behind the Rows? This movie feels like a script that involved creepy children, but didn’t get greenlit until someone slapped “Children of the Corn 4” on the cover. Apparently there’s a deleted scene where Josiah is revealed to also be He Who Walks, but I couldn’t find any evidence of it outside IMDB trivia. Regardless, this movie shouldn’t have been approved cause it’s bad. Naomi Watts gives a performance like she’s always about to fall asleep. The reveal that her “sister” is actually her daughter brings up a bunch of questions about her brother–who is around the same age as his sister/niece. There’s also this whole subplot about a kid with anemia that the movie wants us to care about, but I just… I can’t. Overall, it’s generally a bad sign when the writer/director’s only other writing/directing credit is The Prophecy II.


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2 thoughts on “Children of the Corn: The Gathering (1996)

  1. Pingback: Children of the Corn: Revelation (2001) | Chwineka Watches

  2. Pingback: Children of the Corn: Genesis (2012) | Chwineka Watches

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