Children of the Corn (2023): There is no dearth of murderous children in cinema to vicariously satiate your Freudian impulses. Children of the Corn, the franchise based on Stephen King’s short story, has employed this trope of juvenile assassins for over forty years, spanning eleven films, including two remakes.

The latest outing by director Kurt Wimmer is a new adaptation of the short story that attempts a contemporary spin on the 1977 tale. Although this remake premiered in 2020, it struggled to find distribution until the horror streaming service Shudder picked it up.

This latest re-imagining is a rather clumsily made attempt that never probes deeply into its daring contemporary themes. Nevertheless, it is still a serviceable film considering the track of lackluster horror remakes.

In this article, we dive into the film’s ending and explain some of the thematic concerns it poses. As always, a SPOILER ALERT for the film!

Children of the Corn (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

The film is set in the small town of Rylstone, Nebraska. As it begins, we follow a teenager, Boyd (Rory Potter), who emerges from the cornfield and enters a children’s orphanage. Boyd murders every adult inside the building. Boyd murders every adult inside the building.

To subdue Boyd and get him out of the building, the sheriff and other local farmers release halothane—an animal sedative gas. But due to the gas, the children inside the building are killed, including Boyd. The only survivor from the orphanage is a young girl named Eden (Kate Moyer), adopted by the local Pastor (Bruce Spence).

Later, we follow Boleyn ‘Bo’ (Elena Kampouris), a teenager, and her younger brother Cecil (Jayden McGinlay) as they are roaming around the cornfield. Bo tells her brother that she has been admitted to a program in microbiology in Boston and will be leaving next week. She vows to return, but her brother disbelieves because no one wants to return to the small town of Rylstone. the small town of Rylstone.

As the duo is conversing, they are interrupted by Eden, who leads them toward a mock trial they are holding for a boy named Wally Thomas for not caring for his dog. The group forces Wally to walk the plank and jump from a great height.

Before the group can proceed, they are interrupted by Bo’s classmate, Calder (Joe Klocek), who has parked his car in the field to hide some weed he has been growing. Calder asks the kids to disperse, and Bo further warns them not to light a matchstick because the air is full of grain dust, which is highly combustible.

Later, Bo catches up with Calder and sees bruises on his face. Calder reveals that it happened when he was defending his younger brother, Cal (Orlando Schwerdt), from their abusive father. Calder mentions that he plans to stack some money by selling weed and escape from Rylstone.

Through their conversation, we also learn that the town’s corn crops have been failing lately due to a fungus which has caused a great economic loss in the place. After saying goodbye to Calder, Bo catches up with Cecil, and they see their mother cheating with another man. The act disgusts Cecil and he blames this on the town’s moral degeneracy.

What Happens In The Town Hall?

Meanwhile, the town’s adults are holding a meeting to discuss the future of their crop at the community hall building. Bo’s father, Robert (Callan Mulvey), presides over the meeting and reveals that the crops have been destroyed by the GMOs and herbicides that corporate companies sold to them.

He suggests that they destroy their corn fields as they would receive subsidies from the government. While all the adults agree with his decision, Bo and the other children resist. Bo suggests they try to restore the field’s soil, but her Dad mentions it will take too much time. Eden also objects to the elders’ decision, but everyone dismisses her superciliously.

A grieving Eden goes to cry in the corn fields where an unseen entity comforts her. After this, Eden begins to talk to other children to hatch a plan to prevent the adults from destroying the corn fields. As Cecil walks through the town, he sees many parents abusing their children behind closed doors. Eden asks Cecil if he wants to join her and the other kids, and he agrees.

What Is Bo’s Plan To Save The Town? How Does Eden Take Over It?

Bo, on the other hand, is reluctant to give up on her town. She tells her friends Carly (Ashlee Juergens), Tanika (Sisi Stringer), and Calder that she has talked to a famous reporter, Sheila Boyce (Anna Samson), to come to their town and expose the corporate giants who caused their crops to fail.

Bo’s friends agree to side with her on this mission. Bo also decides to recruit the help of the younger children led by Eden. She finds them in a large hole near the field, using a hog’s blood to paint the corn red. Nevertheless, they agree to help Bo get all the adults to the town hall at 10 pm to conduct a mock trial.

When at night, Bo, Cecil, and Calder arrive with Bo’s parents at the town hall, they are shocked to see no one but Eden and Cal sitting in their footsteps. When Bo enquires about Sheila Boyce, Eden tells her that the reporter never showed up, so the kids conducted the trial by themselves. Bo is confused and steps inside the town hall, where she sees Calder and Cal’s abusive father hanging by the rope.

By the time Calder and Bo try to help him, he asphyxiates. Bo realizes that Eden and the other children have taken over the town, killing several adults and imprisoning the rest in prison. Bo’s parents are also imprisoned, and Cecil joins Eden and her gang.

Bo, Calder, Carly, and Tanika also realize that the kids have destroyed the town’s cell tower, which has stopped all connection to the outside world. The adults request that Eden and the other children release them, but Eden turns a deaf ear to their pleas. When Calder tries to intervene, two baseball-wielding kids beat him to death.

The children then proceed to gas the adults with halothane—just like they did to the children in the orphanage at the film’s beginning. The unconscious adults, including Bo’s mother, are then taken to the large hole near the field and buried alive using a bulldozer. Bo is horrified to see her mother dead but vows to help her father, who is still in prison. Carly and Tanika head over to the nearby town to seek help, while Bo feigns being supportive of the children so that she can win their confidence.

Who Is ‘He-Who-Walks’?

When Bo talks to Eden about her plans, Eden reveals she intends to sacrifice all the adults to ‘He-Who-Walks.’ Moreover, this strange name perplexes Bo and thinks Eden is delusory. Eden mentions that ‘He-Who-Walks’ is sick and needs to be fed. She further professes her hatred for all adults and says that only ‘He-Who-Walks’ ever loved her in this entire town.

The children, along with Bo, return to the prison cell, where they brutally murder the Pastor for being a ‘sinner.’ Meanwhile, the kids force the remaining adults (including Bo’s father) inside the corn fields to serve as prey for ‘He-Who-Walks.’ Bo doesn’t believe in the entity and quietly tells her father to run inside the fields and get help.

After releasing the adults, the children return inside, where Eden sermonizes about forming a new world free of adults. Furthermore, she stresses spreading their message into the world and making it right again. At the same time, Bo is horrified to see that the children have kidnapped the reporter Sheila Boyce and intend to sacrifice her. Eden and her gang take Sheila to a barn, where Bo sees Carly and Tanika brutally killed—revealing that they never got out of the town.

Eden calls ‘He-Who-Walks’ to take Sheila, but he does not appear. Bo takes the opportunity to grab a machete and hold Eden captive—threatening the children to stay back. Before Bo can act, a terrifying growl is heard from inside the corn fields, and a giant green monster appears and takes Sheila with it. Bo is stunned to see the monster—finally realizing that Eden was not lying about ‘He-Who-Walks.’

How Does Bo Manage to Defeat Eden and ‘He-Who-Walks’?

After ‘He-Who-Walks’ leaves with Sheila, the children attack Bo and knock her unconscious. When Bo wakes up, the children spray her with a flammable liquid to burn her alive. Before Eden can light the match and kill Bo, she reminds Eden of the grain dust, which will cause the entire place to burn. Eden orders the children to chop off Bo, but she escapes into the fields. As she runs across the field, Bo manages to spread the liquid from her body into the entire area.

Inside the field, Bo finds her father’s corpse suggesting he was killed by ‘He-Who-Walks.’ The monster rushes after Bo and begins to strangle her, but Bo uses a machete to stab it. She finds Calder’s car in the middle of the field and uses it to escape even though the engine is leaking.

As Bo begins to drive away, she realizes that Eden is sitting in the backseat of the car. Eden orders Bo to get out of the car so she can kill her with a cattle gun. Bo makes a final wish to have a cigarette, and Eden agrees. As they get out of the car, Bo uses the car cigarette lighter to set fire to the dripping fuel from the engine.

The fuel catches fire and immediately spreads out to the field—burning ‘He-Who-Walks.’ Eden is horrified to see this and rushes inside the fields to save the entity. Bo tries to save her, but it is too late. Meanwhile, Bo shields the remaining children from fire—as they all wait for help to arrive (How all these kids abandoned their evil ways remains a significant plot hole?)

Children of Corn (2023) Movie Ending, Explained:

What Happens To Eden In The End?

After Bo puts an end to Eden and deradicalizes her cronies, the film cuts to the next day. Bo walks on the scorched lands and finds a flower that Eden wore on her hand. As Bo proceeds to pick up the flower in her hand, it suddenly disappears. Bo turns around and sees Eden incarnated as the new ‘He-Who-Walks,’ mimicking his monstrous plant-like appearance.

Eden laughs at Bo and tells her that nothing ever dies in the corn. The film ends with the monstrous Eden attacking Bo and devouring her. It is implied that Eden has taken over as the new entity and will continue her reign of terror.

Children of Corn (2023) Movie Theme Analyzed:

An Allegory For Climate Change Activism?

While this latest remake of the Stephen King story struggles heavily in the scare department, it deserves some credit for adding contemporary relevance to an old short story. By setting his film in the modern era and referencing agricultural capitalism, director Kurt Wimmer attempts to comment on different facets of climate-change activism.

In the movie, the adults are depicted as careless agriculturalists who led private companies into the field for more profit which wreaked havoc on their crops and the town. The children blame the adults for destroying the town’s ecosystem, leading to economic and social collapse.

When adults make the decision to destroy the cornfields, the children actively rebel against this, although they adopt different measures of rebellion. Bo, who seeks to be a microbiologist, wants to fix the soil of her land and expose the capitalists who ruined their town.

Meanwhile, Eden and her followers want to punish the adults for causing havoc in their lives and jeopardizing their futures. In fact, in her speech, Eden advocates changing the world for the better and forming a community with the current generation—a corollary for the young climate change activists in the world.

In an interview with United Press International, Wimmer acknowledged taking inspiration from contemporary teenage ecological activism with the rise of Greta Thunberg. Even though the film never commits to exploring these urgent thematic concerns, it still deserves a pat for being more thoughtful than trite horror remakes.

Related to Children of the Corn (2023): Everything Coming to Shudder in April 2023

Children of the Corn (2023) Cast: IMDb, Wikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes
Children of the Corn (2023) Links: Elena Kampouris, Kate Moyer, Callan Mulvey
Where to watch Children of the Corn

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