After experiencing long delays, the latest children of the corn The installment was finally released in theaters on March 3. The film serves as a prequel to Stephen King’s 1977 short story and gives audiences a deeper insight into the events leading up to the children’s murderous rampage. Unlike the 1984 film, He Who Walks Behind the Rows is physically depicted in the latest chapter, amending what many consider to be the original. children of the corn‘s biggest mistake.
children of the corn is written and directed by Kurt Wimmer and stars Elena Kampouris, Kate Moyer, Callan Mulvey, and Bruce Spence. While Kampouris is most well-known for her role in My Big Fat Greek WeddingMoyer worked on projects such as Hulu’s Holly Hobby and The Handmaid’s Tale, Some of Wimmer’s credits include Law Abiding Citizen, Equilibriumand spell,
Moyer, Kampouris, and Wimmer chat with screen rant about children of the corn The long-anticipated release and the creative decision to show He Who Walks Behind the Rows onscreen.
Kate Moyer, Elena Kampouris, And Kurt Wimmer on Children of the Corn
Screen Rant: Filming wrapped in 2020, but children of the corn is just now having its official theatrical release. What’s the wait been like for each of you? What are you most excited about?
Kurt Wimmer: We actually waited for COVID to go away. Thank you, Tom Cruise, for making the rest of the world not afraid to go to theaters again.
Elena Kampouris: That’s right. We filmed this in 2020. The amount of time that’s passed…it still feels like a dream—the fact that we actually finished this movie. Everybody was always asking, “When’s it coming out?” and I was like, “I don’t know!” I can’t wait for people to finally get to see it. The fact that we managed to do this with what we were up against—Kurt and Kate, you guys can speak to this—it’s surreal to me. I’m so proud of what we did and how everybody stayed safe, and we managed to create this. It’s going to finally be seen by people, and it’s inventive and fresh and new for something that’s classic and old school like Stephen King. It is very exciting.
Kate Moyer: I’m most excited to see all the work that we put into this. It’s really crazy. We spent three months just working non-stop, and we put all of ourselves into this movie. We put in so much time and so much effort. I feel like it’s finally paying off which I’m so excited to see.
Elena Kampouris: I think Lucas told us 350 hours of film, at the end of the day. We finished this thing with 350 hours of film!
Kurt Wimmer: In addition to that, both Kate and Elena had to isolate for two weeks—quarantine in a hotel room. So there was a lot of sacrifice going on, because at one point in the beginning, we were the only film shooting in the world. We started shooting in April 2020. So COVID has played a lot of factors in this movie. It obviously delayed the release, but it also helped us in making the movie because it brought us much closer together.
The short story is set in Nebraska, but where did you actually film? Where was this corn maze?
Kurt Wimmer: Australia. We shot it in New South Wales. It was winter, otherwise, at that time in North America and there’s no corn there. So we went to Australia, and we grew corn at that time. We had a corn maze, but we made it. We built it. We grew it. We’re all corn farmers.
Did anyone ever get lost in the corn maze? I’m not sure how big it was.
Elena Kampouris: More like we got attacked by it! It had its own personality. The amount of scratches that we had at the end of every day from that—oh my gosh. So it was definitely its own character.
Kurt Wimmer: It was about 50 acres and I remember, when we had to move from one location to another, and we were just chopping through the corn to try and find it—you definitely didn’t know where you were going.
Kate, how much were you told about Eden before the start of the film? Did you know anything about her time at the children’s home?
Kate Moyer: I actually did. When I was working with Kurt, before we actually started filming, the two weeks, and even before that, Elena, Kurt, and I had Zoom calls actually being our characters. We went through scenes together to try and get a feel for what our characters were going to be like. Kurt recommended I read Lord of the Flies because it has some of the same messages as Children of the Corn, which also really helped. I did learn a bit about Eden’s past, and I was told to read a diary as Eden which also helped me get into her headspace.
Elena, why do you think it’s so important for Bo to save the corn? What does this field represent for her?
Elena Kampouris: The corn is, as I said, it’s its own character and to Bo, it’s like family. It’s so ingrained in the fabric of the community. To me, the dying corn withering away is like watching a loved one die. She’s right on the precipice of becoming a woman and becoming a scientist and going off to Boston, but the fact that she has to leave her brother behind and leave behind a decaying town with all the dysfunction that’s going on—it really tugs at her. She means well, but her trying to prevent certain things kind of causes a domino effect. Things get a little crazy. But she means so well. She’s feisty, she’s whip smart, she’s all these things! But, ultimately, it’s the loyalty and ownership she feels toward the corn that keeps her going back to it.
Kurt, He Who Walks Behind the Rows is not shown in the original 1984 film, but this entity is featured in the prequel. Is the final image close to what you imagined?
Kurt Wimmer: I don’t think there’s quite a right answer to how He Who Walks Behind the Rows looks. This was our version of it and I think it’s a valid version of it. There’s a lot of conversation that went into it. Who is this? Is he real? Is he a manifestation of this trauma that these kids have suffered? If he is real, does he look just like a corncob? What does he look like? We had a lot of debate. Can we anthropomorphize his character?
Which we ultimately did, to a certain extent, because it would look weird if it was just a giant piece of corn on the cob that was walking around. It was finding this balance between something that was really made of corn, but also was close enough to what people are familiar with when they think of things that are creatures in “Creature Feature” movies. There was a lot of conversation that went into it.
Kate and Elena, I assume you don’t really see He Who Walks Behind the Rows while you’re filming. [Laughs]
Elena Kampouris: I’m so glad you brought this up! You said “corn on the cob,” Kurt. We were literally, the whole time, [looking at] a stick with a pineapple. We’re supposed to be terrified, and I just wanted to laugh half the time. It was a real challenge not to break.
Kate Moyer: I think they actually put a face on it to try and make it more intimidating, and that actually made it funnier—running around with a pineapple on a stick. So that was probably the most challenging part—not laughing at a pineapple.
Kurt Wimmer: The challenge for me was like, “Is this really gonna work?” Because you’re there and Elena is on her back, and it’s two in the morning, and she’s in the cornfield, and it’s freezing cold, and it’s wet. I’m like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe I have to do this to her again.” And they’re like, “Okay, here’s the black ball—that Styrofoam ball. Scream! There are bugs falling on your face. Come on, he’s coming for you!” In my head I’m saying, “I have to pretend like this is going to work,” but I have no confidence that it will.
What was it like to watch that back and see it added in?
Kurt Wimmer: I’m glad that there’s something that’s not just a Styrofoam ball. I can say that.
Elena Kampouris: When I saw He Who Walks, I was really impressed. I love horror and the monsters are super important to me. When I saw him, I was like, “Oh my gosh!” Digital Domain did the special effects. I was like, “job well done.” I thought he was terrifying.
Kurt, was there anything you felt really worked or didn’t work in the original? Was there a particular aspect you found terrifying and wanted to focus on bringing out?
Kurt Wimmer: I think it’s the opposite. While I appreciate the first film, I think it left a lot to be said. The short story influenced me more than the movie. I feel like making children the villains and adults the victims has everything backwards. I just can’t relate to that. I think children are the victims every time. They get the benefit of the doubt and the adults are the evil ones.
Weirdly, the first movies were evil children and poor innocent adults or something like that. To me, it just felt more natural to look at it through the lens of the children. That hadn’t been done, and I thought, “Well, if we’re going to tell this story about children rising up and taking control of their own destiny when adults are screwing everything up, tell it through the eyes of the children.” ” And that’s what we did.
Did any of you get a chance to collaborate with Stephen King at all? Was he involved in this process?
Kurt Wimmer: No, we didn’t get to talk to him. I have not yet spoken to him about this, so we’ll see what he thinks.
What do you find scariest about his work? What other stories of his would you like to be involved in?
Kurt Wimmer: In some senses, this isn’t even a horror film. Everybody says Stephen King is king of horror, which he is but also, The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption—many of the movies are not horror at all. To me, horror is kind of vampires and werewolves and things like that. This, to me, is much more of a very violent political drama about kids who rise up and take control of their destinies.
Stephen King does a lot of interesting stuff, and it’s not all horror. This short story wasn’t really horror at all. It’s about kids who are religious fanatics who feel like their parents are corrupt, and they take over. It’s not really horror. That’s a sort of elliptical answer to your question. He has a lot of stuff I’d be interested in, but probably not the horror specifically.
Elena Kampouris: I just thought The Shining was horrifying. But I agree with what Kurt said, though. That’s a very good point. It’s not all just horror. There are many different layers to that onion. It’s all very fascinating.
Kate Moyer: I don’t know how to follow that. I don’t particularly like horror movies, so, you know, it’s a fun time. But I feel like all of his stories have had an impact on people in some way and this story kind of has that sort of feeling. It would be good to try and impact people’s lives in a positive way.
Elena, we know that My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 is being released this year. What can you share about working on that project?
Elena Kampouris: We finished that in the summer—we were all over Athens. It was magical because everybody comes back! There’s new romance! There are new plotlines and twists! And it also pays tribute to Michael Constantine and his legacy. I can’t wait for people to see it. September!
Kate, your latest film out of my mind is currently in post-production. Is there anything you can say about that?
Kate Moyer: I think it’s a really important movie. I think it’s going to impact the way that filmmaking is done. I feel like everyone on that cast was amazing. It’s just a feel-good movie to watch. If you read the book, I think it stays pretty true to that. When I heard that it was Out of My Mind, I was like, “I read that in grade five!” I really wanted to be able to be a part of that. I am very excited for that to come out.
Kurt, you have a few different projects in the pipeline. Is there one that you’re looking forward to most?
Kurt Wimmer: We have The Beekeeper with David Ayer. He’s finishing it right now. We finished shooting at Thanksgiving, and he’s putting it together now. That’s coming out sometime this year, so I’m really excited about that movie.
About Children of the Corn
Possessed by a spirit in a dying cornfield, a twelve-year-old girl in Nebraska recruits the other children in her small town to go on a bloody rampage and kill all the adults and anyone else who opposes her. A bright high schooler who won’t go along with the plan is the town’s only hope of survival.
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children of the corn is available to see in theaters now before its digital release on March 21.