Our Top Cornfield Horror Movie Picks
When horror fans picture classic settings for their favorite movies certain images come to mind. Of course, haunted houses and graveyards are at the top of the list, but cornfields have also been a staple of horror stories. There’s something about a secluded rural setting with rows and rows of identical plants so high that one can’t see over them that embodies fear and dread.
1. Children of the Corn (1984)
Directed by Fritz Kiersch, Children of the Corn stars Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, John Franklin, Courtney Gains, Robby Kiger, Anne Marie McEvoy, Julie Maddalena, and R.G. Armstrong. It was released in the year 1984.
It’s hard not to think of cornfields and horror without this classic masterpiece coming to mind. There have been so many different sequels and spin-offs that it’s hard to remember that at its core, Children of the Corn is just as psychologically twisted as it is horrific. The images it invokes of murderous children in a rural setting have become so profound in the public conscious that it’s hard not to get terrified when at a cornfield at night.
2. Signs (2002)
Directed and written by M. Night Shyamalan, Signs stars Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin, Cherry Jones and M. Night Shyamalan. It was released in the year 2002.
It’s kind of hard to do a horror movie about crop circles without a cornfield. The interesting about Signs is that it took a hoax and turned it into a legitimate science fiction plot point. The crop circles themselves, as well as the cornfields they were in, served more of an auxiliary purpose towards the horror, but Signs still stands out as one of M. Night Shyamalan’s best films to date.
3. Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Directed by Ronny Yu, Freddy vs Jason stars Monica Keena, Jason Ritter, Kelly Rowland, Chris Marquette, Lochlyn Munro, Kyle Labine, and Robert Englund. It was released in the year 2003.
When these two titans of horror clashed, it only made sense to feature a high school keg party in a cornfield. While Freddy was in a dream taking care of business, Jason was outside making his presence known. This was the scene that turned the tide between the two killers working together and becoming foes as Jason took all the brutal glory of slaughtering teens in the field left and right all by himself.
4. A Quiet Place (2018)
Directed by John Krasinski, A Quiet Place stars Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe. It was released in the year 2018.
Having vicious creatures stalking people through a cornfield is scary enough. Add in the fact that the creatures can only hear and not see and it elevates the tension and suspense to a whole new level. Corn fields stalking scenes usually are the most dreadful moments of a horror film. It speaks to the fact that A Quiet Place is such a great movie that there are so many other moments that overshadow it.
5. Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)
Directed and written by Victor Salva, Jeepers Creepers 2 stars Ray Wise, Eric Nenninger, Nicki Aycox, Billy Aaron Brown, and Jonathan Breck. It was released in the year 2003.
The first Jeepers Creepers had all the ingredients to create a great corn field sequence. However, it wasn’t until its sequel that the filmmakers finally utilized it. The basic premise is that a series of kids are stuck on a school bus with the cornfield around them. The great thing about this movie is that the corn field itself is viewed as an extension of the Creeper and not merely just the setting.
6. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Directed by Tim Burton and written by Andrew Kevin Walker, Sleepy Hollow stars Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambron, Casper Van Dien, and Jeffrey Jones. It was released in the year 1999.
The opening scene of Sleepy Hollow is something to remember. It involves an unseen Headless Horseman chasing a man in a carriage. After his driver is beheaded without any indication it happened, the man runs through a cornfield to escape. Any horror fan knows what’s coming next, and any fan of Sleepy Hollow can concur. The man loses his head, which is not the least bit ironic considering it happens in front of a scarecrow with a head for a pumpkin.
7. Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)
Directed by J.D. Fiegelson, Dark Night of the Scarecrow stars Larry Drake, Charles Durning, Tonya Crowe, Jocelyn Brando, and Lane Smith. It was released in the year 1981.
Given that it’s made-for-TV movie, Dark Night of the Scarecrow actually pulls off the cornfields motif fairly well. Its story involves a man mistakenly killed by a mob while trying to hide in a scarecrow. Of course, the scarecrow returns to hunt the men one by one. The film has a touching bit of heart to its characters and combines two overused elements of rural horror, the cornfield and the scarecrow, better than most.
8. Scarecrows (1988)
Directed and co-written by William Wesley, Scarecrows stars Ted Vernon, Michael David Simms, and Richard Vidan. It was released in the year 1988.
Scarecrows was a low budget horror film that was spawned out of the slasher craze in the mid ’80s. The premise alone should get horror fans interested as it focuses on a group of money hungry mercenaries at an abandoned farm being attacked by satanically possessed scarecrows. While not the best horror has to offer, the film is largely successful for slasher buffs looking for a bit of nostalgia.
9. Escape the Field (2022)
Directed by Emerson Moore, Escape the Field stars Jordan Claire Robbins, Theo Rossi, Tahirah Sharif, Julian Feder, Elena Juatco, and Shane West. It was released in the year 2022.
Escape the Field is a new addition to the list and combines a cornfield maze with the elaborate traps and puzzle solving of a saw film. In fact, it could pretty much be described as Saw 2 in a cornfield rather than an abandoned house. Although it never rises to what the premise can be, the movie should still be praised for its out of the box thinking and combining two very different elements.
10. The Maze (1953)
Directed by William Cameron Menzies, The Maze stars Richard Carlson, Veronica Hurst, and Katherine Emery. It was released in the year 1953.
If horror fans are looking for standard tropes and cliches in the setting of a cornfield then look no further than The Maze. The story follows a group of teens stalked by a psychopath in a cornfield, and the film plays out pretty much exactly as it sounds. As a horror movie, there’s not much to stand out, but it should be applauded that the movie was made on an extremely shoe string budget.
What do you think of these Cornfield Horror Movies?
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