Since the first days of onscreen horror, setting has played a vitally important role in the way mayhem and terror unfold. From moody Gothic castles to futuristic spacecrafts, we’ve seen it all. One of my personal favorite settings for horror movies is rural farmland. Within the sub-genre of rural horror, sometimes cornfields are used as an easy way to add atmosphere to the film. Other times, the land is crucial to the happenings of the characters’ story, or a terrifying maze where it’s nearly impossible to stay hidden.
Here is a list of 8 Cornfields in Horror Movies That Will Harvest Your Soul!
8. Night Of The Scarecrow (1995)
Not to be confused with the classic TV movie DARK Night of the Scarecrow, this straight-to-video horror romp is a whole lot of b-movie fun. Jeff Burr (Pumpkinhead II: Bloodwings and Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) directed this supernatural scarecrow slasher. The spirit of a warlock possesses a cornfield scarecrow before going on a violent and bloody rampage, seeking vengeance against those that killed him. Of course, lots of cornfield and farm equipment mayhem ensues. None of it is particularly original, but you can’t deny the silly 90’s fun and Burr’s obvious love for the genre.
7. A Quiet Place (2018)
Just by looking at a still photograph of a cornfield you can easily imagine the rustle of leaves as someone or something moves through the rows. This years smash hit A Quiet Place features monsters that are drawn to sound. Therefore, the characters have perfected the art of silence. The film includes a superbly creepy flashlight lit chase through a cornfield that sets your pulse racing. The scene is that much more nerve-racking because it’s nearly impossible to make your way through the field without making one false move.
6. Children Of The Corn (1984 – 2018)
Okay, what would a list of cornfield horror movies be without at least one Children of the Corn? I agree, but trying to decide on a single entry turned out too difficult. Spanning over 30 years, eight sequels, and a remake- the franchise has definitely had many ups and downs, but shows no sign of ending anytime soon. The series concerns a Nebraska child cult that sacrifices adults to an entity called He Who Walks Behind the Rows and features every corn-related farming tool, and harvesting equipment death imaginable.
5. Signs (2001)
Signs features some of the best jump-scares of the past few decades and the rural setting is critical in the setup of it’s most effective shots and scenes. From beginning to end, the cornfields are imperative to the way the story unfolds. After discovering several crop circles in his fields, Graham Hess begins to investigate the strange occurrence. Soon he is catching glimpses of some sort of figure in the corn. The farmland setting lends a heavy dose of isolation to the story as the terrifying truth emerges and threatens his entire family.
4. The Fields (2011)
I’ll go ahead and say this upfront… The Fields may not be everybody’s cup of tea. The story is slow and creeping in its sense of dread and unease. It could be called “American Farmland Gothic”. Instead of a straight-up horror movie, The Fields is more of a dark family drama with horror undertones. But you’re reading this article for movies that have ominous cornfield atmosphere and The Fields delivers in spades. The film is set during 1973 and follows a young boy and his family as they are terrorized by some sort of presence in the cornfields that surround their home.
3. Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)
Cornfields do not play a vitally important role in Freddy vs. Jason the way that they do in our previous films, but the smashup between the two horror heavyweights does feature a pretty memorable scene set among the stalks. It’s a late-night party where teens are doing their usual horror movie thing. It’s all fun and drinking games until Jason, party-pooper extraordinaire, shows up. The violence in the sequence is over-the-top and what really sets the scene apart from everything else on this list is the striking visual of a fire covered Jason Voorhees stalking through the corn.
2. Sinister 2 (2015)
This film gets a lot a flak from critics and fans, but I like it a lot. Sinister 2 stars horror regular Shannyn Sossamon (TV’s Wayward Pines, and Sleepy Hollow) as a mother of young twins who moves the family to a rural farmhouse where she hopes to escape her abusive husband. Soon the family is menaced by Bughuul, the antagonist from the first film. What I like best about Sinister 2 is that it feels like a movie that would have been made twenty years before it’s time. It plays out like a direct-to-video horror movie that somehow made its way to the big screen. I love the cornfield imagery presented here and the finale features a scene in a cornfield that harkens back to the best of the Children of the Corn franchise.
1. Husk (2010)
I was hesitant to have two scarecrow-related movies on this list, but alas… here we are. If you haven’t seen Husk, this is definitely the one to check out. The film is CHOCK FULL of creepy cornfield visuals, and if what happens in the cornfield isn’t scary enough for some of the more die-hard viewers, wait until you get a glimpse of the crazy happenings from inside the farmhouse. The film doesn’t-skip on the blood and terror. Plus, it’s not your everyday killer scarecrow flick either. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at some of the ideas this film has in store.
And there we have it: eight cornfields in horror movies that will harvest your soul. Of course this is only a small sampling of what’s out there. There are many, many more. Is your favorite on the list? If not, let us know on Twitter or on the Horror Movie Fiend Club Facebook Group.