‘Children Of The Corn’ Ending, Explained: Did Boleyn Stop Eden And The Corn Monster?


It’s truly wild that despite a dismal first cinematic adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, Fritz Kiersch’s “Children of the Corn” spawned eight sequels, one remake by Donald P. Borchers, and an all-new adaptation by Kurt Wimmer. The 1984 film was plain old boring. It took an interesting and haunting premise and turned it into a 90-minute slog. The actors were all great, but the tiring viewing experience and the ratings of the sequels and remake didn’t give me the confidence to do a maize marathon. That said, since Wimmer has given us some great guilty pleasure movies like “Equilibrium” and “Ultraviolet,” I felt compelled to try his take on the narrative. And I have to say, I kind of liked it. Of course, Wimmer’s film has budgetary constraints, and the dialogue shows no restraint when it comes to hammering home its message about environmentalism and how adults are destroying the lives of kids. However, the performances are amazing, especially the ones from Elena Kampouris and Kate Moyer, and at times, it’s a gory and nasty B-movie. Now, let’s talk about that corn-filled and fiery ending.

Major Spoilers Ahead

What Did Eden Do To The Adults And Why?

The central conflict of “Children of the Corn” is that capitalistic agricultural companies have driven the corn-dependent town of Rylstone into the proverbial ditch by advising them to put all kinds of chemicals into the soil. Now, they are left with two options: the long-term plan, which involves fixing the soil, and the short-term plan, which involves destroying the crops. The former comes with a huge question mark in terms of success, while the latter guarantees subsidies from the government for not growing corn. The adults are all for the destruction of the crops because that’s going to bring some money into the town. But the children don’t agree. That’s because every single decision of the adults has been taken without their permission, thereby making them the orchestrators of their bad future. And the children don’t want yet another move that’s not in their favor to be taken without their consent. In addition to that, the kids have a personal vendetta against the adults, and they’re probably being manipulated by a supernatural entity.

Before getting to all that, I want to say this is a really good take on “Children of the Corn.” Given how rampant and immediate the repercussions of capitalism on agriculture have become, it’s great to see a horror movie addressing it without getting too preachy. All over the world, farmers are constantly fighting for their rights and trying to ensure that billionaires who want their fingers in every pie don’t get the maximum cut. Instead, the farmers should be the biggest benefactors because they are the ones doing the legwork. I also like how the “scary children” aren’t scary for the sake of being scary. Their aggression towards the adults comes from a real sense of desperation as they understand that their future has been destroyed for no fault of their own. If the adults didn’t know about the kind of world they were bringing these kids into, they shouldn’t have conceived them in the first place. Now that they have, they must face the consequences. Additionally, I like that our protagonist, Boleyn, is interested in microbiology, as it gives her eagerness to save the corn and Rylstone a very rational base.

Is There An Actual Monster In The Fields, Or Is It A Mass Hallucination?

Around the halfway mark of “Children of the Corn,” things take a turn for the ugly as Eden, and the rest of the children imprison the adults. Why? Well, a few years ago, a kid named Boyd probably had a psychotic episode and started killing the adults in the Rylstone Children’s Home. In an attempt to subdue Boyd, the law enforcement authorities pumped halothane (a narcotic animal sleeping gas that can be lethal to humans) into the facility. As expected, all (or most) of the kids in there died. Hence the imprisonment. But that’s evidently not enough for Eden because she has to feed someone called “He Who Walks.” So, she and the rest of the kids bury the adults while they are breathing so that their bodies can nurture the soil and satiate the hunger of the monster in the cornfield. She rips out the eyes of the pastor for sinning. I think it’s insinuated that he’s guilty of child abuse. Then she sends the rest of the parents, including Boleyn’s dad, into the field to be eaten by the monster. And for the final flourish, she strings up the reporter, who intended to capitalize on Rylstone’s downfall to boost her career so that she can be dragged away by the monster and then ripped in half.

So, yes, unlike the original film, there’s a very literal monster that’s made of corn plants. You can say that it takes the metaphor of the field of corn resisting the adults’ plans to destroy it and manipulating the kids to carry out its plans a little too far. But I’d disagree because it’s a horror movie about a demented cornfield. I think the fact that there’s an actual monster that’s probably a result of all the chemicals that have been pumped into the soil is really good. It’s Rylstone’s anti-capitalistic stance walking on two feet and fighting for a better future for the children. The VFX, CGI, and lighting on the creature are pretty fantastic. The only problem I have is that it’s not big enough. At most, it’s the size of a grizzly bear standing on its feet. However, since Wimmer is taking a page out of Godzilla’s handbook (which is a metaphor for the U.S.A.’s attack on Japan and nuclear weapons), in my opinion, he should’ve swung for the fences and made the maize monster a kaiju. With all that said, I don’t want to dismiss the probability that the townsfolk of Rylstone is undergoing a hallucinatory, psychotic episode due to the fungus in the crops. In a way, that would make thematic sense, too, as the fungus represents the repercussions of embracing capitalism and bad agricultural practices.

‘Children of the Corn’ Ending Explained: Did Boleyn Stop Eden And The Corn Monster?

After killing everyone over the age of seventeen (?), the kids turn to Boleyn and plan to set her on fire by dousing her in tractor fuel because she’s eventually going to become an adult and hence, a threat to the kids. Boleyn manages to make a run for it, thereby sprinkling that fuel all throughout the field. She finds out that her dead father is slowly being eaten by the crops. She has a chilling encounter with the monster, whom she manages to thwart with the iconic sickle. And she tries to escape in Calder’s grandmother’s car. But Eden catches up to her and tries to sacrifice her with the cattle-killing bolt gun. Boleyn thwarts her by asking her if she can have a cigarette and uses the lighter to ignite the trail of fuel going through the field and all the way to the tractor fuel and chemicals. Yes, yes, it’s not a real trick. It’s a horror movie trick, so just get with it. As the whole field goes up in flames, the spell on the children probably lifts. However, the maize monster comes for Eden, who willingly goes into the burning field with it. While walking through the corn ashes, Boleyn comes across Eden, whose skin has been peeled off and who is likely possessed by the spirit of the maize monster, and she consumes Boleyn.

In a roundabout way, Boleyn, Eden, and the maize monster had to choose the option that Boleyn’s dad was talking about, which was the destruction of the corn. I am not an agricultural expert and had only studied about it briefly in high school, but I’m guessing ash (wood ash, to be specific) and biochar can help in soil amendment, which was something that Rylstone needed. So, maybe everything going up in flames wasn’t a negative step or a step that destroyed the curse of the maize monster. It only strengthened the soil and infused the monster with Eden. The fact that the undead version of Eden could control the crops—as shown by the way she killed and ate Boleyn—means that I guess she possessed the power to spread her reach way beyond Rylstone, just like she said earlier. Going by the critical reception and the subpar reviews from the audience, I don’t think that this iteration of “Children of the Corn” will get a sequel. But if it did, I think we would’ve seen a new-and-improved Eden wreaking havoc all over Nebraska and then getting to the cities, thereby literally fleshing out its anti-capitalism themes and teaching agriculture to those who have long ignored it but reaped its benefits. That idea sounds so good that even if everyone in the world is not interested in a sequel, I’ll be here waiting for (at least) a trilogy helmed by Kurt Wimmer with Kate Moyer as its main antagonist.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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