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Film / Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering

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The fourth installment of Children of the Corn series, released in 1996 and the first to direct-to-video.

Grace Rhodes (Naomi Watts) is taking a break from studying to visit her mother in the small town of Grand Island, Nebraska. At the same time, the children are suffering from a strange fever, which is caused by a preacher boy who was killed years ago.

This film has the examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: Since Josiah was poisoned by quicksilver before he died, mercury now acts as his weakness.
  • Big Bad: Josiah, who is influencing the children.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: A message written in blood is left for Grace to find.
  • Creepy Child: Josiah, and the sick children.
  • Creepy Twins: One pair of infected kids are identical twin boys.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Averted. While the kids are led by a preaching child figure, the corn of the title is not at focus at all, which made some viewers think that the film wasn't meant to be a CotC installment at all. The sole scene mentioning the series Greater-Scope Villain He Who Walks Behind The Rows being cut doesn't help matters.
  • Dream Within a Dream: Grace has a nightmare where she sees Margaret suddenly having wounds on her face and begging for help. She then wakes up to another nightmare where she is stabbed by her.
  • Eye Awaken: Josiah, who is introduced sitting in a well all corpse-like, opens his eyes with an accompanying sting in the soundtrack.
  • Fingore: Sandra's fingers are first to go when she is murdered by the children.
  • Groin Attack: Old drunk gets a scythe to his groin before Josiah decapitates him.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Doc is cut in half by a hospital gurney.
  • Kill It with Water: Josiah is destroyed by showering him with mercury-laden water.
  • Nightmare Dreams: The opening turns out to be a nightmare that June is having, which she wakes up from by jumping upright.
  • Pinned to the Wall: Mary Anne is pinned to a wall by flying syringes.
  • Pivotal Wake-up: Margaret is shown doing this as she and other kids suffer from their fever at night.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Josiah has been imprisoned in a sealed well, and is accidentally released by an old drunk.
  • Shout-Out: To The Exorcist with this quote: "I don't want to be the one in charge when their heads start doing three-sixties and hurling pea soup".
  • Sinister Scythe: Most of the murders are done with a scythe.
  • Staggered Zoom: Used when June is running away from her house, and turns back to look at it. A staggered zoom then shows a scythe breaking through a window.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: The opening credits omit the numbering, though some of the covers on video releases retain it.
  • Tears of Blood: A picture produces a single tear of blood as Nock sisters relay Josiah's backstory.
  • Two-Faced: Half of Josiah's face bears burn-scars.