Will Metheringham’s score is also quite evocative, and when coupled with the visuals, Pumpkins highlights filmmakers with promise but still finding their footing. This is only Maria Lee Metheringham’s second feature-length production, coming after The Photographer 2: The Dark Room. While she fails to engage the audience during this venture, she has made a coherent and very bloody horror film. I have seen directors with decades more experience deliver far less with more interesting concepts. As such, I do look forward to future projects she helms, as there is potential, especially if she does not write them.
As the co-writer, director, and major supporting player in the movie, it could be that Metheringham bit off more than she could chew. I don’t know, but the writing in this film is subpar. I don’t mean that the dialogue is terrible or unintentionally funny. It is fine, I suppose. No, what Pumpkins lack is characterizations and motivations.
The resurrected Pumpkin Man is not out to only kill those who wronged him. As such, the rationale behind the killings is weak. Slashers don’t need much, but when the killer is a supernatural entity brought back to life after a wrongful death, there should be more motivation than just kill everyone you see. Even with Shelly sort of controlling him, the murders are still mostly random- no one in the camping excursion had anything to do with the farmer’s death, defacing the prized pumpkins, or even trespassed on the farmland after his death. So without a clear motivation for the farmer coming back as Pumpkin Man, there’s no reason for him to have been resurrected at all.
“…when the killer is a supernatural entity brought back to life after a wrongful death, there should be more motivation than just kill everyone you see.”
This leaves the audience with no entertainment to be had in the slayings, which is a slasher movie’s primary directive. No fun equates to boredom. That could be overcome if the other characters were interesting in any way. But the victims are also very one-note, to the point that in my recap, I am not confident Pam is the one who escapes to the pub. Definitely don’t ask me any of the pub partons’ names, because they might as well have all been the same person for the amount of personality they have. Lance is a guide, along with Denise. Pam is one of the campers, and Shelly is controlling Pumpkin Man for reasons…maybe? And now you know as much as I do about these people.
At the very least, the cast does not embarrass themselves. Not that anyone particularly stands out, but no one is off-putting or feels miscast either. Plus, Pumpkin Man looks pretty cool. It is obviously a rubber mask, but it is a creepy mask, and the rest of the ensemble creates a menacing appearing villain. Plus, the hulking size of Will Metheringham, who seemingly towers over most of the victims, plays nicely into him being a genuine threat.
Pumpkins is nowhere near the worst film ever, or even this year. But it is so bland and unremarkable that it is not worth watching, even for undiscerning fans of slashers who only want blood and guts. Skip it and rewatch Pumpkinhead.