PUMPKINS * UK 2018 Dir. Maria Lee Metheringham. 78 mins
In Pumpkins, a woman and her pumpkin-headed uncle take revenge on trespassers to their property by slaughtering them in cold blood. This homage to classic slasher movies like Halloween and Friday the 13th fails to deliver in every way that its predecessors succeeded. The plot is basically non-existent, its characters are unlikable and unrealistic, and its effects rely mainly on loads of blood capsules to sell its kills. The short running time drags on as Shelly (played by director Maria Lee Metheringham) and her vengeful uncle, who inexplicably takes on the characteristics of his beloved pumpkins when he drops dead in his pumpkin patch, stalk and brutally murder victim after victim. Their prey includes rowdy teens, a camping couple, and a group of young people on a survivalist retreat in the nearby woods. The story simply moves from kill to kill, chopping off rubber limbs, splattering dark red blood onto light clothes, and watching the survivors just stand there and take it all in, making them much more engaged than the audience. I will give this film credit for its effective music choices and its visually stunning end credits. But what was shot and presented feels more like a rough cut of an incomplete outline than a fleshed out script and story that does the genre justice.
Review by Laura Smith