The first effort out of this year’s bag of Halloween surprises proved to be a treat, but it does leave a slightly sour after taste.
The film sees Lynn Starks (the gorgeous Amy Weber) and her brother Jonathan move to the town of Carver after a terrible tragedy. The siblings seem to be settling in well and are invited to the town’s Halloween party in the middle of a pumpkin patch. The usual mix of drinking games and pranks ensues before the guests inevitably bite the dust one by one at the hands of the titular killer.
The film starts off really well, and to be honest continues at quite an even pace, although it does take a while for the killing to start proper, and even then people who really should have been offed at the first available opportunity survive, whilst one of the best characters in the film is savagely murdered.
The cast all do great jobs at fulfilling the required clichéd stereotypes; bimbo, jock, comedian etc and Terrence Evans who plays the disgustingly deranged Old Monty in the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre films even pops up as the obligatory local old timer.
The film looks wonderful, is technically competent throughout and has some excellent effects work and gory deaths going for it too. In particular a decapitation is incredibly well played out. It does stray from slasher territory and I guess is slightly more psychological than this type of film would usually be, but like Cut and even Jeepers Creepers before it (which the film actually mocks in an early scene) the film is ultimately weakened (in my humble opinion) by an off-kilter ending. Perhaps a case of being too big for its boots at the final hurdle?
The Pumpkin Karver is the first straight to DVD low budget horror movie I’ve seen this season, but if they’re all as much fun as this one, I’ll be happy.