Judd (Ryan Poole) and Lawrence “Pork Chop” Chubbs (Grayson Thorne Kilpatrick) are best friends. They’re just like any other kids their age and get up to just as much trouble. With their teenage years looming, certain things are changing and Pork Chop loves to come over to see Judd so that he can stare at his big sister, Laurie (Ellie Patrikios).
Then one day they find out about an urban legend of a kid nicknamed Bloody Bobby that went on a murderous rampage one Halloween night. Then when they investigate this notorious killer a little further, they unwillingly release Bloody Bobby back into the world and have to fight for their lives.
Black Pumpkin is a lovingly recreated homage to slashers of the 1980’s with the most obvious influence being Halloween. Set in an ordinary, quiet and peaceful neighbourhood with a cast of mostly wholesome and down to Earth characters, the audience would feel like they were transported back to a simpler time of cinema if it weren’t for the laptops, mobile phones and flatscreen TVs.
Black Pumpkin does 80’s nostalgia just right and still sets it during the modern day so it doesn’t feel like the enforced rose-tinted glasses that other movies and TV shows have done to emulate Stranger Things.
Poole and Kilpatrick are well cast and have a good chemistry, they really feel like they may have been friends for a long time and thanks to the script they even get a few funny one liners between them. Also, the addition of Judd’s little sister, Regan (Gemma Brooke Allen) adds another layer of cuteness and her performance really helps with the family dynamic.
It’s difficult when paying homage to a certain era and genre of cinema to do something different that makes it stand out and is not just a carbon copy of another villain that everybody knows.
Thankfully Bloody Bobby does make for an interesting villain and something altogether original that manages to make a character that’s under 5 feet tall menacing without being too comical.
Not just an easy cash grab at those who crave nostalgia for an era of cinema that may not be as good as they remember. Black Pumpkin’s story has legs and a sequel would be welcomed.
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