Saturday, January 16, 2016
Every Haunting Hour Ever #27: Pumpkinhead
Original Airdate: October 29, 2011
Director: Neil Fearnley
Hey guys! It's Azu here and for those who have been waiting a long time for the next Haunting Hour review, I deeply apologize. Lately, I've been caught up in a couple of my own writing projects. One was doing an overhaul of my R.L Stine pasta and the other was starting on a Pokemon fanfiction. I've also had real life getting in the way as well. But I'm back and ready to review once again!
A girl named Allie (Kacey Rohl) and her brothers Dave (Frankie Jonas) and Scott (Liam James) investigate a pumpkin patch said to be tended to by a murderous farmer named Farmer Palmer (Eric Keenleyside) who kidnaps children and switches their heads with the pumpkins in his gardens which turns them into Pumpkinheads. Eventually, Allie and Scott become Pumpkinheads upon their capture as the Pumpkinhead Allie heads out to capture Dave.
When compared to the previous episode, Flight, some may say that this is a disappointing follow up but I'm going to keep it simple and judge this episode by its own merits.
One thing I really admire about this episode is how threatening the make not only Palmer's farm but Palmer himself. In the episode, it's stated that Farmer Palmer takes children that trespass onto his pumpkin patch and uses them as his slaves that he calls "Pumpkinheads". Not only is he and his farm built up as threatening through verbal cues, but there are also visual cues that contribute to the buildup as well. For example, in the beginning, there is a missing child poster that says that a kid went missing around Route 12. When the protagonists get to Palmer's farm, the camera slowly shifts from their car to a road sign that says route 12. On the farm, the protagonists are stalked by what is later revealed to be one of Palmer's slaves through a point of view shot. The protagonists also explore Palmer's barn and find a lifeless body strapped to a table. When the protagonists come home with their pumpkins, they open one of them up to find a whole bunch of worms inside. In one of their other pumpkins, they find a tooth, presumably from one of the children Palmer had took. Later when Allie goes back to the farm to find her brother Scott, she finds herself surrounded by Pumpkinheads and Farmer Palmer removes a burlap cloth to reveal that Scott's head has been turned into a pumpkin and tells Allie that he warned her and her other brothers earlier not to come back unless they wanted to suffer the consequences.
Speaking of verbal and visual cues, I like how balanced this episode is. While some episodes try to either be too verbal or too visual, this one has a nice mix of both. I think this allows for effective storytelling because it takes advantage of the visual medium but still allows for the characters to have a voice and prevent kids from getting too bored.
The main issue I have with this episode is that compared to the other actors, the person who plays Scott gives off a rather mediocre performance. It's not the worst performance I've seen from this series but it does seem rather jarring.
The other problem I had with this episode was that the Pumpkinheads themselves looked a bit silly but I think the music and threatening atmosphere prevents them from being downright laughable.
Overall, Pumpkinhead is a good episode on its own. Yeah it has its problems here and there but I still think it has enough enjoyable qualities for at least a couple more viewings, especially around Halloween.
Overall Grade: B