How much does filmmaker Corin Hardy love Halloween? A lot. Like, a lot. In fact, for the whole month of October, the director of the upcoming Conjuring-universe film The Nun (out July 13) has set himself the daily task of carving a Halloween pumpkin which celebrates a horror movie icon, rock band mascot, or, in the case of Tom Petty, fallen music legend.
We asked Hardy to tell us about his self-tasked pumpkin-carving quest.
“The look of a hand-carved pumpkin, flickering gently in the night, is one of my favorite all-time images to stare at. The light they give off is calming and perfect. They are beautiful and menacing,” wrote the director, whose credits also include 2015’s The Hallow. “Halloween is my favorite time of year. I am in the thick of editing my new film The Nun, but when October kicked in, I decided that maybe I’d try and carve a pumpkin a day, every day, until Halloween, and post a picture of each one as I carve them. I started and now I cannot stop until I hit 31. I called this mission, ’31 Pumpkins For Halloween.’ I made a list of favorite films and iconic characters and creatures, especially the ones that can be best transposed into a series of hand-carved holes and rendered through soft flickering orange light. When Tom Petty sadly died on Oct. 2, I decided to honor him with Pumpkin #2, and I’ve so far covered Leatherface, Salem’s Lot, The Crow, Gremlins, Halloween, Exorcist, Pennywise from the new It, as well as some favorite band mascots including The Misfits’ ‘Crimson Ghost’ and Iron Maiden’s ‘Eddie.’ I find the process of carving a pumpkin extremely therapeutic, it’s a great way to focus and it’s satisfying to place a trio of tea-lights inside and light the Pumpkin up — only then do I finally get to see what I’ve carved come to life. I’m doing one every night when I get home from the edit. I sketch them in my book and then carve them as quickly as possible. Last night, I completed a double bill of pumpkins #11 and #12 and I wanted to honor two of my favorite films by Guillermo Del Toro with designs based on Pan’s Labyrinth and Devils Backbone. Today, it’s Friday the 13th, so you may be able to guess who will be starring on that pumpkin… A few people suggested the idea of creating a book of all the images: and maybe I will if I pull it off, but in the mean time, you can follow my progress or come up with suggestions for the pumpkins on my Twitter and Instagram accounts and the hashtag #31PumpkinsForHalloween.”
You can see the dozen pumpkins Hardy has carved so far, below.
Above, top to bottom: Mr. Barlow from Salem’s Lot, Tom Petty tribute, Leatherface from Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Pazuzu from The Exorcist, Michael Myers from Halloween 4, Eric Draven from The Crow, “Cinema Gremlin” from Gremlins, Pennywise from It (2017), Misfits mascot The Crimson Ghost, Iron Maiden mascot Eddie, Santi from The Devil’s Backbone, Pan from Pan’s Labyrinth.