Non-Spoiler “Thanksgiving” Movie Review
This is a movie that intrigued me since the first trailer I saw for it. I think I was at a horror movie of some sort last month and saw it. At that moment I thought to myself that I have to see this A.S.A.P. I had a chance for a media-only preview but it was during my shift, so I’d have to do it the old-fashioned way…with tickets at the theater. That’s exactly what I did.
I saw the 7:30 pm showing of Thanksgiving Friday night. I’d listened to an interview about the movie with Chris Jericho talking to the movie’s writer Eli Roth. He said it was the movie he’d wanted to make for a long time. He spoke to the gruesome deaths throughout the movie, harkening back to the days of the 80s slasher movies. Yes, this movie had a lot of that. If you were to take the cell phones out of the movie, it could for sure be an 80s slasher flick. He also talked about shooting the film in Canada even though it takes place in Massachusetts. That was a wild part of the movie because there were many scenes with piles of snow around. Plus, he said a lot of the Canadian actors had to put on a Boston accent.
Let’s go back some 15 years. Roth made a mock trailer for the then-unmade horror film Thanksgiving. Roth said director Quentin Tarantino asked him and Rob Zombie to make a few fake trailers to play between the double feature of the Grindhouse movies, Planet Terror and Death Proof. Yes, some of the scenes he dreamed up for the 2007 fake trailers, made the 2023 real film. Even the line “this year, there will be no leftovers” made it into the movie. Yes, there were some laugh-out-loud parts sprinkled throughout Thanksgiving.
Here’s that original mock/shlocky trailer for Thanksgiving.
Overall, I liked the movie. I wasn’t crazy about “Scream”ish aspects of it. I’m not a huge fan of that series and there was a little bit of that with the main stalker kind of reminiscent of the Ghostface character, but this time it was a pilgrim. Like in many 80s films, and like “Scream”, it’s a small town where everyone knows everyone. Even the cops are on a first-name basis with the local teens.
Although this time the murderer wore the mask of the aptly named John Carver. I thought some of the kills were unique, as Roth had tried for. Corn-on-the-cob holders, ovens, and other abnormal weapons were used. Roth even appeared in the movie as a local TV reporter, there was some of that too. Lots of those older slasher films used “local TV” news clips to help paint a picture of what was going on.
It was also another one of those movies where you try to figure out who the killer is throughout. That’s where it got a little cliche for me. That being said, it was done well.
Will this become a Thanksgiving tradition like “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” around my house? I guess time will tell, but I’m not opposed to watching it again next year. Now, with Christmas coming up I guess I’ll be watching “Violent Night” again this year.
I’ll give it a 7.5 out of 10. It was fun and worth the watch.
Check out the trailer below.