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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Don Reviews "Thanksgiving"


One of my fondest memories growing up was celebrating Thanksgiving. Every year, my grandmother would visit, and she was the queen of cooking Thanksgiving dinner (especially the turkey). Because of that, the leftovers for turkey sandwiches were that much better alongside our family putting up the Christmas decorations and spending time together without the hustle and bustle of the next day (back then, most everything was closed Thanksgiving Day). With all of the commercialization of it, I feel some of the holiday has lost its meaning, and now there is even a horror movie that takes place on that day.


Thanksgiving is Eli Roth (Hostel) and comes from an idea for a fake trailer he made for Grindhouse from 2007. Starring Nell Verlaque, Addison Rae, Karen Cliché, Milo Manheim, Gina Gershon, Rick Hoffman and Patrick Dempsey, it’s Thanksgiving night in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and a big retailer is opening early to get a jump on Black Friday sales. As you would expect there is a large and unruly crowd, and when the store is opened a small riot occurs, injuring and even killing people with no charges being filed because the security footage “disappeared”. Almost a year later, a person celled “John Carver” goes on a killing spree trying to get revenge against the people who were partially to blame for that riot and the lack of justice.


The acting is fine overall, and with seasoned pros like Dempsey, Gershon, and Hoffman, there was nothing lacking in that aspect. The cinematography compliments the story (especially in the killing scenes) and the New England vibe made it that much more so, even though most of the filming took place in Canada. The film runs a little of an hour and 45 minutes, which is a little longer than most films in this genre, but the plot kept me interested and did not seem to drag.


Now to the big question: how is the script? I liked it! Roth is known for his more serious horror and very brutal films like Hostel and The Green Inferno, so even though this is the type of graphic horror film he is known for, Roth does things a little differently here by adding in some comedic moments. Don’t get me wrong: if you are a fan of his past films, there is a fair amount of true violence and it is explicit. Honestly, this film reminded me of the 2016 film Free Fire in that aspect, but don’t let true fans turn away because of that. Understanding what you are going into here, I can recommend Thanksgiving as a twilight showing in a theater.

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