Movie Review – Thanksgiving An Eli Roth

Thanksgiving, which is directed by Eli Roth, is the rarest of horror subgenres. The Thanksgiving horror movie. There’s not a lot of them, but now we have potentially the best one. So after a Black Friday riot ends in tragedy, a mysterious Thanksgiving inspired killer terrorizes is Plymouth, Massachusetts, the birthplace of the infamous holiday. This is a very strange experience for me because I obviously love horror movies and I feel like I’m very in touch with what’s coming out.

But this movie kind of just appeared and I was like, wait, is that real? I thought it was kind of like an SNL skit when I first saw the trailer and then I realized, no, this actually is based off of Eli Roth’s Grind House trailer. A fake trailer in the middle of that double feature that Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez made back in 2007. Now they’ve taken that idea, expanded upon it, and made a slasher movie set in the middle of the Thanksgiving holiday.

And I was talking to some filmmaker buddies of mine who are very much so in the genre space and they didn’t even know this was coming out. So is this just a failure on the part of the marketing? Or are we just not paying attention? Whatever the answer is, I firmly believe that in years to come, this will be a movie that a lot of people watch on Thanksgiving, at least horror fans who don’t want to watch planes, trains, and automobiles or some wholesome movie.

They want to see a guy dressed up like a pilgrim murdering people in increasingly bloody ways. On the topic of Gore, this movie does not disappoint. If Eli Roth has contributed one specific thing to the horror genre, it’s really inventive kills and gore. This film has a lot of blood and body parts and organs. If that’s your kind of thing, this movie will satisfy you, but what Eli Roth is so good at is not making it disturbing or disgusting. Yes, if your squeamish, that kind of stuff is always going to bother you. But there’s a way to do kills in a movie where it can feel mean-spirited and it can feel almost depressing and you don’t like watching people killed in a movie.

This film knows exactly the right tone, because Roth and writer Jeff Rendell have chosen their targets very carefully. Because some of these characters are the worst of the worst. I mean, you guys have probably heard of Black Friday riots and stampies where people have been killed. And you’re just like, “How does that happen?” How is getting a cheap TV at a discounted rate that a company is trying to get rid of because they have excess product as no one wants to buy it, because it will fail in six months worth somebody dying. So since the killer is going after people that caused a chain reaction that resulted in this tragedy, you can get behind their dismemberments and limbs torn about.

But the main protagonists of the film were sort of involved by happenstance. They’re not so much directly responsible for some of the things that occur. And for that reason, you can care about them. Also, there’s some very inventive, suspenseful sequences. And you can really tell that Roth is by no means pretentious about any of this. He’s seemingly having a great time behind the camera. And I felt like I was having that same great time watching it. It’s actually kind of astonishing how few Thanksgiving-inspired horror films there are.

And most of the ones that exist lean towards the comedy side, like poultry guist, or the Thanksgiving killing movies. They exist, they’re out there, but there isn’t that one that everyone always talks about is like that seminal movie you must watch if you’re a horror buff around this time of year. There is no John Carpenter’s Halloween for Thanksgiving. Look, I’m not sitting here saying that this is some like masterpiece that’s going to change the game. This is a Slasher movie that follows the formula of most Slasher movies. It’s a bit of a who-done-it. You want to know who’s behind the mask. There’s some jocks and nerdy kids. There’s drugs. There’s alcohol.

There’s a party. There’s a chase scene. And it’s, you know, you’ve seen it before. But that’s okay. It’s done with extreme skill and love for the genre. He’s not pandering to the audience that loves these movies because Eli Roth is the audience that loves these movies. Also, I found the third act extremely fun. And a lot of horror movies have a tough time and how to end it. And what the killer is planning to do in his whole scheme is just like really a great idea for this kind of movie.

I will say though, there is a portion of that third act that did feel very choppy. There’s a character that gets from one place to another place super fast and someone else who gets ahead of that character even faster. And I don’t really know how it went down. It did feel like an active teleportation. It didn’t feel natural to me how characters ended up in one spot so quickly. It felt like an entire scene was deleted or removed or something was shifted around. Besides that, I had a blast watching Thanksgiving.

And I really just feel like the exact kind of movie I wanted to see. And I just feel like a lot of horror buffs are missing out on this one for some reason. I don’t hear people talking about it. It’s got great reviews. But like I said, I was sort of talking to like the crowd for this movie and they didn’t even know it was coming out. Guys, I hope you see this one. I really do think it’s a blast and just go watch it.

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