Thanksgiving Movie Review

Thanksgiving movie poster

Eli Roth has referred to himself as “horror master” in the past, but Thanksgiving may be the director’s first good movie. Incredibly gruesome and thoroughly entertaining, this holiday-themed slasher may not be perfect, but it’s well worth watching in a crowded theater.

A year after a Black Friday fiasco that caused the brutal deaths of several customers, a ruthless killer dressed as a menacing pilgrim begins to stalk those involved–most notably a group of teens. 

Roth has never shied away from gore, nor has he ever taken his movies too seriously (watch, or don’t, his dreadful cult classic Cabin Fever). Thanksgiving relishes in the absurdity of the holidays, highlighted by the over-the-top opening stretch that has shoppers at each others’ throats (literally) to get their hands on free waffle irons. Roth, who also co-wrote the movie with Jeff Rendell, doesn’t have a knack for sharp comedy, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen a slasher dedicated to being ridiculous in this way–and ridiculously gory.

The killer dispenses with his victims in grotesque ways, and Roth spares little for the imagination. Thanksgiving serves its dishes raw, and if you like your courses this way, then this movie is for you.

The killer, too, is a menacing force; you can immediately see the franchise potential for a figure like this, regardless of who is behind the mask.

The who is the movie’s biggest issue, though the actor isn’t the problem. Roth gives us a deliciously wicked “Thanksgiving meal” sequence that probably should have been longer than it is. But when the killer’s identity is revealed, the sense of dread and suspense Roth has establishes dissipates. The killer’s motive to kill sort of makes sense, but their motive to kill in the way they do doesn’t.

If you like gory slashers, Thanksgiving has more than enough to feast on. 

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

Originally Published Here.

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