Thanksgiving

18 Blu-ray, DVD

In 2007 Grindhouse was released; it was a double bill featuring Planet Terror, directed by Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof.

As part of the retro, double feature feel, a number of faux, up-and-never-coming trailers were included. But some of them did actually eventually get made, including Machete, and Hobo With a Gun.

Now added to that list, a little late to the party, is Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving, featuring a murderer on the loose on yet another US holiday.

boom reviews Thanksgiving
Wait, is that the Switch 2?!

Just stopping off at a store on their way out is Jessica (Nell Verlaque) and her friends. They’ve probably chosen the wrong night to do so however, as there’s a massive queue outside the RightMart, because it’s Black Friday, which occurs over the Thanksgiving festivities.

Thankfully Jessica has an in, as her father owns the store, so manages to get her and her friends in through the employees’ door at the side. Things don’t go well however, when the impatient crowd see them inside, and storm the barriers to the building. From thereon in it gets messy, with a few fatalities.

A year on, and everyone is a little apprehensive about the holiday. Which it turns out they should be, as a killer, dressed as a pilgrim and calling himself John Carver is on the loose, and he isn’t in the holiday spirit.

boom reviews  Thanksgiving
How many times do I have to tell you, i'm not a doctor now!

Roth has stayed pretty true to his original trailer all those years ago, with some scenes remaining exactly the same.

Certainly the opening scenes, depicting capitalism in all its gory (sic), is hugely entertaining. The film does fall into more predictable waters soon after, fulfilling a number of standard horror tropes, like a masked murderer for instance, as well as a bunch of teenagers on his to-kill list. That said, Roth manages a few jump scares, which are getting more difficult for audiences, as well as some satisfyingly bloody deaths, that also work to good comic effect.

It almost has that Scream Meta quality to it, but it isn’t as pronounced, and ends up being more playful than anything.

It's also interesting for some of its casting choices, such as Doc Dreamy himself Patrick Dempsey, as well as Gina Gershon, who both seemingly revel in the absurdity of it all.

It’s already been announced that a sequel is in the pipelines, but as is the way with most horror sequels, it’s all downhill after the original. Perhaps it would be good idea if Roth produced a trailer first...

we give this four out of five