Reel Reviews | Thanksgiving

by Charles Kirkland Jr.

When a store’s Thanksgiving day sale goes horribly wrong, a killer is inspired to bring retribution to a
town unwilling to learn from its mistakes in the holiday horror film, Thanksgiving.

Against everyone’s pleadings, Thomas Wright takes his new wife’s advice and opens the family’s mega-
mart store in Plymouth, Massachusetts on Thanksgiving. The opening goes horribly wrong resulting in a
few deaths. The family is exonerated in the tragedy but one year later, Thomas decides to do it again.
Suddenly a killer arrives on the scene, executing people who seem to be involved with the tragedy from
the year before. Can the killer be caught before the entire town is decimated?

Thanksgiving is written by Jeff Rendell and Eli Roth. It stars Rick Hoffman as Thomas Wright, Addison
Rae, Nell Verlaque, Milo Manheim, Gina Version, and the recently crowned People’s Sexiest Man, Patrick
Dempsey. The film is also directed by Eli Roth.

In 2007, Eli Roth released Grindhouse which featured a trailer for this movie that played as an
intermission between the Planet Terror and Death Proof stories of the film. Ever since that release, Roth
has been adamant that he would bring the trailer to fruition giving it the life it deserves. The day has
come. For fans of the trailer, Roth has kept a few of the gory death scenes that tantalized in
Grindhouse. But Roth is much more demented than even the trailer imagined. Decapitated heads,
stabbed cheerleaders and the human turkey from the trailer are only the beginning. There are axes,
table saws, and a whole lot more.

There has to be something wrong with Eli Roth that he can create such a deviously horrifying movie that
satisfies both those who want the same old stuff and those who want something new. For instance,
every movie of this type has a female heroine who faces off against the killer. It happened twice in It’s
A Wonderful Knife, a Christmas-themed horror movie that was released about two weeks ago. In this film,
while running from the killer, our hero climbs over a fence and twists her ankle coming down the other
side. The audience groans because this is where she dies right? Not here. In this film, this girl gets back
to her feet and continues to outrace the killer into the arms of the police (who actually believe her) and
into salvation.

Roth has that kind of ability. He is perfectly willing to take a tired, worn out, just plain bad genre like the
slasher movie and elevate it. It is a better movie in his hands. We are all more entertained by his
work. He is the master of taking that bad movie and making it good while at the same time being bad.
For fans of the horror genre, this movie is just what the name claims it to be.

Rated R for strong bloody horror, violence and gore, pervasive language, and some sexual material, Thanksgiving is a bountiful feast of violence, gore, and grossness with just the right touch of humor for dessert. This is nowhere near the best horror film ever made but it is a whole lot of fun. This film deserves to be the first-holiday horror classic!

In theaters on November 17.

Grade: B-