Thanksgiving 2023 movie review and film summary by Roger Ebert
Eli Roth delivers on 2007 promise with new horror film "Thanksgiving," featuring Black Friday mayhem and a colonial killer. Bloody, thrilling, and funny.
Eli Roth has finally brought his promise of a feature version of his mock trailer "Thanksgiving" to life, delivering a thrilling and pure horror experience. The film, which takes inspiration from '80s classics like "Mother's Day" and "Graduation Day," offers a unique take on the horror genre, eschewing jump-scares and high-minded storytelling in favor of a more traditional, head-chopping whodunit.
The opening of "Thanksgiving" sets the stage for a wild and bloody ride, depicting a Black Friday sale with a body count. The tension and satire are expertly balanced, as the film highlights the chaos and violence that often accompany the holiday shopping season. As a killer with the mask of Plymouth, Massachusetts governor John Carver begins terrorizing the town, the film introduces a cast of characters who are targeted for their involvement in the tragedy. The local sheriff and the store owner's daughter, Jessica, find themselves at the center of the investigation, as they receive cryptic messages from the killer and try to piece together the truth.
Despite its large cast of characters, "Thanksgiving" efficiently establishes its potential victims, allowing the audience to care about them without losing the relatability of the story. The script, written by Jeff Rendell, balances humor and horror, providing moments of lightness and intimacy amidst the gory violence. The John Carver killer is a terrifying and charismatic presence, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the film.
Overall, "Thanksgiving" delivers on its promise of a thrilling and pure horror experience, offering a fresh and unique take on the genre. With its expertly balanced tension, satire, and character development, the film is a must-see for horror fans looking for something different from the usual jump-scare fare.