review by Bobby Blakey
In 2007 Eli Roth debuted the fake trailer Thanksgiving in between the double feature of the feature Grindhouse. For years there was talk of making the real film and we are finally getting it. The full-length feature once again titled Thanksgiving stars Patrick Dempsey, Addison Rae, Milo Manheim, Jalen Thomas Brooks, Nell Verlaque, Rick Hoffman and Gina Gershon with Roth returning to his horror roots to direct as expected. Could this film serve up the holiday horror we have been waiting for or will it be overcooked?
Thanksgiving follows a Black Friday riot that ends in tragedy and a mysterious Thanksgiving-inspired killer terrorizes Plymouth, Massachusetts – the birthplace of the holiday. Picking off residents one by one, what begins as random revenge killings are soon revealed to be part of a larger, sinister holiday plan. Will the town uncover the killer and survive the holidays…or become guests at his twisted holiday dinner table?
Like many, I have been eagerly waiting for this film to get made, but started thinking it might never happen. I love Eli Roth’s work, especially his horror stuff so was excited to see him full on return to the genre and I was not disappointed. The film brings numerous scenes from the original trailer to life once again while doing some creatively different things with it. Roth has said that this film is more like a remake of the film that the original fake trailer was promoting. This gave him freedom to do something new while keeping the fun of it all here.
The story is simple and while works to build the mystery it isn’t all that hard to figure out who is behind it all. Normally this would be an issue, but the film is so fun and offers up everything I wanted so the final twist
worked as is. The cast are fine, but outside of Patrick Dempsey and Gina Gershon most everyone here is kind of annoying. I know they were playing to the usual tropes of the genre, but was eager to see them all die so guess it worked.
Roth has taken the by the numbers slasher film and made a film still entertaining and intense at times. There are plenty of jump scares and tension built as we try to discover who the killer is. I really liked the simplistic design for the killer that has options for the possible future. They pull no punches with the kills letting the blood flow by the gallons in some truly entertaining ways.
The film firmly plants itself into the genre, knowing exactly what they are giving the fans. I had a great time with this one and so glad to see Roth shine back in his horror roots. I can only hope that this is only the first of more like this for the genre that is sorely been missing. It’s not breaking down any walls to the slasher genre, but it is damn fun on its own.
In addition to the film, this release offers up bonus content including deleted & extended scenes, outtakes, commentary, featurettes and more. Celebrate the holiday horror when Thanksgiving available now on digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Sony Home Entertainment.