Thanksgiving (2023) Horror Movie Review


As the leaves turn and the air chills, moviegoers this year were treated to a Thanksgiving with a twist. “Thanksgiving” (2023) carved out its place in the holiday horror genre with a blend of dark humor and slasher thrills that harkens back to the classics of the ’80s. Directed by Eli Roth, this film promised to deliver a feast for the eyes, and it did not disappoint.

The premise is as deliciously twisted as one would hope for a film released during the season of gratitude. After a Black Friday riot turns deadly, a year passes, and Plymouth, Massachusetts finds itself haunted by a Thanksgiving-themed killer. The narrative weaves a tale of vengeance and mystery, as the killer, donning the mask of the first Plymouth governor, picks off residents in increasingly creative and gruesome ways.

Critics have praised the film for its unapologetic return to the roots of the genre, avoiding the jump-scare tactics of modern horror and instead opting for a more straightforward, gore-splattered approach. The Rotten Tomatoes score reflects this, with a solid 84% on the Tomatometer and an 80% audience score. It’s clear that “Thanksgiving” has found its audience among those who appreciate a side of satire with their scares.

The performances are as robust as the Thanksgiving turkey, with a cast that brings both terror and comedy to the table. The script, penned by Jeff Rendell, is sharp and self-aware, poking fun at social media culture while delivering a narrative that keeps viewers guessing until the last slice is served.

For those who enjoy their horror with a side of laughter, “Thanksgiving” offers a buffet of both. It’s a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet provides enough suspense and bloodshed to satisfy any horror aficionado’s appetite. As Roger Ebert’s review site puts it, the film is “thrillingly pure in its nastiness” and a “classic at heart”.

However, not all reviews are glowing. Some have criticized the film for its excessive violence and distasteful take on the holiday, as noted by Movieguide. It’s a reminder that “Thanksgiving” is not for the faint of heart or those looking for a wholesome holiday film.

In the Nutshell

In summary, “Thanksgiving” (2023) serves up a heaping helping of horror that will delight fans of the genre. It’s a film that embraces its grindhouse roots and delivers a cinematic spread that will leave horror fans stuffed with satisfaction. So, if you’re in the mood for a holiday film that trades in cheer for fear, “Thanksgiving” might just be the perfect dish for your movie night. [4 out of 5].

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Genre: Slasher

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