If you wanted violence, gore, and a villain whose madness is almost justifiable, “Thanksgiving” makes up for the rather tame offerings we got in October.


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General Information

Director(s)

Eli Roth

Screenplay By

Jeff Rendell

Based On Story By

Jeff Rendell, Eli Roth

Date Released (In Theaters)

November 16, 2023

Genre(s)

Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Young AdultHoliday

Film Length

1 Hour 47 Minutes

Content Rating

Rated R

Noted Characters and Cast

Thomas Wright

Rick Hoffman

Jessica

Nell Verlaque

Evan

Tomaso Sanelli

Film Summary

It’s Thanksgiving 2022, and in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Thomas Wright, owner of the local Right Mart has decided to push up Black Friday to 6 PM on Thanksgiving. His fiancée, soon wife, gave him this idea, and he thought between the regular store employees and two security guards, that would be all that was needed for a successful and lucrative night.

Damn, he was wrong. Multiple people died, looting was outrageous, and because of the death and injuries, lawsuits went rampant but, luckily for Thomas, the footage of the incident largely disappeared with the exception of the video his daughter, Jessica’s, friend Evan took.

This video, which has circulated for a full year, seemingly triggered someone to the point they feel that some of the easy-to-find faces on the video deserve to die in horrific ways. Thus leading to Thomas, Jessica, Evan, and the rest of Jessica’s friends, family, and loved ones spending Thanksgiving in fear that a serial killer may make them their next target.

Content Rating Explanation

  • Dialog: A whole lot of cursing
  • Violence: Bodily mutilation, scenes of torture, and blood
  • Sexual Content: Light Nudity
  • Miscellaneous: Drinking, Drug Use, Depiction of Vomitting

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member.

Thomas Wright

The owner of Right Mart, Thomas, isn’t necessarily a Mr. Money Baggs type who just wants to exploit his employees and make as much money as he can. However, with him being the big game in town, he doesn’t ignore the potential money that could be made on the biggest shopping holiday of the year. And as shown through his relationship with Jessica, there is a softer side to him, but because of the grief from losing his first wife, he has dedicated himself to being a workaholic and finding purpose through making money.

Jessica

Nell Verlaque as Jessica
“Nell Verlaque as Jessica,” Thanksgiving, directed by Eli Roth, 2023, (TriStar Pictures)

Seemingly Harvard-bound, Jessica is the odd one out in her friend group. Yes, she is rich via her dad Thomas, but she doesn’t dress like she has money, she isn’t a jock, and she neither condones some of the things her friends say or doesn’t push them to be better. Which isn’t to imply she is a goody two shoes, but she does make more of an effort to be a good person than others we meet.

Evan

A football player, potentially a stereotypical kind, Evan is nice and fun when he is stimulated, but when bored or annoyed? If not in a position where he can safely do something bad? He is a menace.

Discussion Items

Let us know your thoughts in the comments:

  1. What is your favorite horror movie based on a holiday, besides Halloween?

Review

Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Highlights

Notably Violent

I won’t say this is the most violent thing you’ll ever see, whether you go to theaters or check out titles online. However, considering the horror movie offerings in October, “Thanksgiving” gives the type of violence you’d expect. Heads are without bodies, we see people split in half, skin burnt off, and various ways to show the villain can get a bit creative.

Mind you, none of it will make you lose your lunch, and even with how violent it is, I wouldn’t say there is the tone required to be truly appalled. Though, depending on your tolerance level, there are moments that may make you flinch.

Occasionally Comical

“Thanksgiving” isn’t a horror comedy, but it is New England people cursing at each other and fighting, and whether you’ve watched “SMILF,” “Ted,” or other productions from the area, you should have a good idea of what you’re in for. There is a lot of attitude, with working-class people ready to bite each other’s head off because they feel they are being taken advantage of. Add in the bickering between kids who are within their senior year and smelling themselves a bit? I won’t say you’ll laugh every other scene, but you’ll get a few chuckles and giggles.

While You May Not Condone The Villain’s Actions, You Get Why They Did What They Did

The best villains, to me, are those whose motives you understand. In the case of the villain for this movie, you know it is someone affected by the stampede that killed multiple people in Thomas’ store. The only question is who did they lose, and what was their relationship to them? Never mind, while the film isn’t a mystery and surely not trying to make the question of who is the killer exciting, again, once it is revealed and the person says what their motive is, you accept it. Especially because there was a child involved.

Who Is This For?

Those who love gory films that have people’s guts hanging out, different stuff done to people’s heads, and a crazed killer on the loose.

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Violent Night

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Thanksgiving (2023) – Movie Review

Summary

While I wouldn’t say “Thanksgiving” deserves a pedestal or repeat viewings, it does make for a good holdover movie until you get the type of film that sets a precedent.

Overall
82%
82%
  • Notably Violent - 83%
    83%
  • Occasionally Comical - 81%
    81%
  • While You May Not Condone The Villain’s Actions, You Get Why They Did What They Did - 82%
    82%
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User Review
0 (0 votes)

Highlight(s)

  • While You May Not Condone The Villain’s Actions, You Get Why They Did What They Did
  • Occasionally Comical
  • Notably Violent

Disputable

  • N/A

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