The Reel Review


A year after a Thanksgiving night stampede at a big box retailer in Plymouth, Massachusetts left several people dead, an ax-wielding, pilgrim-masked killer seeks revenge against those he feels were responsible. Nell Verlaque (Big Shot), Patrick Dempsey and Gina Gershon star in this horror/comedy whodunit from co-writer/director Eli Roth (The Green Inferno, Hostel). 

Nell Verlaque in Thanksgiving

From some gruesome, over the top, practical effects-laden kills, some exceptionally cheesy dialogue and Dempsey’s god-awful Massachusetts accent, Thanksgiving is intended to be both a scary and funny homage to 1980s-era slasher films like Friday the 13th, Graduation Day and Nightmare on Elm Street. It succeeds with only moderate success.

Gabriel Davenport and Nell Verlaque in Thanksgiving

That said, there are a few pretty hilarious, gnarly moments – like when the killer is basting and preparing to cook his victims or even sticking a meat thermometer in one of them in the oven, but the unfocused tone and Roth’s sloppy storytelling makes Thanksgiving only a mediocre slasher film at best.


Thanksgiving is the third movie, after 2010’s Machete and 2011’s Hobo with a Shotgun, based on one of the five mock trailers seen in the break between the two films in Roth’s 2007 double-feature Grindhouse. The other two fake trailers were Don’t and Werewolf Women of the SS.

• Director Eli Roth has a cameo in Thanksgiving as the journalist questioning the spate of murders.

Thanksgiving was filmed over a five-week period in Toronto, Canada.


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