The new film Thanksgiving is a shlocky horror classic in the making. The film is set in Plymouth MA and therefore chock full of terrible attempts at Boston accents. The award for worst, most inconsistent accent goes to Patrick Dempsey for his cringe-worthy performance as Sherriff Eric Newlon. Who even thought to cast Patrick Dempsey in a horror movie? Director Eli Roth, that’s who. The director of Hostel and Planet Terror decided “McDreamy” would make a good addition to his horror pantheon. The movie is about the aftermath of a Black Friday sale that goes terribly wrong causing a mysterious figure dressed as the historic Plymouth resident, John Carver, to begin murdering people who were involved with the riot.
There’s a little something for everyone in this campy gore fest. A tumbling cheerleader being stabbed through a trampoline, a geriatric pregnancy, a scalp being ripped off by a grocery cart, corn cob holders being stabbed into someone’s ear, cannibalism, even some foot and body oiling material for the fetishists–which really cracked up the few people who attended Assembly Row AMC to see this movie the week after Thanksgiving. There was only one real jump scare in the entire film and it came at the very end before the credits. The film contained plenty of satisfying Thanksgiving puns by the villain as well as the people he was victimizing.
Lead actress, Nell Verlaque, held her own in the film as Jessica, a high schooler who is being terrorized by the Thanksgiving-themed murderer. She was dating Ryan (Milo Manheim) and we could tell by his gold chain and gold watch that we were supposed to dislike him. Other than his taste in jewelry being his entire personality, he seemed like a caring boyfriend. Back to Patrick Dempsy, inexplicably People’s Sexiest Man Alive this year. Dempsy’s fluctuating accent was the worst part of the movie and Thanksgiving is the kind of movie that’s so bad that it’s good. There’s a scene where someone literally gets trussed and basted like a turkey. I just kept asking myself, “why is Patrick Dempsey even in this movie?” I suppose it’s supposed to be shocking to see the guy from Disenchanted playing a Sherriff trying to solve a series of gristly murders in his town. Gina Gerson also made a brief appearance in the beginning. Tik Tok star Addison Rae had a role in the film–because we live in a world where I can type that sentence and have it make sense to people.
The gore was pretty much what we all come to a movie like this to see and it did not disappoint. People were disemboweled, de-brained, and decapitated left and right. It wasn’t always the Thanksgiving spree killer causing the carnage, sometimes people just had terrible accidents and happened to be in the vicinity of the targeted victims. Plymouth is not the town anyone should want to live in. Although the residents seem strangely unconcerned with all the brutal and public murders and disappearances of teens in their town seeing as they come out in full force for the Thanksgiving parade.
It could have really cemented this movie as the best Thanksgiving film of all time if it had a killer soundtrack. What was done instead was forgettable and didn’t do enough to drive tension at the right times. As it is, it’s up there as one of the best Thanksgiving films, but it’s no classic like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. However, this has the potential to be a film that people will be putting on after family gatherings on Thanksgiving for years to come to freak out lingering relatives.