“Thanksgiving” (2023)

A Feast of Predictable Horror⠀

I stepped into “Thanksgiving” with a dash of excitement, anticipating the thrills of “Scream.” However, what I got was a mix of “Scary Movie” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” but not even near the quality of those classics. While the film serves up some creatively gruesome deaths, it falls short of the intense, nail-biting atmosphere of some of the classics before.⠀

From the get-go, Thanksgiving’s predictability becomes its Achilles’ heel. You might as well predict the plot twists in the first 10 minutes. Unlike the artful storytelling of “Scream,” where plot twists hit with surgical precision, “Thanksgiving” telegraphs its scares from a mile away. Viewers find themselves frustrated, almost yelling at the screen as characters fumble through the narrative, oblivious to the impending doom the audience saw coming ages ago – a cardinal sin in the horror genre.⠀

Despite its commendable attempt at creative deaths, ‘Thanksgiving’ did make us cringe out of horror at some points. This is the true reason the film got the small amount of stars from us, because at least the kills were memorable. “Thanksgiving” quickly unravels into a series of horror clichés, failing to grasp the essence of the genre it seeks to emulate.⠀

Eli Roth, known for his knack for horror, doesn’t shy away from gore, but “Thanksgiving” falls victim to the same pitfall as some of his previous works – weak character development. Each character is one-dimensional, making it impossible to care about their fates. The cast becomes a collection of one-dimensional figures, making it impossible for viewers to form any emotional connection. As a result, the film’s success hinges solely on its gruesome kills, reminiscent of Roth’s earlier works like “Hostel.” However, the infusion of “comedy” moments waters down the horror, transforming the movie into a strange amalgamation of scares and unintended laughs.

Addison Rae’s presence didn’t promise groundbreaking performances, but even established actors like Patrick Dempsey struggled, at times unintentionally tipping the scales into the realm of the ridiculous. Nell Verlaque, cast as the potential “final girl,” lacks the charisma to carry the film, leaving a void no other character can fill.⠀There were moments where we were begging for something more than her, something even as simple as having more fear in her eyes. It would have the made so much better and possibly could have covered up some of the technical wrongs within the film.

Despite being in the minority, I can’t fathom how “Thanksgiving” is hailed as the best horror movie of the year. In a year featuring superior films like “Talk to Me,” this Eli Roth creation seems to have missed the mark. However, it’s heartening to see others enjoying it, evident in the announced sequel – a testament to Roth’s fanbase.⠀There are just simple, traditional, elements to the horror genre that “Thanksgiving” just doesn’t get right of perfect in this film, which risks how strong the film could be. Yes its gory, but all of that melts away when something is too over the top or parody like. The more realistic the horror is the scarier it is for an audience, because its easier to see yourself in the situation.

As an Eli Roth enthusiast, I had hoped for more, but “Thanksgiving” left me with a sense of longing for the intensity found in his earlier works. The movie may have garnered enough attention to secure a sequel, but for fans of the horror genre seeking the next scream-worthy experience, this feast may leave them hungry for more.

Have you seen “Thanksgiving”? Share your thoughts, and let’s dissect this horror feast together. 🍿👻




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One comment

  1. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

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