“I'm thankful for this nostalgic slasher – oozing with heart and soul!”
If you're a fan of nineties ‘slasher’ films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream, then Thanksgiving is a must-watch.
This horror flick flawlessly captures the essence of those beloved classics while injecting its own unique spin. In fact, it surpasses every sequel to those iconic movies – and not just because the killer doesn’t end up being ‘Sidney Prescott’s Mother’s Neighbour’s Cat’s Uncle’s Friend!’
This marks the third feature film derived from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s captivating ‘Grindhouse’ mock trailers from their Death Proof/Planet Terror double bill. The initial entry in this series was 2010’s Machete, which surpassed all expectations, and this latest offering follows suit by also being so much better than it had any right to be.
The story unfolds as a mysterious killer armed with an axe installs fear among the inhabitants of Plymouth, Massachusetts, following a tragic incident during a Black Friday riot. As the assailant systematically eliminates victims, this act of vengeance gradually reveals itself to be part of an even more sinister scheme.
One of the standout aspects of Thanksgiving is the evident values that went into its production. From start to finish, it’s clear that the filmmakers were passionate about paying homage to the slasher sub-genre while adding their own creative elements. Director Eli Roth – well known for his work in the horror genre with the likes of Cabin Fever and Hostel – brings his expertise to the table and delivers a film that almost all horror enthusiasts will no doubt appreciate.
The kills are nothing short of creatively memorable. In an interview I recently watched, Roth talked about how he aimed to make each death iconic – and he succeeded admirably. The audience is treated to a series of inventive and thrilling murder scenes that will keep you on the edge-of-your-seat.
The film does takes a much darker turn in the third act, reminiscent of Eli’s earlier work in Hostel. While this tonal shift adds an extra layer of intensity, it may feel slightly imbalanced when compared to the nostalgic slasher vibes that dominate the rest of the film. Nevertheless, it’s a minor criticism that doesn’t significantly detract from the overall experience.
Walking into the screening with little knowledge of what to expect, Thanksgiving surprised me with its riveting ‘whodunit’ plot. It transported me back to the golden era of slashers that ignited my love for the genre.
Thank you Mr Roth, I’m truly grateful.
ESP Rating: 4.5/5
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CAST: PATRICK DEMPSEY, ADDISON RAE, MILO MANHEIM, JALEN THOMAS BROOKS, NELL VERLAQUE, RICK HOFFMAN, GINA GERSHON & ADAM MACDONALD
RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 46 MINS
DIRECTOR: ELI ROTH
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