Thanksgiving movie review - Aussieboyreviews


After a Black Friday riot ends in tragedy, a Thanksgiving-inspired killer terrorises the birthplace of the holiday in the pursuit of vengeance. This holiday horror-comedy is extremely gory and a fair bit of fun, without being too memorable or clever.


After a Black Friday riot ends in tragedy and goes viral on social media, a Thanksgiving-inspired killer terrorises a group of teenagers and begins picking off residents one by one as part of a sinister plan.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Eli Roth
Cast: Addison Rae, Patrick Dempsey, Rick Hoffman, Karen Cliche, Ty Olsson, Gina Gershon, Gabriel Davenport, Nell Verlaque
Writer: Jeff Rendell
Release Date (Australia): 16 November 2023
Runtime: 106 minutes/1h 46m
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
Country: USA
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (MA15+)

The film features horror themes including sustained sense of threat inflicted by a serial killer and graphic depictions of murders, in addition to a lengthy sequence in which multiple people are trampled and killed during a shopping riot.

Violence (R18+)

The film contains gory depictions of decapitation and disembowelment, as well as stabbings, shootings and slashings, accompanied by large blood spurts and high impact gore detail. There is also a lengthy sequence in which people are trampled and killed during a riot.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

The film contains frequent use of the word “f**k”, as well as use of the words “p***y”, “ass”, “c**k”, “d**k”, “s**t” and “bitch”.

Drug Use (PG)

The film includes infrequent brief verbal drug references.

Nudity (PG)

The film features a scene of brief female buttocks nudity.

Sex (M)

The film features verbal references to sex including use of the word “f**k” in a sexual context.

mpaa rating

R (for strong bloody horror violence and gore, pervasive language and some sexual material)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Eli Roth’s film is one that brings up brilliant conversation-starters around fatal and tragic incidents like a Black Friday shopping riot, but those points are ultimately wasted on a gory holiday slasher focused on a bunch of social media teens. If you’re buying popcorn in the expectation and hopes of watching an enjoyable murder mystery with a ton of gory kills, even if it all follows that formula we’ve all seen before, this movie definitely delivers on those aspects. And that’s exactly what this film is good for, because it’s made by a filmmaker who clearly loves and appreciates the genre. But this is a concept that I believe could’ve been more effective, enjoyable and memorable if taken seriously, even if there’s a vengeful serial killer running around.

Among the very early scenes of Thanksgiving, we witness a lengthy sequence featuring a Black Friday riot that ends with fatal consequences. Basically, a teenage girl and her friends enter a massive store owned by her father moments before a big Black Friday sale, which leads the aggressive crowd waiting outside the closed doors to stampede inside. Multiple people are trampled and killed during this sequence, all over a free waffle-maker. I wouldn’t consider these as spoilers as they’re the inciting incident to the plot, but it’s a scene that whilst contains some fun gore and deaths, it’s also worth discussing due to its realism and the greedy human pieces of trash who cause these deaths.

After that, it becomes an extremely gory and highly campy slasher with a murder-mystery thrown into the mix. You’re suddenly expected to begin having a fun time with the film, even though the perfectly-executed and phenomenally-directed sequence we saw earlier was violently aggressive in the most powerful way possible. All of that is not to say that Thanksgiving is a let-down or a disappointment; it’s just a missed opportunity for a mature movie is all. Because things like a giant riot at a Black Friday sale are things that could very easily happen in real life, and that’s what I personally find scary about this aspect of the film’s plot.

In terms of gore, this movie absolutely delivers; there are multiple beheadings, slashings and gory buckets of blood accompanying these terrific death scenes. I would also be asking “how’s the fun little whodunnit going on at the same time?” But you already know what you’d be getting yourself into; it’s watchable at the very most (not necessarily entertaining), but it’s mainly just forgettable and predictable. The characters, humour, storytelling and finale are also nothing to get excited over. Besides the kills, I didn’t give much care or sympathy to anything or anyone in this movie, but that’s what I expected.

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