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‘Thanksgiving’: Being Eaten up by Audiences Everywhere

Eli Roth’s latest project delivers on suspense and brutal deaths while maintaining the campy air that has become the hallmark of the horror slasher genre.
The+masked+killer+%28Courtesy+of+IMDb%29
The masked killer (Courtesy of IMDb)

 

The newest slasher film is out, and it’s an absolute hit with critics and audiences alike.

Thanksgiving” was released on Nov. 17, and saw immediate success earning $10.2 million in the box office. It tells the story of a Black Friday sale gone wrong. Fights break out among shoppers and result in serious injuries and even deaths. The following year, a killer dressed as a pilgrim takes his revenge on those responsible.

Eli Roth’s latest project delivers suspense and brutal deaths while maintaining the campy air that has become the hallmark of the horror slasher genre.

New Territory to Explore

Thanksgiving is a largely untapped market when it comes to horror films, especially in comparison to Halloween and even Christmas. This provides “Thanksgiving” with a lot of low-hanging fruit in terms of the jokes to be made and stereotypes to use.

Sometimes, however, the low-hanging fruit is the most sweet. Slashers aren’t made to be thought-provoking or psychologically tormenting. It’s fun to hear a pilgrim wielding an ax proclaim, “There will be no leftovers!” as he chases down the final girl. Ongoing themes of family, food and the pilgrims that came to Plymouth all make this movie worthy of its title.

Keeping With the Theme

Spoilers ahead, of course, as well as descriptions of some fairly brutal deaths.

Speaking of stereotypes, “Thanksgiving” includes some beautifully ironic kills at the hands of the pilgrim murderer. Audiences will often have to watch through the gaps in their fingers.

The turkey mascot at the Thanksgiving parade is beheaded, Evan (Tomaso Sanelli) has his brains bashed in by a meat tenderizer and Kathleen (Karen Cliche) is quite literally cooked alive and served with her legs crossed like a turkey’s. Whether the kill was Thanksgiving-related or not, they are all sickening and did justice to the genre.

A Warm Reception

Somewhat unexpectedly, it seems as though the public has thoroughly enjoyed “Thanksgiving.”

When I initially bought my movie tickets, I didn’t do so until the day of. I didn’t expect theaters to fill up completely for a Thanksgiving-themed horror movie in the middle of November. However, it’s clear that horror fans are hungry for new scares. The entire opening weekend was all but sold out.

“Thanksgiving” is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and earned a 7/10 on IMDb. Overall, this movie is exactly what slashers are all about and has definitely set a standard for whatever comes next.

 

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About the Contributor
Audrey Hall, Arts Writer
(she/they) Audrey Hall is a second-year student majoring in English and French. She was born and raised in Salt Lake City and has been a Utes fan since day one! In high school she developed a passion for both creative writing and news writing, which led her to write for the Skyline Horizon and eventually the Chronicle. In her free time, she plays water polo for the University's club team and plays a lot of video games.

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