After a Black Friday riot ends in tragedy, a mysterious Thanksgiving-inspired killer terrorizes Plymouth, Massachusetts - the birthplace of the holiday. Picking off residents one by one, what begins as random revenge killings are soon revealed to be part of a larger, sinister holiday plan.
There is a void to fill regarding a yearly _Thanksgiving_ franchise. The Carver is outrageous enough to be more enjoyable if Eli Roth allows other directors to play in his grotesque cornbread-stuffing-filled sandbox in future installments. As a standalone film, _Thanksgiving_ leans more into the dumb than it does fun and will likely leave viewers feeling nauseous, especially if they see the film on a belly full of cranberry sauce and chunky gravy. **Full review:** https://bit.ly/deathbypilgrim
Though it's very formulaic, this film, it's still at the better end of recent gore-fests. We start off with the most unlikely of scenarios - a Thanksgiving sale at a supermarket that goes spectacularly and violently wrong. The population of the founding father's very own Plymouth in Massachusetts become frenetic and determined to do whatever it takes to get into this store and get their free waffle iron! Anyway, a group of kids manage to sneak in first and provoke the waiting crowd - that leads to a stampede with tragic results. Scoot on twelve months and the same store is proposing to have anther such sale, despite the fatalities last time round that led to no prosecutions thanks to some security camera "errors". Sheriff "Eric" (Patrick Dempsey) is concerned for public safety but that's just the start of his woes. When the rather odious and foul mouthed waitress "Lizzie" (Amanda Barker) is found - well half of her is found - stuck to the store's illuminated signage, he must find the culprit before there are even more revenge attacks by the masked pilgrim... Yes, we've seen this all before but here Eli Roth takes a cast that might have been graduates from Ben Platt's "Theater Camp" (2023) and turns them into prey for a menacing killer who certainly has some imagination when reeking his havoc on those who did him wrong. It takes a swipe at the commercial culture around this American holiday - rather well presented via Rick Hoffman's store-owning "Thomas", father or our lead "Jessica" (Nell Verlaque) and husband to the really rather shallow "Kathleen" (Karen Cliche). There's a bit of boyfriend rivalry that accidentally displays the versatility (?!) of Milo Manheim who quite successfully ditches his butter wouldn't melt image (anyone seen "Journey to Bethlehem"?) before a suitably far-fetched denouement that does take it's time, repeats itself a bit and concludes screaming sequel. There are some some funny moments, the cast largely gel well and though not exactly scary, there are a few effective jumps. I doubt that you'll recall it for long after, but I think this is actually quite good.