As someone who can adore campy horror and rough around the edges films, I was incredibly disappointed by Eli Roth’s (he/him) newest horror film to hit the market: Thanksgiving.
While littered with Massachusetts humor, i.e. our driving, and accents throughout, it wasn’t enough with the handful of jokes that simply didn’t land for myself. Much of the humor and dialog just felt incredibly out-of-touch, just nearly hitting the mark of getting a high schooler done right but ending up cringe-worthy.
Speaking of cringe-worthy, anyone that enjoys their horrors gorey would certainly like the brutality seen here. Throughout there’s plenty of fatal blows given throughout, leaving the victims with all manner of insides on the outside. As someone that has seen gorey horror films and doesn’t mind it, this one does do it up to a point where it can feel little uncomfortable. None of this was entirely unexpected coming from the director of Hostel.
Before this review does become more negative than some people’s Thanksgiving dinner conversations, I’d like to at least give a few props to the film.
While much of the humor doesn’t land, there are some specks of gold laid throughout. These specks of gold are, however, still dark humor and mainly absurdist. One of the few times I find that the humor in this film landed was when the main antagonist gives a major speech near the end that featured some decent puns. Along with that there’s a character whose re-occurring joke of selling alcohol to minors that isn’t too bad either.
Aside from that however, it still struggled heavily, especially in pacing. Break-neck in pace while also feeling like the film was in slow motion, it was sometimes disorientating how little space to breathe we’re given during some character interactions. At times it just felt like being pelted with joke after joke.
If I were to give this a score, it’d be around a 2/5 awkward Thanksgiving table conversations.
One of my earlies memories was watching stories unfold on a small TV in my room. Ever since then, I've always wanted to become a filmmaker to put stories of my own onto all manner of screens. Being a fan of writing alongside this has also led to my love of writing analysis/reviews on the things I view. It's a joy to share to others my thoughts and insights on media.