Movie Review: Thanksgiving (2023)

Synopsis: When the RightMart department store in Plymouth, Massachusetts decides to get a jump on Black Friday shopping by opening Thanksgiving night, multiple people are trampled to death. A year later, with the community still mourning the tragedy, RightMart plans a similar sale, angering many. This includes a serial killer dressed as Plymouth's founder, John Carver, and stalking those most responsible for the fatal event.

Who's in it? The movie stars Patrick Dempsey, Ty OlssonNell VerlaqueKaren Cliche and Jalen Thomas Brooks.

Review: I came across this movie on Netflix a couple days ago and, while I had some doubts about it, decided to save it for a rainy day. Well, it didn't rain yesterday but my wife and I were in the mood for a movie before bed and I gave it a try. Overall, I have to say it exceeded my expectations.

I think the thing that surprised me most about this movie is it wasn't as predictable as I thought it would be. Ultimately, I wound up guessing who the killer was but wasn't completely sure until toward the end. This is mostly because there were so many potential suspects with a motive, ranging from the store manager who lost his wife to the high school baseball star who got his arm broken. Plus, there were a few others thrown in as the movie progressed.

Having this take place in Plymouth with the serial killer dressed as the guy who played a role in the first Thanksgiving was a nice touch as well. It's a fairly unique idea and, since the town was celebrating the holiday with a parade, the killer being able to find a John Carver mask and pilgrim costume without being too obvious made sense.

Another thing I liked about this movie was, while some of the people the John Carver-dressed killer attacked had it coming, not all of that killer's potential victims were terrible people. The main character, Jessica (Verlaque), for example, was actually kind of likable and her friends weren't as deplorable as other teenagers in similar movies. This is important to me because movies like this lose a little something if you don't care if someone survives.

In fact, if I had any real complaint about the movie is the killer seemed to be targeting only the minor culprits in the tragic and fatal sale the year before but showed almost no interest in going after the store's owner (Hoffman) despite it being his decision to have the sale and to hold another sale a year later. Maybe it's just me, but that would be the first person I'd go after, though I guess you could also argue harming his daughter, Jessica, was an even better plan. In any case, I felt like the real bad guy never got justice (though maybe that's being saved for the sequel).

Final Opinion: I'll stop short of saying it's the best slasher movie I've ever watched but compared to many, especially recent films in this genre, it's pretty good. I'd recommend watching.

My Grade: B


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