Directed and co-written by Eli Roth (Inglorious Basterds (2009); Cabin Fever (2002); The House with a Clock in its Walls (2018)) and starring Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy (tv series, 2005-2021); Ferrari (2023); Bridget Jones's Baby (2016); Sweet Home Alabama (2002)), Ty Olsson (Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011); War for the Planet of the Apes (2017); The Man in the High Castle (tv series, 2018-2019)), Gina Gershon (Showgirls (1995); P.S. I Love You (2007); Rifkin's Festival (2020)), Gabriel Davenport (Hotel for the Holidays (2022)), Karen Cliche (Saw VI (2009); Turkey Drop (2019)), Nell Verlaque (The Marijuana Conspiracy (2020); Big Shot (tv series (2021-2022)) and Jalen Thomas Brooks (Walker (tv series, 2021-2023); Rebel (tv series, 2021)).

Horror/thriller; 106 mins; 18+

Based on a 2-minute short film of the same name from 2009 by the same director, this is certainly not a happy-go-lucky comedy set around Thanksgiving of the ilk of the 1987 classic "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" starring Steve Martin and John Candy. What is is, however, is a teen slasher film (note, it is certified as 18+), much more à la the 1978 classic "Halloween" starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance.

Set in Plymouth, Massachusetts (the birthplace of the thanksgiving holiday), Mitch Collins (Ty Olsson) - encouraged by his new wife Amanda (Gina Gershon) - decides to open his store on what is traditionally a holiday. After a family Thanksgiving dinner at home, his daughter Jessica (Nell Verlaque) meets up with her school friends and they stop at the store before it opens. When the crowd swells and sees other people already shopping inside, a riot ensues with fatal consequences.

A year later, a video taken on the night of the riot is trending and a mysterious figure dressed as a pilgrim wearing a John Carver mask starts to wreak havoc in what seems revenge for what happened that fateful day a year previously. The killings start and links are made back to the riot, with the gore fest starting...

Together with friends including Scuba (Gabriel Davenport), Kathleen (Karen Cliche), Bobby (Jalen Thomas Brooks) and others, Jessica feels the weight of responsibility on her shoulders as she was privy to some information about the riot, i.e. where the CCTV back-up tapes are stored. She turns them into Sheriff Eric Newlon (Patrick Dempsey) who warns her not to trust anybody...

Soon the killer starts to send photos and live feeds of places around a Thanksgiving dinner table which soon starts to have "guests" - torsos and decapitated heads of victims. A Thanksgiving parade is about to start - could this be the opportunity to stop the killer by tricking him into a corner...?

A smart take on the teen slasher genre with the director Eli Roth moving the setting from babysitting / Christmas / a college setting and creating mayhem within a small-town community. Certainly not for everyone, but for those who do appreciate blood and guts and a gore-fest, then this is for you.

Currently screening at Kinepolis and CiNextDoor in Luxembourg.