2023 Film Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a 2023 American slasher film directed by Eli Roth and written by Jeff Rendell, based on a story by the pair, who produced with Roger Birnbaum.

Based on Roth's fictitious trailer of the same name from Grindhouse (2007), it is the third feature-length adaptation of a fictitious Grindhouse trailer after Robert Rodriguez's Machete (2010) and Jason Eisener's Hobo with a Shotgun (2011). The film stars Patrick Dempsey, Addison Rae, Milo Manheim, Jalen Thomas Brooks, Nell Verlaque, Rick Hoffman, and Gina Gershon, and follows a small Massachusetts town that is terrorized by a killer in a John Carver mask around the Thanksgiving holiday.

2023 Film Thanksgiving
Theatrical release poster
Directed byEli Roth
Screenplay byJeff Rendell
Story by
  • Eli Roth
  • Jeff Rendell
Based on
  • Eli Roth
  • Jeff Rendell
Produced by
CinematographyMilan Chadima
Edited by
  • Michele Conroy
  • Michel Aller
Music byBrandon Roberts
Distributed byTriStar Pictures
Release date
  • November 17, 2023 (2023-11-17)
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$15 million
Box office$46.5 million

Thanksgiving received a theatrical release in the United States by TriStar Pictures on November 17, 2023. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed $46 million worldwide. A sequel is in development.


During Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts, an unruly mob gathers outside the local RightMart superstore in preparation for a Black Friday sale. Jessica Wright, whose father, Thomas, owns the store, lets her, along with her boyfriend Bobby, and friends Evan, Gaby, Scuba, and Yulia, inside early through a side door. The riled-up crowd notices them and stampedes into the store in a frenzy, resulting in multiple people dying gruesomely, including Amanda Collins, wife of store manager Mitch. Bobby gets his arm broken in the riot and moves away, ghosting the group.

One year later, despite frequent protests from Mitch and other residents, RightMart begins preparations for another Black Friday sale. Bobby returns to Plymouth, much to the chagrin of Jessica's current boyfriend, Ryan. A waitress named Lizzie is killed by a figure wearing a John Carver mask. Lizzie's involvement in the Black Friday incident leads police to believe those involved are being actively targeted.

Jessica and her friends continue to get tagged in mysterious Instagram posts. Jessica lends the store's security footage over to the town's sheriff, Eric Newlon. Carver kills several residents including students Lonnie and Amy, and security guard Manny, all of whom were involved during the RightMart riot. Evan and Gaby are soon abducted; Jessica narrowly escapes. Yulia is attacked next in her home. Jessica and Scuba make it there but are unable to stop Carver from disemboweling her with a table saw.

The police attempt to lure Carver out by having the Wright family participate in a Thanksgiving parade, disguised as Pilgrims. Carver publicly decapitates a mascot and sets off smoke bombs, giving him the opportunity to abduct the Wrights and Scuba in the chaos. Jessica's stepmother Kathleen is prepared and cooked alive at Carver's hideout. Her corpse is served as a "turkey" at a dinner table where the hostages and victims' corpses are seated. The killer bludgeons Evan to death in a livestream in front of the others; Jessica and Scuba escape and she is able to flee out of the woods to the parade warehouse, where she finds Sherriff Newlon unconscious. She sees Bobby in the Carver costume but he escapes.

The police inform her that her surviving friends and father are safe. In an office alone, Jessica notices the same debris from the woods stuck to her clothing is also on Newlon, which suggests that he's the killer. Newlon reveals his motive for the murders: he had been having an affair with Amanda, who was pregnant with his child. Before her death, she was planning to divorce Mitch and stay with Newlon. Seeking revenge, Newlon began targeting all those responsible during the RightMart riot, as their negligence and ignorance caused Amanda's death. Prior, Newlon had abducted Bobby and put him in the Carver costume, intending to frame him for the massacre. A horrified Newlon realizes Jessica has live-streamed his entire confession, exposing him as the killer. He attacks her but Bobby intervenes.

As Jessica and Bobby attempt to escape in a tow truck, an enraged Newlon attacks again with full intent on killing Jessica for ruining his plans and his life. Jessica loads a musket using her mother's bracelet then shoots down a turkey parade balloon attached to a tank of gas, causing an explosion that engulfs Newlon. In the end, she reunites with Ryan, Gaby, and Scuba while Bobby is taken to the hospital. Authorities are unable to find Newlon's body, leading them to believe he was incinerated in the explosion. Jessica, however, has a nightmare in which she is attacked by a flaming Newlon.


Additionally, Jordan Poole plays Jacob, Mika Amonsen plays Lonnie, Shailyn Griffin plays Amy, Amanda Barker plays Lizzie, Chris Sandiford plays Doug, and Lynne Griffin plays Grandma. Adam MacDonald provides the voice of John Carver.


After director Eli Roth created the fake movie trailer, Thanksgiving, for the film Grindhouse (2007), plans for a feature-length adaptation began. In 2010, Roth told CinemaBlend that he was writing the script with Jeff Rendell and that he hoped to complete it once he was done with press for The Last Exorcism (2010). By August 2012, Jon Watts and Christopher D. Ford were set to write the screenplay with Roth and Rendell after they finished writing the Roth-produced Clown (2014). In June 2016, Roth revealed on Reddit that the script still needed work in order for the film to live up to the trailer.

In January 2023, Deadline Hollywood reported that Spyglass Media Group was producing the film. Roth would depart from Borderlands (2024), passing additional photography off to Tim Miller, in order to direct the film. The following month, Patrick Dempsey and Addison Rae joined the cast. Also cast were Jalen Thomas Brooks, Nell Verlaque, and Milo Manheim. In March 2023, Rick Hoffman, Gina Gershon, Tim Dillon, Gabriel Davenport, Tomaso Sanelli, and Jenna Warren joined the cast. Principal photography took place in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, from March 13 to May 5, 2023.


In March 2023, TriStar Pictures acquired the United States rights to the film. Thanksgiving was released in the United States on November 17, 2023. The film was released in India as Bloody Thanksgiving. It was released on digital platforms on December 19, 2023, followed by a Blu-ray and DVD release on January 30, 2024. The film began streaming on Netflix on February 17, 2024.


Box office

Thanksgiving has grossed $31.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $14.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $46.5 million.

In the United States and Canada, Thanksgiving was released alongside Next Goal Wins, Trolls Band Together, and The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, and was projected to gross $12–15 million from 3,204 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $3.8 million on its first day, including $1 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $10.4 million, finishing fourth at the box office. The film made $7.2 million in its second weekend (a drop of 31%), finishing in fifth. It then made $2.6 million in its third weekend. The film was re-released in 511 theaters in the United States on the last weekend of January 2024.

Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 84% of 150 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.8/10. The website's consensus reads: "Combining belly-busting humor with delightfully over-the-top gore, Thanksgiving is a feast for grindhouse fans." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 63 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B−" on an A+ to F scale, while those polled by PostTrak gave it a 73% overall positive score.

Owen Gleiberman of Variety wrote "Thanksgiving follows the rules of the slasher genre, but it's got a more charged and entertainingly hyperbolic atmosphere than these movies used to have". Frank Scheck ended his positive review saying, "There are times you can feel Thanksgiving straining too mightily for a cult status it's not likely to achieve. But it seems a safe bet the film will be trotted out like a turkey on cable channels and streaming services for many Thanksgivings to come". The San Francisco Chronicle's G. Allen Johnson gave the film a score of one out of four and wrote, "Thanksgiving could have been a great horror movie. Instead, it's one of those where if you've seen the trailer, you've seen the film".


In November 2023, Roth announced on his Instagram page that a sequel had been greenlit for a 2025 release.

See also



2023 Film Thanksgiving Plot2023 Film Thanksgiving Cast2023 Film Thanksgiving Production2023 Film Thanksgiving Release2023 Film Thanksgiving Reception2023 Film Thanksgiving Sequel2023 Film Thanksgiving

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