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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

REVIEW: ‘Thanksgiving’ slasher teaches that Black Friday is not worth the trouble

Photo+courtesy+of+TriStar+Pictures
Photo courtesy of TriStar Pictures

Anyone who has had any sort of history class knows that Plymouth, Massachusetts, is the town known for the first Thanksgiving. The newly released slasher “Thanksgiving,” starring 80s teen heartthrob Patrick Dempsey, takes place in that very town.

The movie starts off on Thanksgiving Day 2022 with two different families getting ready to sit down and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. One family was the family of Thomas Wright, his then-fiancé Kathleen, his daughter Jessica and her then-boyfriend Bobby. 

The other family was Mitch Collins, an employee of Wright’s dupe of Walmart, Right Mart, who gets called into work to open for Black Friday. I honestly felt bad for Mitch in this scene because while I personally don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as a holiday, I do think stores should be closed on Thanksgiving because it is meant to be a time to spend with family. 

A few scenes later, we cut to a crowd gathering outside of Right Mart minutes before opening at midnight on Black Friday. Jessica, Bobby and their friends make a pit stop at the store to grab a couple of things before heading off to a late movie. 

They sneak into the back and a student from a rival high school, whom Jessica’s friend, Evan got into a fight with, sees that they are sneaking into the store and causes a scene.

I don’t agree with the fact that they snuck into the store knowing the chaos it would cause and they knew the consequences but they did it anyway so in hindsight, they had it coming. 

Evan then taunts the student with a new iPhone, which inevitably causes the large crowd to break through the gates before the store opens. The crowd then presses up against the window of the doors as one of the security guards tries to lock the door, but before he can lock the doors, the glass shatters and causes an all-out riot, which ends up killing several people, including Mitch’s wife, Amanda, a security guard and a shopper. The riot also injured Bobby’s arm, which caused him not to play baseball for the time being. 

This part of the movie, aside from the other gory details later on, was the scariest part to me because of how real these stampedes are. The stampede in the movie was similar to the Walmart Black Friday stampede in 2008, where one worker died and at least four others were injured.

I usually don’t care to shop on Black Friday because I don’t want to deal with the crowds, and this movie certainly solidifies my feelings. 

A year after what was known throughout the movie as the “Right Mart tragedy,” the killer, who was dressed as Plymouth’s first governor, John Carver, started picking victims from the riot one by one until it got to Thomas, Jessica, her friends and the rest of the Wright family. 

One character I was alright with getting killed off was Thomas’ now-wife, Kathleen. I didn’t like her character in the movie at all as she was trying to get Thomas to open the store on Thanksgiving Day, despite his daughter telling him to not open the store because of what happened the year before. 

Plus, I felt like she was trying to drive a wedge between the father-daughter relationship that Thomas and Jessica had and I didn’t like it so I was alright with Kathleen being killed off. 

I found this movie to be scary and gory, yet some parts were funny in a way because of how unexpected they were.

When I see slashers like this, I expect there to be killings, even when it comes to animals. (Those actually hurt to see.) However, one part that had me laughing was a scene with a cat. I was worried for the cat because its owner was killed, and the cat just watched. As the killer was leaving, the cat meowed and pointed at his food bowl, and the killer fed and petted the cat, which is something I was not expecting at all. I was glad the kitty made it out alive. 

All in all, I thought this movie was good, some parts seemed pretty realistic, but the theme of the movie was great as it didn’t just focus on Thanksgiving as a holiday, but the reason surrounding the killings leading up to the holiday itself. 

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About the Contributor
Jacinda Hall, Podcast Editor
Jacinda Hall is the podcast editor for The Sunflower. Hall is a junior majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism and minoring in English literature. Her favorite quote is by Kurt Cobain: “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.” In her free time, Hall likes to go to the gym, crochet and make fancy beverages. Hall's pronouns are she/her.

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