Thanksgiving horror flicks are a rarity – a rarity that I jump at the chance to watch. There’s so much you can do with the holiday, so why not jump on it when it’s so sparsely touched? The last Thanksgiving-themed horror I saw was ThanksKilling, and that was a bloody bunch of fun, so I was excited at the prospect of watching this screener. Thankfully (pun absolutely intended), first-time director Erick Lorinc provides a lively debut at Salem Horror Fest with The Last Thanksgiving, a slasher that pays homage to ’80s horror with cheesy humor, a killer synth-infused score, and plenty of gore.
The film centers on Lisa-Marie Taft (Samantha Ferrand), a teenager who is forced to go to work at the local diner on Thanksgiving. Her attitude is a constant annoyance throughout the film, and while it’s meant to be humorous, it took me out of some scenes and tainted parts of the film. She was nasty to everyone, from her parents to her boss and her coworkers (one of whom she calls a c*nt out of the blue). I didn’t feel connection at all to any of the characters, and most of the performances were awkward and silly due to overacting and the shouting of lines in a monotone voice. Nevertheless, the audience is not supposed to enjoy the film for its acting – which is certainly the film’s weakest point. To play devil’s advocate, Thanksgiving is a self-aware campy slasher that enjoys itself and doesn’t take anything too seriously. You can tell the cast and crew had a blast making it – which honestly added so much more enjoyment for me.
Lisa-Marie is told by her boss, along with her other annoyed coworkers, that because the restaurant is slow on Thanksgiving, they’re going to use the day to clean up. Annoyed, the staff do as they’re told, only to be targeted by a cannibalistic family that loves Thanksgiving so much that they punish those who don’t celebrate.
Too bad for the staff.
The gore and guts are the highlight of the film, along with the retro aesthetic and score that is carefully interwoven into The Last Thanksgiving. It’s a seriously fun movie to watch, just don’t expect anything too serious.
The Last Thanksgiving
dir. Erick Lorinc
World premiere via the Salem Horror Fest
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