Turkey day now has its own potential film franchise with “Thanksgiving.”

(“Thanksgiving” trailer courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Very rarely does a writer for RegalMag.com review a movie after it hits theaters.

However, this is Thanksgiving week and Regal knows its readers would be thankful not to read another negative political piece.

Therefore readers, be thankful that this holiday might have a movie franchise similar to that of Halloween, that is if you can handle a lot of guts and gore, which might ruin your appetite if you watch it on Thanksgiving Day.

Unfortunately, society has gotten so out of hand and selfish that people cannot even wait until Black Friday to capitalize on those good deals and stores.

In “Thanksgiving,” it is no longer good enough to sleep over night in the cold just to save some coins on a waffle iron.

Business owners now want to capitalize on that frenzy by opening their doors on a holiday when many employees would much rather be spending quality time with their family.

But seeing dollar signs in his head leads Thomas Wright (Rick Hoffman) to open his store to rowdy customers even though he has only hired two security guards.

Luckily for Thomas, he has a police officer for a friend in Sherriff Eric Newlon (Patrick Dempsey).

And Eric agrees to cut his time short at a holiday party to provide crowd control for the Thanksgiving Day shoppers.

To make matters worse at the store is when Jessica uses her privilege as the store owner’s daughter to let her friends like Bobby (Jalen Thomas Brooks), Evan (Tomaso Sanelli), Yulia (Jenna Warren), Gabby (Addison Rae) and Scuba (Gabriel Davenport) get into the store early before it opens to the general public.

Let’s just say all you know what breaks loose.

While people are accustomed to mayhem on Black Friday, which often results in injury and property damage, the “Thanksgiving” massacre in Plymouth, Mass. leads to gruesome deaths and career-altering injuries.

But what the melee does not lead to is much remorse, evidence of what actually happened so that legal action can take place or, more importantly, changed behavior.

Although Thomas does some public relations stunts to repair his reputation, he does not keep the store closed a year later, which upsets many in the town.

And when Thomas’ daughter Jess and her friends begin getting tagged in weird social media posts commemorating the anniversary of the deadly massacre, she is determined to get her dad to change his mind about opening the store this Thanksgiving.

And when people involved in the massacre begin suffering gruesome murders, it is only a matter of time before those closest to the store find themselves the victim of a demented psychopath hellbent on retribution.

But how should they handle the situation?

Should they wait for the killer to attack them and just be on the defensive?

Or should they become proactive and take it to the killer before he strikes again?

But who could the killer be?

After the massacre, some people went missing in action, and now all of a sudden, they are back in town.

Some people lied about what they did the day of the massacre.

Could they be the killer?

Whoever the killer is, how can one find out who it is, when everyone in the community is dressed the same with the same mask for the Thanksgiving festivities?

While “Thanksgiving” is a horror/slasher film that does not break new ground in those genres, it does break some barriers when it comes to movies based on holidays.

When many think of Thanksgiving, they think of turkey, sweet potato pie and Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys football games.

They probably do not think that their loved-ones could face such a gruesome death that they become a part of the Thanksgiving meal.

“Thanksgiving” is like the holiday version of the “Scream” franchise.

And if the film is lucky, which is a possibility because of the favorable reviews it has received from moviegoers, it might have several sequels and spinoffs like its “Scream” counterparts.

What is yet to be seen is if it creates pop culture stars like “Scream” did with actors like Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette.

“Thanksgiving” does not yet have a character as lovable as the not-so-bright, Deputy Dewey (Arquette).

And although “Thanksgiving” does have the star power of Dempsey, some of the young stars have not made a name for themselves amongst adult audiences to compare with “Scream” stars like Drew Barrymore.

However, what “Thanksgiving” does have is stomach-turning gore that might make those with weak tummies turn their head.

But like many horror films, the actual horror can become comedic and cartoonish.

Unfortunately, the guts and gore of “Thanksgiving” does come off as funny too often to be taken seriously.

Furthermore, “Thanksgiving” is understandably cliché.

The film ends in a “Halloween” kind of way, leaving the door just ajar enough for potential sequels if the original does well enough at the box office.

And that is the best thing about the potential of a “Thanksgiving” franchise.

There is enough for more films.

Maybe not enough to keep it going decades like the aforementioned “Halloween” and “Scream.”

But it has its own Michael Myers type bad guy.

It has its good guys like Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) in “Halloween.”

And it has a virtual monopoly of holidays films that focus more on the months of October, December and even February.

“Thanksgiving” is currently in theaters nationwide.







Todd A. Smith
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