For many, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to reunite with family and express your gratitude for everything that went well for you that year. For others, it's a chance to fill yourself with food, followed by hours sitting on a couch to digest while staring at a TV. For those of you inclined to watch horror movies, there are a handful of offerings that make a perfect fit for the holiday.
Compared to a holiday like Halloween, or even Christmas, Thanksgiving is lacking when it comes to clever ways to incorporate traditions to make a compelling horror movie. Maybe it's because the holiday is scary enough for turkeys, or maybe it's because discussing politics with relatives is potentially horrifying, but that hasn't stopped these movies from finding a way to relate to the traditional celebration.
Scroll down to see the perfect movies to pop on to make you think twice about cranberry sauce!
The ambitious endeavor from Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino is a holiday-appropriate selection for a variety of reasons.
Grindhouse was meant to honor the traditions of theaters offering two movies for the price of one, each film appealing to genre fans while never taking themselves too seriously. Much like how people celebrating Thanksgiving tend to pack themselves to the gills, Grindhouse is packed with entertainment.
At over three hours long, with two different films and a handful of faux movie trailers, Grindhouse gives audiences as much variety as the courses you'll feast on in honor of the holiday.
Another more specific connection to Thanksgiving comes in the form of the trailers created by filmmakers that aired between Planet Terror and Death Proof, with the Eli Roth-directed Thanksgiving trailer featuring a fictional murderer killing people on the holiday.
With the tagline, "Gobble, Gobble Motherf*cker," ThanksKilling proves to at least be one of the most memorable horror movies to take place on Thanksgiving.
After a dog relieves itself on a magical talisman, a demonic turkey is summoned to wreak havoc on a group of college kids celebrating their Thanksgiving break by camping in the woods. This turkey goes on a rampage to kill all of these coeds in a variety of ways, often throwing out a groan-inducing Thanksgiving pun that are almost as painful to hear as any physical injury suffered by characters in the film.
From the plot to the acting to the production value, ThanksKilling fails to succeed at creating a compelling movie on all fronts. The sheer absurdity of the film, however, can serve as an entertaining centerpiece when inviting friends over as a distraction from potentially argumentative family members. Additionally, the movie clocks in at only 70 minutes, so even if it's painful, things don't last too long.
Following 1974's Black Christmas, the horror genre saw a series of slashers whose interesting hook was the "holiday" over which the events of the film took place, from 1978's Halloween to 1980's Friday the 13th. In 1981, audiences got a pretty standard slasher in Home Sweet Home, with the only somewhat compelling element being that it took place during Thanksgiving.
Sometimes, all you need for a horror movie antagonist is an "escaped mental patient," and the rest of the movie writes itself. In the case of Home Sweet Home, audiences also get to see the escaped mental patient hopped up on PCP, virtually turning him into an unstoppable monster. This killing machine eventually discovers a get-together at a remote cabin and begins picking off guests one-by-one, with the remaining guests hoping the police arrive before no one's left.
The film might not have deaths that are very gruesome or a storyline that's compelling, but the film's killer proves himself a force to be reckoned with. If mindless slashers are your thing, Home Sweet Home is the Thanksgiving treat you're looking for.
If all you're looking for is a slasher set on Thanksgiving, Home Sweet Home has got you covered, but if you prefer a horror movie with at least a modicum of creativity, Blood Rage might be more up your alley.
When a young boy, Terry, kills someone at a drive-in movie theater, he quickly places the hatchet in his twin brother Todd's hand, allowing him to take the fall for the terrible crime. Todd is taken to a mental institution while Terry leads a seemingly normal life. Years later, Todd escapes the facility, making Terry fearful that he could be next on the chopping block at their family's Thanksgiving get-together. Terry believes the best way to ensure Todd heads back to the facility is to kill people and frame Todd, putting the brothers on a collision course to see who will eventually be locked up.
Similar to a slasher like Sleepaway Camp, which appeared to be a stereotypical summer camp slasher at first glance and became far more convoluted and complex than it had any right to be, Blood Rage features many twists and turns to keep its viewers hooked. Also, much like Sleepaway Camp, the film's climax is nearly as shocking as any of the complex pivots in the narrative, making for a surprisingly satisfying story.
The previously mentioned films all have a variety of elements that make for an entertaining watch for the
One of the first "found footage" movies, the story involves a camera crew disappearing into the Amazon to document a reclusive tribe of natives. Given that their footage is "found," you probably already know that tribe wasn't very welcoming of the film crew, who all have met various methods of a gruesome demise.
Without question, Cannibal Holocaust is one of the most controversial horror films of all time, not just to the average moviegoer, but even to the most desensitized horror fan. The special effects for the human characters are adequately disgusting, while the true horrors come from the treatment of animals.
Made prior to regulations surrounding animal cruelty and in countries with more lax laws, the film features the actual on-screen murders of a turtle, a boa constrictor, a spider monkey and more. Cannibal Holocaust is, without a doubt, one of the toughest movies to stomach, which might make it the perfect film to lure in a friend to watch who you hope will give up meat.