Friday, June 21, 2024

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    Terrifying Thanksgiving Thrills Unleashed: Eli Roth’s Cinematic Homage to Plymouth’s Dark Secrets!

    For nearly every festive occasion, a horror film emerges, be it “My Bloody Valentine” or “Black Christmas.” Even Thanksgiving, the holiday associated with turkeys, has its own horror movie titled “Thanksgiving,” directed by Eli Roth and featuring a star-studded ensemble cast including Addison Rae, Patrick Dempsey, and Gina Gershon.

    Currently playing in theaters, the movie is inspired by a gruesome faux trailer Roth created in 2007 for “Grindhouse” a homage to exploitation cinema by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. “Thanksgiving” revolves around a masked killer resembling the pilgrim John Carver, haunting modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, a year after a deadly Black Friday department store riot.

    In a recent phone interview, Roth shared that he and screenwriter Jeff Rendell, a childhood friend, had envisioned creating a Thanksgiving horror movie since their youth. Roth, a native of Newton, Massachusetts, expressed their desire to fill the horror movie void that often existed between October and mid-December when family films dominated the scene.

    The delay in bringing “Thanksgiving” to fruition was attributed to the difficulty in crafting a compelling storyline. Roth explained the challenge of transitioning from a fake trailer, where only the best parts are showcased without the need for coherence, to a full-length feature. The breakthrough came when Roth conceptualized the film as a 2023 reboot of a shocking and offensive Thanksgiving movie from 1980, with the premise that all prints were destroyed except for one elusive trailer.

    The film serves as a horror love letter to Plymouth, drawing inspiration from other regional horror films with specific accents like “Friday the 13th” and “Don’t Go in the House.” Roth highlighted the fun on set, where the cast embraced the distinctive Massachusetts accent, describing it as his most enjoyable experience since the first “Hostel.”

    The decision to name the iconic pilgrim killer John Carver was influenced by the historical figure who served as the original governor of New Plymouth Colony. Roth found it too serendipitous to pass up the opportunity for a great slasher movie villain.

    Fans of the original trailer will be pleased to know that some of its most gruesome scenes, such as the cheerleader, trampoline, and knife sequence, have made a comeback. Roth explained the lasting impact of such scenes, emphasizing the visceral and deep reactions they evoke, especially when innocence and pleasure turn into Freudian moments of death.

    Another memorable scene involves corn cob holders in ears, showcasing Roth’s fascination with the details that make Thanksgiving-themed weapons both awful and hilarious. Drawing inspiration from films like “Evil Dead,” Roth explained that the audience’s reaction to deaths connected to Thanksgiving dinner was intense.

    The director also shared his perspective on doorbuster events, admitting that being Jewish provided a more relaxed alternative during the holiday season. Roth humorously sidestepped the chaos of Christmas shopping, letting others navigate the doorbuster frenzy.

    As for Roth’s Thanksgiving plans, he described a big dinner at his house, featuring wood-fired pizza as an appetizer, prepared by his Italian wife, an exceptional cook. The conversation concluded with Roth humorously expressing his goal to ruin everyone else’s Thanksgiving dinner, a playful nod to the horrors depicted in his movie.

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