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Focus on the Frightful: Thanksgiving Horror

I almost didn’t title this Thanksgiving Horror because it’s misleading. I can’t say there is no horror but what is there is almost universally bad. Sometimes intentionally bad (Thankskilling) and sometimes…not? Gobble Gobble comes to mind and I’m still not entirely sure on it. To be fair, it’s supposed to be a horror comedy but most of the comedy unintentionally comes from the trainwreck that is this book.

Thankskilling movie cover

I did, however, find a list on IMDB containing all of fourteen titles in Thanksgiving horror movies. Even Easter horror has more titles in its list.

It feels like horror is just dead at this time of year. Science fiction, as well. Which can make genre reviewing a real pain at this time of year. Even Christmas is more forthcoming with the holiday horror!

I’ve also noticed that most Thanksgiving horror tends to lean more towards parody or satire. I would be really curious to see someone try to make a straightforward horror movie. I don’t know if that would even be possible. If you were to go to a Thanksgiving horror movie would you expect a horror movie played straight and not for irony or satire? Would you be expecting it to be?

I think it would be hard to because there’s just not much to work with. You’ve got turkeys and food. So if it were a straight up horror movie I feel like it would have to be a psychological horror or family drama horror that revolves around the holiday as a backdrop, not as the main focus. Intruder horror would work well, too, I think.

The family thing would also be a good dynamic. You could go with either an uncomfortable family secret thing. The creepy guest is always a good time. Because there you have the option to either make the creepy guest just outright creepy or a red herring type of thing.

ThanxGiving movie poster

I’m sorry if this has been a somewhat all over the place post but I think I’m still food-zoned out. I promise to be much more coherent in the next post! Let me know what you guys think, though. Could a straightforward Thanksgiving horror movie work? Can it only work as parody or satire?

Published inFocus on the Frightful


  1. I had a thought of a turkey farm where the demented farmer injects poison into some of the birds after they are harvested. He ships them with the rest and sits back to watch the news to find out if he was successful.

  2. Olga Nunez Miret

    I love Brian’s suggestion, and I think you’ve given screenwriters plenty of ideas. We don’t do Thanksgiving here, but your post has made me think of some films with old friend or neighbours turning up suddenly bearing gifts…

  3. Strange mysterious guest who is actually the reincarnation of a Native American killed on the first Thanksgiving, arrives at the home of the Standish family (yes, those Standishes . . . well, their descendants). The Standishes are a little weird themselves. For one thing, they are all rail thin. And for second, they never go out and shop for a turkey at Thanksgiving.

    No, when the Standishes think of Thanksgiving turkey, they think of human turkeys, really, really stupid people (not including themselves, of course). Murder and cannibalism are the foundation for their feast.

    This movie includes ten terrible things you can do with canned cranberry sauce (with or without the can still on), why you should be suspicious of people with walk-in ovens, and how to stage a production of “Titus Andronicus.” Oh, and those chicken fingers you ordered from the theater concession stand just before you sat down to watch this movie . . . ?

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