It's almost here! It feels like just yesterday that we were celebrating Halloween, yet tonight is the eve of Thanksgiving, which means it's time for annual "films to watch on Thanksgiving" lists!...
...Since tomorrow is a day of stuffing our faces like the turkeys in our ovens, getting drunk, and avoiding family, here's a list of STREAMING horror films which are perfect for the holiday!
In no particular order:
Written/Directed by Jordan Downey (Thankskilling 3)
Synopsis: A homicidal turkey axes off college kids during Thanksgiving break.
Some might argue that Thankskilling is the quintessential Thanksgiving horror film, (the gravy is in the name, after all), and they may be right. Downey's film is FAR from what one would call a "good" movie, falling squarely into the "so dumb" it's bad category, and you can't really expect much more than that out of a film which begins with a shot of boobs, quickly followed by an introduction to a murderous, talking turkey. What Thankskilling lacks in production value and really any sort of "quality", it makes up for with crude jokes, creativity, and insane mayhem. As Turkie might say, gobble this one up, mother fuckers (though I'd wait until you're about six beers into the day).
Available on Amazon Prime
Into the Dark: Flesh and Blood (2018)
Directed by Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine remake)
Synopsis: Kimberly, a teenager suffering from agoraphobia, has not left the house since her mother's unsolved murder. On the eve of Thanksgiving, she begins to suspect that the safe harbor of home and her doting father may be a dangerous mirage.
While this would not be my first choice to watch on this list, as Lussier's film is a bit predictable and not nearly as entertaining as the rest, Flesh and Blood offers perhaps the most traditional sorts of Thanksgiving day themes. This film is full of tension between Kimberly and her dad, touching heavily on the theme of familial horror.
Available on Hulu
Blood Rage (1987)
Directed by John Grissmer (Scalpel)
Synopsis: As kids, Todd is institutionalized for a murder whilst his twin goes free. 10 years later, on Thanksgiving, Todd escapes and a killing spree begins in his neighborhood.
Aside from Thankskilling, they don't get much dumber than Blood Rage, and that's why I love it. As most "Thanksgiving Day themed horror", Blood Rage is a heaping pile of what the hell is going on B-horror, enough to keep you stuffed for the whole day. Grissmer's film has no rhyme or reason to it, contains loads of laugh-inducing bad dialogue, but is also packed to the brim with inventive gore and fun kills that make this one an entertaining, albeit laughably bad, ride.
Platform: Amazon Prime
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Directed by Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist)
Synopsis: Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.
I know, Texas Chainsaw Massacre has NOTHING to do with Thanksgiving, but I wanted this contain not just the usual suspects, but some unusual suspects as well, and while Hooper's film doesn't contain any reference to turkeys and pilgrims, it IS about a fucked up family gathering for dinner...dinner just happens to be people, but is the gathering really all that different from your Thanksgiving?
Available on Shudder
The Invitation (2015)
Directed by Karyn Kusama (Jennifer's Body)
Synopsis: A man accepts an invitation to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife, an unsettling affair that reopens old wounds and creates new tensions.
Another out of left field recommendation, The Invitation was one of my favorite horror films in 2015, with a slow burn plot concerning a gathering of friends for a dinner that doesn't go as everyone plans. This film is nothing like the others, replacing B-horror gore and humor with a tension-filled pace and depressing yet powerful themes that will haunt you long after the credits roll. Save this one for the end of the night, unless you want to spend the day curled up in a ball, paranoid that the people at your gathering are going to try to murder you. Aren't the holidays fun?
Available on Netflix
Also, don't forget to stream Joe Bob Brigg's "Dinners of Death" on Shudder tomorrow, which will feature 4 unannounced horror films hosted by Briggs himself! Have a happy Thanksgiving!
By Matt Konopka