Eli Roth was a name that no horror fan could ignore in the 2000s, no matter how much some of the more squeamish viewers might have wished they could. His directorial debut, “Cabin Fever,” established him as a bold new talent, and the first two “Hostel” episodes confirmed that he was willing to push boundaries like no other. Fast forward to his latest, 2023’s “Thanksgiving,” a gory holiday-themed slasher in which residents of Plymouth, Massachusetts are attacked by a masked killer.
- The ending of the Thanksgiving movie will be explained with spoilers
- Thanksgiving fans disappointed by murderer
The ending of the Thanksgiving movie will be explained with spoilers
Thanksgiving begins with a riot. It’s Black Friday in 2022 at the Rightmart supermarket, owned by the main character Jessica’s father. During the insane scenes inside, several people die, including Amanda, the wife of the store manager Mitch.
We then cut to a year later, when Jessica has since separated from her boyfriend Bobby; His arm was broken in the riot. As the townspeople prepare for Thanksgiving, it becomes clear that a mysterious attacker wearing a John Carver mask is murdering people involved in the horrific Black Friday disaster the year before.
The narrative progresses, revealing a series of shocking murders while expanding the shortlist of who we believe could be the killer.
Jessica’s family attends the Thanksgiving parade and cooperates with authorities in hopes of catching the murderer at the crime scene. However, Carver successfully kidnaps the family and they wake up tied to the kitchen table where a disturbing Thanksgiving feast has been prepared.
Luckily, Jessica cuts her bonds with a ring she received earlier and flees the killer through a forest before arriving at a warehouse where the floats for the Thanksgiving parade were being prepared.
She finds Sheriff Eric Newlon (played by Patrick Dempsey), knocked unconscious by his patrol car, before seeing Bobby wearing the Carver mask inside. However, Bobby escapes and Newlon comes to.
Then we find out: Bobby is not the murderer, but Newlon. Jessica deduces this when she sees the same material on her and Newlon’s clothes, confirming that he was the one who chased her over the fence and into the warehouse.
It turns out that he was having an affair with the Rightmart manager’s wife, who was also pregnant with his child. After she was killed in the early riots, Newlon vowed revenge against those who allowed such a tragedy to occur.
Little does he know that Jessica has livestreamed his confession, but before he can kill her, she is saved by Bobby and they try to escape the crazy psychopath. Using everything at her disposal, Jessica ends up shooting a parade balloon, causing an explosion that sets Newlon ablaze.
Authorities say they haven’t found the body, but everything turned to ashes anyway and the case is closed. Still, Jessica has nightmares of Newlon on fire and attacking her in her home.
Thanksgiving fans disappointed by murderer
While the film was generally well received in theaters, there was a segment of the fan base that took issue with the ending and only the ending.
Essentially, the argument is that Newlon is unlikely to be the murderer because then the story falls into plot holes. “So a character escapes a house in the woods and is chased by the murderer,” one viewer began to explain on Twitter/X. “She jumps over a fence and the murderer stops at the fence. Cut to her coming onto a road and seeing the sheriff’s car with the sheriff lying next to it…
“So he somehow beat her to it and changed his clothes. But wait, there’s more! He also explains that he was rendered unconscious by another character. That’s why he was on the ground. So he beat her to it and fought the whole fight even though she managed to get away from him.”
When writing down the argument, they added: “There must have been an extra scene cut from the film because it made absolutely no sense.” It really spoiled the ending because I was trying to figure out how that would work. It may not work, not as presented. It’s just lazy filmmaking.”
Another echoed: “The ending seemed lazily written, like they filmed most of the movie and just shrugged and asked, ‘So who should we make the murderer?’ I was expecting another twist.”
Simply put, another tweeted that “didn’t like the ending but everything before that was a success.”
Coming back to Carver’s identity, it continues to attract criticism. “The murderer revelation really doesn’t stand up to scrutiny,” argued another.
One fan clearly enjoyed it, but couldn’t help but comment: “It really didn’t make sense that there’s only one killer… like I’m tripping but homie can’t be in three places at once.”
Thanksgiving is now only in cinemas.
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