9 Thanksgiving Horror Films for a Terrifyingly Good Time

Thanksgiving, a time for gratitude and family gatherings, can also be the perfect setting for horror enthusiasts to indulge in a unique genre blend. Here are nine Thanksgiving-themed horror films that promise to keep the spooky spirit alive, each with its own eerie twist on the holiday festivities.

Black Friday! (2021)

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“Black Friday!” is a horror-comedy directed by Casey Tebo, featuring a star-studded cast including Devon Sawa, Michael Jai White, and Bruce Campbell. Set on Thanksgiving night in a toy store preparing for Black Friday shoppers, the story takes a wild turn as an alien parasite crashes onto Earth, transforming locals into monsters. The film’s unique blend of satire, horror, and comedy, along with its holiday setting, makes it a standout choice for Thanksgiving viewing. Bruce Campbell’s inclusion, a horror icon, adds an extra layer of appeal for genre fans.

Blood Rage (1987)

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“Blood Rage,” directed by John Grissmer, is another Thanksgiving-centered slasher film. The plot revolves around Todd and Terry, identical twins embroiled in a deadly conflict on Thanksgiving Day. The story escalates as Terry, who had previously framed Todd for the murder of their mother’s lover, finds himself confronted by his twin, who has escaped from a mental institution seeking revenge. Starring Mark Soper and Louise Lasser, this film is a blend of awkwardness and gore, encapsulated by its memorable tagline, “This Thanksgiving, it’s not cranberry sauce.” The movie offers an interesting twist on sibling rivalry set against the backdrop of a Thanksgiving family gathering.

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ThanksKilling (2008)

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“ThanksKilling,” directed by Jordan Downey, is a wacky addition to the Thanksgiving horror genre. The film centers around a killer turkey, a product of necromancy by a disgraced Native American seeking revenge on pilgrim descendants. The turkey’s 500-year cycle of terror aligns with a group of college students’ journey home for the holiday. Starring Natasha Cordova, Lindsey Anderson, Lance Predmore, Aaron Carlson, and Ryan Francis, this film is known for its quirky narrative and spawned a sequel, “ThanksKilling 3,” as well as a musical adaptation, showcasing its unique and humorous approach to the horror genre.

Séance (2006)

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Directed by Mark L Smith, “Séance” is a supernatural horror film set during Thanksgiving break. The plot follows five college students who decide to conduct a séance in their Manhattan dorm, hoping to rid the building of an annoying ghost. However, their plan backfires, and they inadvertently conjure up the ghost’s killer instead. Starring Bridget Shergalis, Tori White, and Chauntal Lewis, the film was recognized at ShockerFest, winning the award for Best Horror Picture in 2006. “Séance” delivers a chilling story of unintended consequences, merging the supernatural with the tension of a holiday break.

Kristy (2014)

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“Kristy,” directed by Olly Blackburn, is a suspenseful horror film set during Thanksgiving break. The story focuses on a college student who, staying alone on campus, becomes the target of a trio of deranged cult members. As the protagonist fights for survival, the film’s intensity grows, drawing viewers into a gripping tale of resilience and terror. Starring Haley Bennett and Ashley Greene, “Kristy” was recognized with two iHorror award nominations for Best Final Girl and Best Sleeper Film, underscoring its effectiveness in delivering a harrowing and engaging horror experience.

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Pilgrim (2019)

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Part of Hulu’s ‘Into The Dark’ anthology series, “Pilgrim” is directed by Marcus Dunstan and presents a home invasion narrative with a Thanksgiving twist. The film follows a family who invites actors portraying historical pilgrims into their home for the holiday, aiming to practice gratitude. However, the situation turns terrifying as these re-enactors refuse to break character, transforming the Thanksgiving celebration into a fight for survival. Starring Courtney Henggeler, Reign Edwards, and Kerr Smith, “Pilgrim” stands out for its gory take on the holiday and the unexpected horror that unfolds within the family home.

Home Sweet Home (1981)

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Directed by Nettie Pena, “Home Sweet Home” takes the Thanksgiving horror genre to classic slasher heights. The story revolves around a PCP-addicted mental patient who escapes confinement and hijacks a station wagon, leading him to a family gathering on Thanksgiving. This intrusion turns a wholesome family event into a nightmarish ordeal. The film stars Jake Steinfeld, Peter De Paula, and Vinessa Shaw, and is characterized by its classic 80s horror elements, including cheesy tropes and dramatic special effects. It’s a quintessential slasher flick, representing the era’s style and providing a twisted take on Thanksgiving celebrations.

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Boogeyman (2005)

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Directed by Stephen Kay, “Boogeyman” is not directly set on Thanksgiving, but it captures the essence of the post-holiday season. The film follows Barry Watson’s character, who must face his childhood fears and the mysterious boogeyman responsible for his father’s death 16 years prior. The protagonist’s return to his childhood home after Thanksgiving break serves as the backdrop for this supernatural horror story. The film achieved notable success, reaching number one at the box office during its opening weekend, and offers a suspenseful exploration of fear and the unknown.

Poultrygeist: Night Of The Chicken Dead (2006)

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Concluding the list is Lloyd Kaufman’s “Poultrygeist: Night Of The Chicken Dead,” a musical horror comedy with a ludicrous plot. The film, produced by Troma Entertainment, tells the story of a fast-food restaurant built on a Native American burial ground, where the chickens transform into zombies and attack the staff. While not directly related to Thanksgiving, its chicken-themed plot makes it a fitting and humorous addition to the holiday horror lineup.

As the Thanksgiving season approaches, these nine horror films offer a diverse range of terrifying and entertaining options for those looking to maintain the Halloween spirit. For more film recommendations and curated movie collections, visit hitplay.app.

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