Black Friday (Movie Review)

Last Updated on December 21, 2021

PLOT: Employees at a We Love Toys store have their worst Black Friday ever when the shoppers are turned into monstrous creatures.

REVIEW: Much like The Blob and the The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill segment of Creepshow, director Casey Tebo‘s Black Friday starts with a meteor falling from the sky. In this case, it doesn’t release a carnivorous gelatin or turn people into living Chia pets, it basically turns them into zombies and mutates them into hideous creatures from there – creatures that were brought to the screen through some cool-looking makeup effects.

A glimpse of a news report tells us that multiple meteors have fallen and caused people to get sick, but the employees at a We Love Toys toy store don’t have time to worry about all that. It’s Thanksgiving evening and they’ve clocked in to work the night shift leading into Black Friday, with the frenzied shoppers lining up outside. Almost immediately after the doors are opened to let those shoppers start streaming in, things inside the store go to hell because there’s “meteor shit” (as Jordy Verrill would call it) inside the store and the shoppers start getting infected.

The concept of store employees battling alien-zombie-creature shoppers is a great one, cooked up by screenwriter Andy Greskoviak, and the hype builds when you see that some of these employees are played by the likes of Devon Sawa, Michael Jai White, Ivana Baquero… and best of all, the legendary Bruce Campbell as the store manager. That’s right, this movie puts the stars of The Evil Dead, Bubba Ho-tep, Idle Hands, Final Destination, Spawn, Black Dynamite, and Pan’s Labyrinth together, then unleashes monsters on them. But I’m pretty sure the movie that most genre fans imagine in their heads when they hear the set-up and the cast list is more exciting than Black Friday actually turns out to be.

There are some fun creature attack scenes and amusing lines, definitely, but I was a bit let down by the movie overall. It wasn’t as exciting or funny as I hoped it would be, and has too many scenes of miserable people talking about how miserable they are. Sawa’s character Ken is bummed about his divorce and not being able to have a proper Thanksgiving with his kids. His germophobic co-worker Chris (Ryan Lee of Super 8 and Goosebumps) hates his job and has a bad relationship with his father. Ken has more reason to be upset when he finds out Baquero’s character Marnie, much younger than him, isn’t as into their budding relationship as he is. These people are kind of a drag, focusing on this stuff when there are monsters in the vicinity.

Black Friday Casey Tebo Stephen Peck Bruce Campbell

Black Friday isn’t as cool as it could have been, so temper expectations – but setting aside its potential and taking it for what it is, it is a decent creature feature. White isn’t given all that much to do, but his nail-gun wielding character Archie is shown to be a badass on a couple occasions. There’s an elderly employee who has some hilarious moments. And one thing I absolutely loved about the movie was Bruce Campbell‘s character Jonathan. He is the opposite of Evil Dead hero Ash, which is how it should be. Campbell has formally retired from the role of Ash, and if I saw him acting like a capable monster killer in another movie it would just make me sad that he wasn’t playing Ash in a new Evil Dead sequel instead. Giving him the role of Jonathan here was perfect casting, and Campbell is really funny in the role.

Black Friday throws some monster action at you, provides some laughs, you get to hear a good score composed by Patrick Stump and get to see some nice special effects, then it lets you get on your way before it has taken up too much of your time: only 79 minutes go by before the end credits start rolling. It wasn’t everything I wanted it to be, but it’s fun enough for a viewing or two.

Screen Media is giving Black Friday a theatrical release on November 19th, with a VOD release to follow on November 23rd.

Arrow in the Head reviews Black Friday, which pits Devon Sawa, Bruce Campbell, and Michael Jai White against alien zombie creatures.

Black Friday



Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.