Interview: Eli Roth Talks Thanksgiving

We talk with Eli Roth about his latest, the long awaited holiday-themed slasher, Thanksgiving, starring Patrick Dempsey

Last Updated on November 21, 2023

It started with Halloween. At an early age, I realized that holiday-themed horror flicks held a special place in my heart. Whether it’s My Bloody Valentine or Happy Birthday To Me, they all rocked my world. And when I first saw Eli Roth’s faux trailer Thanksgiving in the Grindhouse double feature, I was elated. It’s been a while since the 2007 release of Death Proof and Planet Terror, but Roth’s vision of a bloody holiday slasher has finally come to fruition. Thanksgiving opens with a brutal slow build that will give you pause if you plan on going shopping on Black Friday. After the impressive opening, Mr. Roth provides us with a blast of a slasher with this holiday gem.

Thanksgiving features Patrick Dempsey, Gina Gershon, Rick Hoffman, Addison Rae, and Milo Manheim, and it’s an entire course of genre fun. I recently sat down with Eli Roth to discuss the inspiration and the moments of homage featured in his latest. And as wild as the kills are, the Black Friday sequence immediately sets the mood. I asked him about the opening and how he built this terrifying and intense on-screen sequence. It will do the same for holiday shoppers as Final Destination 2 did for driving behind a logging truck on a crowded highway. Thanksgiving brings back the holiday-themed slasher in a fun and bold way. And yes, it’s brutal and wild. Thankfully, we have a movie to place between Halloween and Black Christmas this year.

Take your seat around the dinner table for Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving, opening this weekend at a theatre near you. Check back for our full review Friday!


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JimmyO is one of’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.