A Thanksgiving Horror Movie Is Trending On Netflix, And Yes, It’s Odd Timing, But Totally Worth Checking Out


Co-writer/director Eli Roth’s horror hit Thanksgiving promised audiences that they would “come home for the holidays… in a body bag.” While most would obviously assume that the festivities in question would best be suited for that titular point on the calendar, one of the best 2023 horror movies has recently trended on Netflix. To some, that might be odd timing, but I still think it’s totally worth checking this Turkey Day slasher, no matter what the calendar may say. 

Patrick Dempsey laughs at a diner counter in uniform in Thanksgiving.

(Image credit: Tri Star/Sony)

Why There’s Room At The Table For Thanksgiving In February

Before we go into the hows and whys, I’d like to take a moment to be thankful for Eli Roth’s current streaming hit. In our official Thanksgiving review, I couldn’t hide my enthusiasm for Roth and co-writer Jeff Rendell’s reinvention of their original Grindhouse trailer.

It was as bloody and hysterical as I had hoped for, right down to the end-credits stinger, which I won’t spoil, as it’s well worth the wait. While the picture is definitely themed after Thanksgiving’s inspirational holiday, it’s still a fantastic horror movie that genre fans can partake in year-round. 

Would you stop yourself from watching Jason Voorhees slashing up campers simply because it’s not Friday the 13th? Is Trick ‘r Treat not as delightfully spooky outside of the Halloween season? Horror is horror, no matter the season it’s themed after, and Thanksgiving is still just as fun in February. Consider it an excuse to make a mean turkey sandwich “out of season.”

Young Thanksgiving cast members

(Image credit: Sony)

So why now? Why is Thanksgiving so popular on streaming? Well, the word of mouth is still pretty strong, as we’re still technically in the title’s release cycle. Released into theaters last November, this bloody entree only hit home entertainment at the end of January 2024. Last weekend’s Netflix debut is probably still riding the waves of praise that have led to Thanksgiving 2 being set for 2025, and it’s even easier to gather together around the streaming device of choice and share the horror. 

Though there’s also the fact that the Thanksgiving cast has actors like Nell Verlaque and Milo Manheim among its ranks. Manheim, in particular, is a fan favorite thanks to his role in Disney’s Zombies franchise, as well as the music video for Sabrina Carpenter’s single “Feather.” 

Then again, you could probably make a case for the fact that Eli Roth alum and Suits scene stealer Rick Hoffman’s presence is driving the algorithm to connect fans of that USA dramedy to this bloody good time. There aren’t any wrong answers here, especially if you’re Mr. Roth!

Eli Roth in Thanksgiving Grindhouse trailer

(Image credit: Dimension)

Eli Roth’s Reactions To Thanksgiving’s Streaming Release

While release windows have shrunk quite a bit from the Before Times, there’s still plenty to get excited about when it comes to Thanksgiving. With a first place finish on President’s Day weekend, at the time of this publication the film is still sitting at #9 in the Netflix top 10. 

The Borderlands director is certainly thankful for the love, and highlighted the fantastic home entertainment release currently on shelves in a message on Instagram which read as follows:  

Netflix and KILL. @thanksgivingmovie has arrived on @netflix! I definitely think the Blu Ray / DVD is well worth getting for all the side dishes, but now you can enjoy the film the way it was always meant to be seen: on President’s Day Weekend.

Am I going to use my Netflix subscription to watch Thanksgiving again, after seeing it twice in theaters? You bet your giblets I am, and I’m still primed to pick up that delicious disc recommended above. If you haven’t seen Eli Roth’s latest yet, or if you’re hungry for more, I encourage you all to do the same. I’m sure Roth would agree that when it comes to John Carver’s reign of terror, there’s no wrong time to get stuffed.

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