There’s dozens of Halloween horror movies, but why wait till the 31st when there’s a perfectly good opportunity for holiday horror on the second Monday in October? Enjoy this curated list of cinematic terror, all centred on turkey time.
Home Sweet Home (1981)
a.k.a. Slasher in the House, a.k.a Bloodparty, is a 1981 horror film starring Jake Steinfeld (founder of the “Body by Jake” brand, as well as Major League Lacrosse). Steinfeld plays a crazed PCP addict who terrorizes a houseful of victims at a remote country ranch on Thanksgiving. The dinner party is made up of an excellent collection of moustaches, turtlenecks, ‘70s lady styles, and a Kiss Army member who spends the whole movie in full stage makeup. Watch the full movie on YouTube.
Blood Rage (1987)
Everybody knows that, out of every set of twins, there’s a good twin, and a twin that thinks only of murder. Identical twin brothers Todd and Terry are no exception. After one brother is institutionalized and inevitably escapes, it’s a Thanksgiving Day massacre, full of mistaken identity, decapitations, dismemberments, and co-ed tackle football in high-waisted athletic wear.
This film is based on the Dean Koontz thriller of the same name (not to be confused with the 2003 French horror film “High Tension”, which plagiarized its plot). Newfoundland’s own Molly Parker plays Chyna (a troubled Psychology student, not the recently deceased lady wrestler, R.I.P). During a Thanksgiving vacation to her friend’s family home, John C. McGinley shows up as a toothy serial killer, dispatches the family, and takes Chyna on the worst road trip imaginable.
Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County (1998)
A teenager decides to document his family’s Thanskgiving dinner, and it goes poorly when extraterrestrials show up. This handi-cam pseudo-documentary was released a full year before The Blair Witch Project (1999), so it’s kind of impressive that it incorporated some of the elements that made the latter a cultural phenomenon. It’s a decent throwback to the Alien Autopsy videos of the nineties, and it leans into the confusion of viewers who believed it portrayed real events.
The absolute dregs of the “horror holiday” genre. This cynical “horror comedy” is sub-Sharknado in its ambition. The filmmakers try to be offensive with a rubber hand puppet for 70 minutes, and they run out of gas immediately. Bad-bad movie.
Haley Bennett (The Magnificent Seven) is a young college student, stuck by herself on campus over the Thanksgiving break after her holiday plans fall through. Bad news for her: she’s not alone. A gaggle of hooded cyber-cultists (from the Dark Web) lay siege to her dorm. Bar the door, Kristy! They’ve got your wifi password!