Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving: A Shocking Twist on the Holiday Horror Genre


Eli Roth, the mastermind behind Cabin Fever and Hostel, has delivered a new seasonal horror movie that will make you think twice before carving the turkey. Thanksgiving, which is based on a fake trailer that Roth made for the 2007 film Grindhouse, is a slasher film that follows a masked killer who terrorizes a small town in Massachusetts during the festive holiday. The movie, which stars Patrick Dempsey, Addison Rae, Milo Manheim, Rick Hoffman, and Gina Gershon, has a surprising twist that will leave you speechless. Here’s a breakdown of the ending of Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving and what it means for the future of the franchise.


The Origin of John Carver

The main antagonist of Thanksgiving is John Carver, a mysterious pilgrim who wears a mask made of human skin and wields a variety of sharp weapons. He is obsessed with punishing the town of Plymouth for their sins and desecrating the legacy of the first Thanksgiving. He kills anyone who crosses his path, whether they are locals, tourists, or cops. But who is John Carver and why is he so angry?

The movie reveals that John Carver is the descendant of the real John Carver, the first governor of Plymouth Colony and one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact. The real John Carver died in 1621, shortly after the first Thanksgiving feast. However, his bloodline continued and his family became the guardians of a dark secret: the first Thanksgiving was not a peaceful celebration between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans, but a bloody massacre orchestrated by the Pilgrims to wipe out the natives and claim their land.

The Carver family kept this secret for generations, passing down a ritual that involved sacrificing a human every year on Thanksgiving Day to appease the spirits of the dead natives. However, the ritual was interrupted in 1980, when a group of teenagers stumbled upon the Carver farmhouse and witnessed the gruesome ceremony. The teens managed to escape and alert the authorities, who raided the farmhouse and arrested the Carvers. The only survivor of the family was a young boy named John, who was taken to a foster home and later adopted by another family.

John grew up with a new identity and a new life, but he never forgot his true heritage and his mission. He became obsessed with revenge and restoring the honor of his ancestors. He spent years studying the history of Plymouth and the first Thanksgiving, as well as honing his skills as a killer. He also collected human skin from his victims and used it to create a mask that resembled his ancestor’s face. He waited for the right moment to return to Plymouth and unleash his wrath on the town that betrayed his family.

The Twist Ending

The movie follows a group of characters who are either residents or visitors of Plymouth during the Thanksgiving weekend. They include:

  • Sheriff Tom Bradford (Patrick Dempsey), a widowed father of two teenage daughters, is trying to keep the peace in the town and protect his family from the killer.
  • Kelly Bradford (Addison Rae), Tom’s older daughter, is a popular TikTok star and a rebellious teen. She is dating Jake (Milo Manheim), a local boy who works at a diner and has a crush on her.
  • Amy Bradford (Nell Verlaque), Tom’s younger daughter, who is a shy and nerdy girl. She is friends with Sam (Jalen Thomas Brooks), a smart and sarcastic boy who has a crush on her.
  • Mayor Roger Williams (Rick Hoffman), the corrupt and greedy mayor of Plymouth, is more concerned about the town’s tourism and revenue than the safety of the people. He is having an affair with his secretary, Tiffany (Gina Gershon), who is also his accomplice in a scheme to sell the town’s land to a developer.
  • Detective Mike Jones (Gabriel Davenport), a rookie cop who is assigned to work with Tom on the case. He is eager to prove himself and catch the killer, but he also has a secret agenda.

The movie follows these characters as they try to survive the night and stop John Carver from completing his ritual. Along the way, they discover clues about his identity and his motive, such as a diary that belonged to his ancestor, a map of the town’s landmarks, and a list of his intended victims. They also encounter other characters who either help or hinder them, such as a historian who knows the truth about the first Thanksgiving, a reporter who is investigating the mayor’s corruption, and a group of bikers who are looking for trouble.

The movie reaches its climax at the town’s annual Thanksgiving parade, where John Carver plans to kill his final victim: the mayor. He infiltrates the parade dressed as a pilgrim and makes his way to the mayor’s float, where he confronts him and reveals his true identity. He accuses the mayor of being a traitor and a thief and stabs him in the chest with a knife. He then takes off his mask and shows his face to the crowd, declaring himself as the true heir of Plymouth and the avenger of his family.

However, before he can finish his speech, he is shot by Tom, who arrives at the scene with Kelly, Amy, Sam, and Mike. They manage to subdue John and arrest him, while the mayor is taken to the hospital. The town is saved and the killer is caught, but the movie ends with a shocking twist: Mike, the detective, is John’s adoptive brother, and he was working with him all along. He reveals that he helped John escape from the foster home and gave him information about the town and the mayor. He also says that he has a backup plan in case John fails: he has planted a bomb under the parade float, which will explode in a few seconds. He then shoots Tom and runs away, leaving the others to die.

The movie ends with a countdown to the explosion, and a voice-over from John, who says that he is not the only one who knows the truth about the first Thanksgiving and that others like him will continue his legacy. He says that he will see them next year, and wishes them a happy Thanksgiving.

The Future of the Franchise

Eli Roth has stated that he hopes Thanksgiving will launch a new horror franchise, similar to Halloween and Friday the 13th. He said that he has ideas for sequels and prequels that will explore the history of the Carver family and their ritual, as well as the aftermath of the first movie. He also said that he wants to create a new mythology and slasher icon that will be associated with the holiday.

Roth has also hinted that some of the characters from the first movie might survive and return for the sequel, such as Kelly, Amy, and Sam. He said that he likes the idea of having a final girl who is a social media influencer, and a final boy who is a nerd. He also said that he wants to introduce new characters and locations, such as a college campus, a ski resort, or a cruise ship, where John Carver and his followers can strike again.

Roth has also expressed his interest in collaborating with other horror directors and creating a shared universe of holiday-themed slashers. He said that he would love to work with James Wan, Jordan Peele, and Ari Aster, and create movies based on other holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day. He said that he wants to make horror movies that are fun, scary, and unpredictable, and that celebrate the genre and its fans.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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