Thanksgiving Repeats A 42-Year-Old Horror Mistake That Almost Killed A Franchise

By Adrienne Tyler Published 2 minutes ago

Thanksgiving ended up repeating a decades-long horror mistake that almost killed one of horror’s biggest franchises, but it can be fixed.

Thanksgiving Repeats A 42-Year-Old Horror Mistake That Almost Killed A Franchise


  • Thanksgiving ends with a twist revealing Sheriff Newlon as the killer and burning him alive, paralleling Halloween II's mistake.
  • Thanksgiving 2 could work without Newlon by introducing new suspects and connecting to past events.
  • Despite confirming a sequel, Thanksgiving risks mirroring the Michael Myers storyline that almost destroyed Halloween franchise.


Thanksgiving takes inspiration from various horror classics, but in the process, it also repeated a decades-long mistake that almost killed one of horror’s biggest franchises. Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse project saw a couple of fake trailers with promising concepts, among them one by Eli Roth titled Thanksgiving. Over a decade after its release, Thanksgiving became a full-feature film, with Roth back as director and co-writer with Jeff Rendell. Thanksgiving takes viewers to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where the title celebration took a sinister turn.

During Thanksgiving, RightMart’s Black Friday sale went horribly, resulting in riots, stampedes, and many deaths. The following year, as RightMart prepared for another Black Friday sale, a mysterious killer dressed in black and wearing a John Carver mask started targeting and killing those involved in last year’s tragedy. John Carver put special attention on the daughter of RightMart’s owner, Jessica (Nell Verlaque), and her friends, who were partly responsible for the riots. The reveal of John Carver’s identity in Thanksgiving comes with a twist, but also with an old mistake from Halloween II.

Sheriff Newlon's Survival Repeats Halloween 2's Michael Myers’ Mistake


Sheriff Newlon (Patrick Dempsey) was present at the deadly Black Friday sale and saw his friend’s wife, Amanda, die there, so it wasn’t surprising that he was involved in the investigation of the murders the following year. To Jessica’s (and the rest) surprise, Newlon was John Carver, as he wanted revenge for Amanda’s death, with whom he was having an affair and who was pregnant with his child. At the end of Thanksgiving, Jessica and Bobby (Jalen Thomas Brooks) escaped from Newlon after Jessica shot a turkey parade balloon attached to a tank of flammable gas, provoking an explosion.

Newlon was engulfed in flames, but when the authorities arrived the next day, his remains were nowhere to be found, and while they believed he was incinerated, Jessica believed he was still alive. The explosion, Newlon being engulfed in flames, and his potential survival are repeating the same mistake Halloween II made with Michael Myers. Halloween II takes place at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, where towards the end of the movie, Laurie and Loomis fill the room they’re in with Michael with flammable gas, and as Laurie escapes, Loomis sets it on fire, causing an explosion.

In total disbelief, Laurie sees Michael engulfed in flames and emerging from the fire before collapsing. Somehow, Michael Myers survived the same explosion that killed Loomis, and years later, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers made it even worse by revealing Michael survived being burned alive and had been in a coma for a decade. These unbelievable Michael Myers moments almost killed the Halloween franchise, and Thanksgiving risks stepping into that same territory with Newlon’s fate.

How Thanksgiving 2 Can Work Without Sheriff Newlon

Thanksgiving Repeats A 42-Year-Old Horror Mistake That Almost Killed A Franchise

A sequel to Thanksgiving was quickly confirmed by Eli Roth to be in development, so the big question of what truly happened to Newlon at the end will be answered. However, Thanksgiving 2 happening doesn’t mean that Newlon has to be alive, as the sequel can easily work without him. Thanksgiving had another big suspect that turned out to be just a minor character: Mitch, Amanda’s husband. As Jessica live-streamed Newlon’s confession, Mitch would have even more reasons to want revenge, thus becoming the new John Carver killer in Thanksgiving 2.

The sequel could also expand on Newlon’s past and introduce someone directly connected to him who would want revenge, which could be used to bring back Jessica, Scuba, and Bobby as they could be the killer’s targets again. Thanksgiving 2 doesn’t need Newlon to work, but it does need to confirm if he died or not.

Director Eli Roth Release Date November 17, 2023 Cast Addison Rae , Patrick Dempsey , Jalen Thomas Brooks , Nell Verlaque , Milo Manheim , Gina Gershon

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