Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Black Friday: Movie Review





Funny, disgusting and entertaining.
How has there not been a Black Friday set horror movie until now? After Halloween, it is the ideal holiday tailor-made for the genre, and yet nobody has pulled it off. Luckily our first foray into the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas shopping day is a bloody entertaining horror-comedy romp. It’s Thanksgiving night at a Toys R Us type store with a dozen employees on the inside and a couple hundred shoppers on the outside.   2021

Directed by: Casey Tebo

Screenplay by: Andy Greskoviak

Starring: Bruce Campbell, Devon Sawa,
Ivana Baquero and Ryan Lee

Other than the do-gooder employees, nobody is looking forward to this day. And then just a few minutes into the early morning Black Friday deals, as one of the newest employees discovers, shoppers are indistinguishable from demons. A lot of the humour may seem obvious, but I’ll just go back to the opening point, how has this movie not been made before? Everything about it seems like it should have been done a thousand times before, but nope, it is just a perfectly established horror-comedy.

From the opening song choices to the very effective introduction of the main employees, Black Friday sets the right tone. It’s funny and fast, and then quickly becomes very bloody and gooey and gory and disgusting while remaining funny. The core actors are all good. Ken (Devon Sawa) is the older, mainstay employee who hates the store, hates the shoppers, hates most things about life except his kids and the flirtatious thing he has going on with Marnie (Ivana Baquero). Marnie is the perfect mix between the try-to-hard employee-of-the-month type and the don’t-try-at-all Ken-type. Chris (Ryan Lee) cares about his job but only because his parents don’t care about him at all, and he has to care about something otherwise life becomes too miserable. And then there’s Jonathan (Bruce Campbell) the manager.

As everybody else has realized that this year’s shoppers are gathering into some kind of zombie flesh-eating demon, Jonathan is still insisting the store remains open and we have to meet corporate’s sales targets. Think the sitcom Superstore meets any bloody/violent horror movie. I typically don’t go for horror movies, especially the ones of the particularly disgusting variety, but I enjoyed this.

It’s funny and tense at the same time. The concept for the source of the horror is excellent, and it does a solid job maintaining the comedy while the gory action and body counts start piling up. Black Friday is funny and disgusting and silly and stupid, and overall, an entertaining hour and a half. Probably best to only go shopping during regular store hours.