- Directed by Casey Tebo
- November 19, 2021
A parasitic organism attacks a toy store on Black Friday and turns the shoppers into violent creatures.
If you have ever worked retail-especially on a Black Friday-then this movie is most certainly for you. Black Friday takes everything that happens behind the scenes as well as with the public and twists it into a bizarre horror comedy. It is a genuinely funny story with gore and laughs used to poke at the annual event. There is plenty of action and it is appropriately gory but with a bit of a goofy flair. You’re not going to be shocked or grossed out but rather entertained.
All the characters fit a stereotype that in my personal experience you can find to one extent or another in just about any retail outlet. There is Ken (Devon Sawa) who lost his better job ten years ago and is still working this ‘temporary’ position all while trying to be the coolest person there. Marnie (Ivana Baquero) is the young woman with far too much potential for the place. Chris (Ryan Lee) is the sheltered dude who thought the job would be fun but finds out it isn’t. Archie (Michael Jai White) is far too tough and cool to be real. And finally Jonathan (Bruce Campbell who also serves as producer) is the store manager with really nothing beyond running the store. Black Friday is very tongue-in-cheek but not with purposely bad performances. Whether or not they took the role for a paycheck, they give it a good effort.
The jokes hit great and flow naturally. The script for a low budget horror comedy is extremely well done. The bonding scene with the sliced turkey that turns hostile is surprisingly honest and well acted. It is one of those moments that gets beyond the surface presentation of the individuals and makes them full realized characters in a strangely human way.
We don’t get an origin about what’s going on but rather the story focuses on the events within that store. Why is this happening? Why do these creatures take over some and merge while dismembering others? Why is it all merging in the store much like the creature from Season Three of Stranger Things? I have no idea but saving the world and stopping this apocalypse is not what the story is about. It’s about surviving the events in that store. Things are set up early on where the payoff is down the line. From characters to story elements the narrative is expertly put together in this properly directed film.
As stories go there is not much here. It is all about surviving while delving into the core of the characters. The point is to set up one monster attack after the other until the grand confrontation at the end with jokes set up along the way. In that it does not fail.
Black Friday is a great holiday-oriented horror comedy. There are entertaining characters and great jokes. This will satisfy not only those who have worked retail but those who like a good laugh. I recommend this one!