BLACK FRIDAY (2021) Reviews and overview

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‘They have no idea what tonight has in-store’
Black Friday is a 2021 American comedy horror film about disgruntled toy store employees who have to battle shoppers on the titular dumb day. Worse, the shoppers have been transformed into monstrous, vulture-like creatures by a mysterious alien parasite!

Directed by Casey Tebo (Happy Birthday) from a screenplay written by Andy Greskoviak. Produced by Bruce Campbell and Warner Davis.

The Warner Davis Company MFW Productions movie stars Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead franchise), Devon Sawa (Hunter, Hunter; Final Destination), Michael Jai White (Spawn), Ivana Baquero (Pan’s Labyrinth), Ryan Lee and Stephen Peck.

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Blurb:
“Everyone knows Black Friday is the worst day to work in retail. Something about a good deal turns even the sanest consumer into a wild animal. But the usual chaos and violence pale in comparison to what the employees of the “We Love Toys” store must face this time around.

Devon Sawa stars as a down-on-his-luck father in the midst of a divorce, lamenting his job as a low-level toy store employee. He and the other rambunctious, overworked crew of staffers are prepared for a typically exhausting Black Friday full of shoppers hungry for a deal, but they could never have expected the shoppers to turn into blood-hungry maniacs with only one goal: Come together to feed and combine their powers into something full-on Lovecraftian.

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While Sawa continues his successful renaissance in the genre world with a refreshing turn as the cynical leader of the employees, it’s the inimitable Bruce Campbell who really surprises as the bumbling, uptight manager, Jonathan: a decidedly less heroic character than we’ve come to expect from him. Add in a healthy splash of outrageous gore and some ooey-gooey creature effects, and this is the soon-to-be-cult holiday horror movie you never knew you needed.

Casey Tebo’s horror-comedy is delightfully entertaining, witty, and easily the best commentary on the dark side of capitalism since Dawn of the Dead. ‘We hope you find the deals you’re looking for this Black Friday, shoppers!'”

In a statement to Variety, Casey Tebo said: “When Andy sent me this script, it was such a blast! It reminded me of some of my favourite holiday horror movies like Gremlins or Krampus. I could see myself running to a midnight showing to see this with other horror fans, and at the same time, I could see my kids watching it at a sleepover with their friends. It’s imaginative, original, scary, fun, and the right bit of ridiculous – and that’s all the things I want to see in a movie!”

Devon Sawa told Bloody Disgusting: “We’ve relied on old-fashioned filmmaking. Robert Kurtzman, the SFX team, has all prosthetics. It’s like you walk onto where we’re shooting and there’s rooms of like heads, and a whole team of people painting, and we got hydraulic bubbles. I’m sure there’s going to be a few where they’re gonna have to do CGI because there’s some car throwing and all this stuff, but we’re back in old school prosthetic world.”

Reviews:

” …obvious, predictable and corny. It’s unclear how you squander a setting as rife with potential as a toy store, but Black Friday manages to do just that. This isn’t to say that it’s without merit, as anyone who wants to see Campbell and Sawa go toe-to-toe against Black Friday alien mutants will find something to enjoy here.” Bloody Disgusting

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