2023's Most Overlooked Patrick Dempsey's R-Movie Blows Up Netflix's Top 10

2023's Most Overlooked Patrick Dempsey's R-Movie Blows Up Netflix's Top 10
Image credit: ABC, TriStar Pictures

The Sexiest Man Alive starred in a movie that will haunt you for many Thanksgivings to come.


  • Grey's Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey is known for his romantic and dramatic roles, but he's also done his share of thrillers and horror movies.
  • A new slasher movie starring Dempsey, Thanksgiving, was recently released on Netflix.
  • The movie has received rave reviews and made it into Netflix's Top 10.

Although Patrick Dempsey's big screen career began with Larry Cohen's 1985 slasher film The Stuff, the actor is still better known as that loverboy from the 1989 film of the same name rather than as a scream king. He literally never loses his status as one of Hollywood's premier heartthrobs, and last year People even recognized him as the Sexiest Man Alive. Not to take anything away from Dempsey's talent, it is still more common to see the actor in romcoms or dramas, but his career has now taken a more intriguing turn, and he now frequently appears in gripping thrillers and even horror movies!

And so, on February 17, 2024, the Netflix library was replenished with a novelty from the master of splatter films, Eli Roth, who provided horror buffs with Cabin Fever in 2002 and Hostel in 2005. The new movie is called Thanksgiving and Patrick Dempsey plays one of the main roles.

Even though critics were ecstatic at the time of its release in November 2023, praising the new slasher (a rarity for the genre), its nostalgic love of the grindhouse and its humorous approach to production, Thanksgiving was relatively overlooked. Still, it's now one of the most-watched movies of February on Netflix, so the hype is bound to finally happen.

Slasher Movie That Stems Back to Tarantino

Thanksgiving, which will be released theatrically in the US on November 17, 2023 and on Netflix on February 17, 2024, traces its origins to the 2007 Grindhouse trilogy of two films, Death Proof and Planet Terror, written by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. This double feature included a series of fake trailers written by well-known filmmakers such as Rodriguez, Edgar Wright, Rob Zombie, Jason Eisener, and even Eli Roth himself.

In 2010, Rodriguez released the action film Machete starring Danny Trejo based on his trailer, and in 2011, Jason Eisener continued the work by adapting his own trailer for the film Hobo with a Shotgun. Thanksgiving is the third project after Grindhouse.

The plot of this slasher is not too complicated: the action takes place in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and one day on Black Friday during the Thanksgiving holiday, a store is robbed and several people are killed. A year later, masked serial killer John Carver shows up in town and, like V for Vendetta 's Guy Fawkes, lynches those he believes were involved in last year's tragedy. Patrick Dempsey plays a sheriff who investigates the murders.

The Sudden Rise in Popularity

The film was released on Netflix less than two weeks ago, on February 17, 2024, but it immediately shot to the top of the streaming service's charts, becoming one of the most-watched English-language movies.

According to What's on Netflix data, the film ranked second in the Top 10 most-watched movies in the US on February 18, and remained in the Top 3 through Friday, February 23. As of February 28, the film continues to hold its position in the Top 10 among US users, ranking an impressive fifth.

According to Netflix, Thanksgiving held its position in the global Top 10 for the week of February 19-25, ranking eighth with a total of 4,200,000 views.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the critics' score is an impressive 84%, and the audience score is only slightly less, at 80%. You should not expect anything fundamentally new from this movie: a group of teenagers is once again being hunted by a maniac. Nevertheless, it is a fun and sometimes absurd tribute to the classic slashers of the 80s and 90s and other B-movies revered by avid fans.