By Lori Perkins
Black Friday is here. Not the big shopping day, but the holiday horror comedy starring Bruce Campbell, which is really all you need to know to decide if you are going to curl up with popcorn and a soft drink or go straight to Encanto at your local movie theater.
My son and I have a holiday tradition of Thanksgiving movies, followed by the Christmas movie onslaught, but the only film in the Thanksgiving rotation is Planes Trains and Automobiles (which they’re in the process of remaking, because no good idea goes un-remade). We also love cheesy 80s horror comedies, zombie flicks and mall madness, which Black Friday has in excess. So this is a new classic for this family.
The premise is that a mostly cynical group of over-worked and underpaid toy store employees (We Heart Toys – a great joke on the once-beloved Toys R Us) are gearing up for the midnight onslaught of ravenous shoppers at the local mall, when an alien blob unexplainably shows up in the warehouse. Of course, it kills the security guard who finds it, unleashing a contagious The Blob/Pod People/zombie infection by anyone who bites or coughs or spews its infection. It’s the original Day of the Dead in the mall but with a sense of humor and nostalgia for horror movies that could be taken less seriously.
It’s over the top and through the tropes, featuring a nerdy germ-aphobe, a mid-life crisis divorced Dad, a company man with no family (Bruce Campbell plays this role brilliantly) and a sharp-tongued manager who once-upon-a-time were all foes of sorts and find that they must work together to save themselves, and maybe, humanity (but we’ll get to that in the sequel, I’m sure).
I truly loved the retro feels and all the homages to the cheesy horror movies of my youth. The end even made me think of all my beloved Godzilla movies and Power Rangers.
Again, this isn’t for everyone, but for those who it is right for, you’ll see it for what it truly is and add it to the holiday horror list with Gremlins and Krampus.