Today is the day after Thanksgiving here in America, and for the retail workers of our country - today is also an actual living hell. Black Friday has literally become a stain and embarrassment for our country, as each year we watch people fight and lose all sense of common sense, logic, and respect for each other as dumbass shoppers forgo a nice quiet evening sharing a meal with their loved ones to instead try and get a deal on materialistic shit they won't care about in three months. Clearly the Black Friday writer Andy Greskoviak and director Casey Tebo share this loathe of how our fellow citizens act on this commercial, bullshit holiday because together, they conjured up one hell of a horror comedy that is as gory as it is cheesy, and as funny as it is absolutely ridiculous - and I honestly loved it to bits. The film follows a toy store who opens on Black Friday to crazed shoppers, only for them to turn into zombie customers who sacrifice themselves to the hivemind! The staff of the store are led by their store manager Jonathan who is played by Bruce Campbell, so without saying anything else, I'm sure you can already figure out what kind of insanity this film might contain. Everything about this day is stupid, but everything about this film fucking rules. There's no shortage of kills and thrills contained within, so rather than rushing out to load up your cart with nonsense stuff you don't even really need, fire up Black Friday which is out now on streaming services and jump into the absolute insanity that is one of my new favorite horror-scifi-comedies ever!
Ken (Devon Sawa), Marnie (Ivana Baquero), Chris (Ryan Lee), Brian (Stephen Peck), and Archie (Michael Jai White) are the main staff members the film follows who are clocking into work as the store opens at midnight to Black Friday shoppers. The disgruntled workers are obviously very over the nonsensical holiday, and are only there in anticipation of their holiday bonus check; so as the shoppers descend upon the aisles of the store, the workers do their best to keep their cool and avoid the insanity the best they can. But what happens next is the stuff of nightmares - as the morning progresses, something happens that causes the shoppers to become parasite-infested, murderous monsters who are there to feed on flesh but to also sacrifice themselves as food to the greater cause: the giant, parasitic hivemind that is growing inside of the toy store! Can the staff members survive the night and escape the clutches of the zombies and their overlord?! Or will their store manager totally do what typical management does and fuck over their employees on this money making holiday?! Find out in... BLACK FRIDAY!
So if you couldn't somehow tell by that subtle plot summary, this movie has some pretty serious ridiculousness to it and it's done so insanely well that I totally regret renting it and not buying it. Readers of this site will know that I'm a total sucker for over-the-top, absurd gore, cheese and insanity and Black Friday meets all of that criteria. It honestly doesn't take long at all for the action to kick off in the movie, and once it starts the film doesn't slow down one bit. You get these rabid, horrific, flesh hungry zombies ripping apart the store eager to feed on the staff members, so you get this totally obvious Evil Dead vibe that comes with having Bruce Campbell in your film, then you get this monstrous brain-looking overlord that's devouring the zombies as they walk right into it, then you get this sick but oddly light comedy thrown into the film that just makes this movie a serious all star production. It sometimes feels like a horror, it sometimes feels like a scifi-gone-wrong flick, but one things for certain: it's an all around hodgepodge of absurdity and I loved every single moment of it.
Zombies and monsters aside, I think part of what made this movie fun honestly is the cast - and I'm talking about everyone without Campbell. Obviously he's the big name in the film, but I'm talking about everyone besides him; the cast felt very genuine and real, not only with their own characters but with each other. It's a great, diverse group of people who really do a phenomenal job coming together to escape the zombie customer horde and its overlord, and with all of the absolute chaos going on around them, their relationships feel oddly sincere, and that just makes the movie that much better. Don't get it wrong - the zombies and bloodshed are definitely the draw for this movie, but it's refreshing to see a cast where they are all universally fantastic. Throw some flesh eating zombies in the mix in you're in for a treat!
In an attempt to try and refrain from giving too much away, allow me to say simply this: the overall look of not just the film but the creatures contained within is SICK. In the films fast paced hour and a half runtime, audiences will be exposed to a pretty generous number of creatures that really all have their own looks, features, and horrors to them; some may have giant fang-like teeth while others may have these horrific, haunting eyes. Whatever they are, each creatures are unique yet equally sinister and that's definitely another thing worth noting about the flick. You are not just getting cookie-cutter creatures; each monster was clearly designed to accentuate the actors appearance and it's totally awesome. And the payout that audiences receive for making it to the finale of the film is of E P I C proportions; and that's all I will say about that!
Black Friday is - without a doubt - near the top of my list of instant classics for this year. For movie lovers like us, this film is flawless; it entertains, it shocks, it amazes. It does what any good horror should, and it had us laughing along the way. It's obviously not going to be a movie for everyone, but chances are, if you're spending your free time with us here at Soulless Cult, you're exactly the type of audience that this film was created for. I loved it to death, and I definitely need to buy a copy since I rented it this time around! Black Friday is the new holiday horror that everyone needs to see!!
Oh, and Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy did the music for the film - so that's pretty fucking cool too.