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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Review: Pilgrim

Director: Marcus Dunstan
Screenplay: Noah Feinberg, Marcus Dunstan, and Patrick Melton
Year: 2019

Hulu has been producing for some time what they classify as a series, but that really is an anthology of themed horror movies focused on different festivities named "Into the Dark". Alongside the production company Blumhouse Productions, in every holiday they add a new movie/episode related to that festivity. For the second season, “Pilgrim” is the movie/episode they have created to celebrate Thanksgiving with pilgrims and a flashy feast.

In “Pilgrim”, a woman worried about how her family is growing more distant and disconnected decides to contract reenactment actors to celebrate Thanksgiving how it was done at that time. When the actors arrive at the house their strange behavior and seriousness about the reenactment worries some of the family members. The actors refuse to break character and focus on teaching the family and gratitude values no matter what.

Since the peregrines arrive at the family house is impossible not to feel that there is something sinister behind them. This feeling comes in part because of the visual style the director Marcus Dunstan takes on, who has already shown that he likes to experiment in this section, as he did with “The Collector”. This movie/episode he plays with a style reminiscent of the ‘90s and ‘00s TV series but is a movie with high production value and aesthetically attractive, especially in the peregrine’s attires.

The sinister feeling is emphasized in the acting, particularly that of Peter Giles (“Portlandia”), who interprets Ethan, the leader peregrine, who although sometimes can seem excessive, in general, transmits mistrust and perversity. As well as that of Giles, the rest of the interpretations, starring Reign Edwards (“Hell Fest”), Kerr Smith (“Final Destination”), and Courtney Henggeler (“Cobra Kai”), are excellent and helps the atmosphere that Dunstan creates. The background music complements the visuals, often serving as a contrast to what is shown but keeping the message that wants to be transmitted and the celebration vibes.

The story written by Noah Feinberg, Marcus Dunstan, and Patrick Melton (“The Collection”: “Saw: The Final Chapter”) bursts creativity. It always makes clear that this movie/episode is based on Thanksgiving, but this doesn’t prevent it from being sinister and visually graphic. While the first half is dedicated to creating atmosphere and developing the characters and the plot, the third act surrenders to madness and gore in a frenetic and impactful stretch.

“Pilgrim” arrives as a fresh proposal for a Thanksgiving horror movie to easily put itself as the best movie/episode based on this theme, with permission of other fun but more absurd proposals such as “Thankskilling” and other most serious ones such as “Kristy”. Without a doubt, “Pilgrim” has managed to generate enough stir as to make aware those horror fans that didn’t know about this effort from Hulu and with good reason. It’s only left to warn that this Thanksgiving you be grateful and be careful what you wish for.

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