‘Thanksgiving’ Just Proved Exactly Why the Horror Genre Needs Patrick Dempsey Back for ‘Scream 7’

Warning: The following article contains major spoilers for Thanksgiving.

The minute the credits rolled after the pulse-pounding events in Eli Roth’s passion project Thanksgiving, I knew I had just witnessed a cultural reset. Simply put, the movie is nothing short of an absolutely fun slasher with gnarly visuals and haunting gore. But my number one takeaway? The horror genre needs Patrick Dempsey back for Scream 7.

Long before the Sexiest Man Alive for 2023 portrayed the Sheriff of Plymouth in Roth’s slasher spectacle, Dempsey infamously portrayed Detective Mark Kindcaid in horror legend Wes Craven’s Scream 3. Far be it from me to automatically assume the acclaimed actor enjoys portraying authorities of the law, but if I’m speaking honestly here, I hope Dempsey hangs on to his officer outfit for the seventh Scream outing.

Much like his performance in Scream 3 as Kincaid, Dempsey packs a serious punch in Roth’s latest outing, serving as the Sheriff of Plymouth — a town in Massachusetts which is collectively dealing with the aftermath of a major Black Friday riot at a local superstore. As the Sheriff, Dempsey is motivated and determined to uncover the identity of the masked assailant — which proves to be similar in regards to his attempts to aid Sidney Prescott in revealing the newest Ghostface killer.

That’s right, the similarities between the long-standing Scream franchise and Thanksgiving are absolutely uncanny. Both are considered as teen slashers. Both are chock-full of slasher-y fun, from inventive kills to outright slaughter at the hands of a crazed killer. I mean, even the official movie posters look alike.

Warning: Spoilers to follow.

Image via Tristar Pictures

The only difference in Thanksgiving? Dempsey himself is the killer. Motivated by the vicious murder of the woman he loves, who also happens to be married and carrying his child, Dempsey’s Sheriff Newlon slips off the deep end and begins targeting and slaying all those involved in the Black Friday riot that day. And you know what? It works.

Even while portraying the “bad guy” hellbent on unapologetic revenge, Dempsey absolutely shines in the role, emphasizing what Scream enthusiasts have known all along — he was born to be in a horror movie. If you squint ever so slightly, this almost feels like it could be a Scream spin-off in an alternative universe, only with Dempsey as the baddie instead of the love-crazed hero of the law harboring a crush on Neve Campbell’s Sidney.

Good guy or bad guy, it really doesn’t matter in the end. Dempsey possesses enough prominent acting prowess that it’s clear the franchise’s seventh movie would benefit having him back. And with rumors of Neve Campbell possibly returning already circulating, it makes total sense to have Sidney and Mark return as a kickass married couple determined to end the Ghostface madness once and for all. I mean, we’ve already heard Mark mentioned in Scream (2022), so it’s not like his involvement in the franchise isn’t still canon. 

And if we actually do manage to witness his long-awaited return, I’ll just keep my fingers crossed in the hopes he doesn’t get killed off.

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