When I saw the trailer for Bones and All, I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch it. I obviously love horror, but my preference leans more towards supernatural horror; bloody gore-fests aren’t really my thing, and considering one of the most memorable scenes from the trailer was one girl biting another’s finger off, I was already a little put off. I was still curious though, so when Ruth offered me the chance to cover it, I figured I’d give it a chance.
Bones and All, directed by Luca Guadagnino and based on the novel by Camille DeAngelis, follows a teenage girl named Maren (Taylor Russell) who, after a traumatizing experience at a sleepover, is abandoned by her father (Andre Holland) and left with only a tape recording from him and her birth certificate to chase down her mysterious origins. Along the way she meets others like her- “eaters” who have to consume human flesh to survive.
While I don’t think the movie is going to be a classic, it definitely made me want to check out the novel it’s adapted from. The story is certainly unique, and some of the dialogue is beautifully written. At over 2 hours long, it feels a little bloated, and the pacing feels a little too slow at times, especially through the unceasingly dreary tone of the film, but it still managed to keep my interest the whole way through.
Like the writing, the technical aspects of this movie are hit or miss. The score is simple, eerie, and beautiful but the dialogue is a little hard to hear at times, and there are at least a couple instances of really obvious ADR. Despite the movie’s premise, the gore isn’t excessive, but it’s still brutal. The 80’s costume and set design is interesting to look at, but, again, the tone is pretty dreary, which becomes dull to watch after a while.
While a lot of the movie is only slightly above average, the cast is exceptional. Lead Taylor Russell gives a quiet but engaging performance. Mark Rylance as Sully is always a delight to watch, even at his creepiest. Seeing usually generic heartthrob or hero Timothee Chalamet stretch himself in a darker, grungier role like Lee is interesting. Horror icon Jessica Harper has a small but solid role as Barbara Kerns, Taylor’s adoptive grandmother. And Chlöe Sevigny as Janelle, Taylor’s long lost mother, is heartbreaking and terrifying in her brief amount of screen time.
Overall, Bones and All is a fairly middle-of-the-road horror/drama, but the performances are excellent, and now I have a new book to add to my “to be read” list.
Have you seen BONES & ALL? Well, what did you think?
2 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review: Bones and All (2022)”
This looks interesting, I might give it a watch when it hits Netflix or Amazon Prime. I too don’t like the super gory horror films, I prefer the more psychological type of horror. I think the torture porn of the late 90s from Japan and then from France in the 2000s really turned me off.
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