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‘Bones and All’ is a coming-of-age horror worth sinking your teeth into

‘Bones and All’ is a coming-of-age horror worth sinking your teeth into

‘Bones and All’ is a coming-of-age horror worth sinking your teeth into
December 16
14:00 2022

Director Luca Guadagnino, best known for “Call Me By Your Name” and 2018’s “Suspiria,” has crafted yet another gorgeously grim tale.

 On paper, Guadagnino’s newest film checks all the boxes of your typical coming-of-age romance film, but a cannibalistic twist offers a truly unique experience. 

Based on Camille DeAngelis’ 2015 novel, “Bones and All” does a phenomenal job showing how young people struggle to feel purposeful, all while tying in some of the most twisted narrative elements the year has seen so far. It is all things bold, beautiful and bloody.

It has lead performances powerful enough to snag awards, and a story incapable of going bad. Anyone with an appetite for tension should look no further for something to chew on.

Maren (Taylor Russell) seeks self-discovery after her hunger for human flesh makes itself more present in her life. Along her journey, she meets fellow cannibal Lee (Timothée Chalamet), and the pair do what they can to find their place in the world.

This year, there will not be a more impressive leading duo than Chalamet and Russell. Two cannibals falling in love seems incredibly absurd on paper, but the performances do a flawless job of making the audience buy into the madness. Mark Rylance’s character Sully is arguably the eeriest antagonist in a year full of horror icons.

Don’t think “Bones and All” is too safe. The main characters are cannibals, after all. The scenes of them devouring humans are intense and unsettling.

You see every tear and hear every crunch in all of its gory glory. It is a road trip movie unlike any other, with a freshness and charisma that you can’t find in many other films this year. It is so unapologetically confident in its execution and can be pure nightmare fuel at times.

All Maren wants is to discover who she is and where her place is in this world. Cannibalism is used to make sympathizing with Maren an uphill battle.

In no way does this film condone actual cannibalism. Everything is handled with care, and it makes following Maren and Lee’s journey so much more intriguing. Any type of innocence is absent because they feel like they are cursed with something restricting them from having a normal life.

The main characters are constantly relying on each other and their instinct to survive a world that already casts them out. Every risk they take is oozing with tension, and every minor progression in their goals fills the viewer with satisfaction.

Even from the trailers, you got a sense that all the implied gore and cannibalism was a Trojan horse for something special. Everyone involved is putting their best foot forward, and it translates on the screen.

The script is clean and concise, with the two-hour runtime feeling like almost nothing. Screenplay writer David Kajganich has paired up with Guadagnino yet again, proving the pair to be a match made in horror heaven.

“Bones and All” is a bit too bloody to be considered for any major awards this year. It’s a shame because it is one of the best character-driven movies to come out in 2022. The cherry on top is the perfect score put together by composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Horror thrives when it cooperates with other genres. Horror comedies and dramas are always reliable ways to captivate audiences, but it is rare to see a horror romance.

There are so many ways this film could have fumbled everything horribly, but it perseveres through everything thrown at it. Every shot feels intentional, and it is always comforting when you can see and feel the effort.

“Bones and All” certainly isn’t going to get a pass from everyone, with the film’s biggest weakness being its weirdness. Your enjoyment of the film relies on your openness to the concept. While “Bones and All” tries with all its might to do so, it certainly isn’t going to please everyone.

This story is told through moving performances and awe-inspiring visuals, yet it will probably be overlooked by the time the year ends. Instead of one element of the film standing out, everything works together as one unit.

Russell and Chalamet are modern-day movie stars. Guadagnino is one of the best working directors today. “Bones and All” is nothing short of brilliance.

Jaden’s rating: 4.5/5

Image source: IMDb

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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