REVIEW – “Bones and All”

Horror and romance has always been one of my favorite genre-mashups; there’s something beautiful about the balance of horrific, disturbing content matched with love and romance. When done right, it can exemplify the power of both genres and can beautifully meld together into something really special. Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All (an adaptation of a book with the same name) delivers one of the finest films of the sub-genre that I’ve seen in quite-sometime, and in the same-breath feels like one of the most unique coming-of-age films I’ve seen in so long. The film follows a drifter named Maren (Taylor Russell) as she goes on the run after discovering her own cannibalistic desires and her father’s attempts at covering it all up. She quickly comes across Lee (Timothee Chalamet) and sparks almost immediately fly between the two of them, as they travel across America together and run into equally-terrifying, bizarre situations.

Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria from 2018 is an excellent debut in the horror genre for the director; one that proved that he could make some of the most effective and disturbing body-horror you’ll ever lay your eyes on, but also delivering a deeper message underneath all the carnage. Guadagnino’s craft has only improved with Bones and All, a film that feels like it has so much cooking underneath the surface that it feels like it will take repeat viewings to not necessarily understand what it’s trying to say, but appreciate what it’s trying to say and how it all weaves into one big story. Bones and All also proves that he can blend the genres together well, as he delivers some truly gnarly sequences when it comes to gore and terror – but he also creates one of the most unique and genuinely tender (no pun-intended) romances I’ve seen depicted on film in quite sometime.

Obviously the film would completely fall-apart if the chemistry between the two leads wasn’t up to par with the story and direction, but Taylor Russell and Timothee Chalamet instantly shine bright together from the moment they come into the same frame with each other. There’s such a beautiful, intimate sense of understanding between the two of them that feels so authentic and haunting; like a romance between two individuals that rides so deep because you truly believe that they’re the only people on the planet that understand one-another. This helps all of the tension and suspense of the film feel even more impactful when shit hits the fan, because you genuinely care about the characters and want them to see-through the journey they’re taking.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross also deliver one of the year’s best scores here, attributing to adding intensity to the already brutal and engaging sequences of terror, but also delivering quiet, sweeping melodies when the two of them are genuinely connecting and falling in-love with one-another. On nearly all fronts, from technical to the performances to the surprisingly thoughtful and nuanced screenplay, Bones and All is one of the most unique and satisfying films that I’ve seen this year. It feels a bit disjointed and overlong at times, but it never struggled to immediately snap me back into its grip and by the end, I felt really moved by what I experience. Undeniably an experience unlike anything else you’ll see this year.


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