“Bones and All” Movie Review


“Bones and All” movie poster.

The romantic horror film “Bones and All” was released in theaters on November 18th of this year. Starring Canadian actress Taylor Russell and American actor/heartthrob Timothée Chalamet, the film focuses on a fictional love story between two cannibals, based on the 2015 book (Bones & All) by Camille DeAngelis. The movie was directed by Luca Guadagnino and had a budget of about $16-20 million. It was released in the U. S. by United Artists Releasing, and elsewhere by Warner Bros. Pictures, with the exception of Italy, where Vision Distribution distributed the film.

The movie is set in the 80s and follows a teenage girl named Maren who has had to fight cannibalistic urges all throughout her life. Abandoned by her mother after she was born, she and her father have had to move from state to state to escape her occasional slip-ups. She thinks she’s the only “eater”, until, at the age of 18, her father deserts her, leaving her nothing but a cassette tape explaining his decision, her birth certificate, and enough money for her to start over. She buys a bus pass and embarks on her journey across the country in search of her mother and answers about her identity. As she travels throughout the outskirts of the country, she finds there are others like her, some that she can trust, and some she cannot. She meets Lee, a young man close to her age, and tags along with him on his sporadic travels. They fall in love, killing, eating, and stealing as they continue on together. Maren and Lee face internal battles between their morals and instincts as they make their way through the world. It seems like a “happily ever after,” until another eater pays them a visit that ends the movie on a grotesque but devastating note.

I personally enjoyed the movie on almost all fronts. I thought the cinematography was beautiful, and just the right mix of classic and experimental. The plot kept me engaged throughout the whole film and I thought this story was a great way to portray the horror theme of cannibalism to its audience. The movie definitely served to raise moral questions among its viewers about what they would do in Maren and Lee’s situation, which I appreciate when it comes to horror movies. Films that make the audience think deeper and start uncomfortable and unconventional conversations have done their job in my opinion. I do think that the shock value of what was depicted throughout the movie would have made it better suited as a dark comedy, because the imagery was so graphic at times that it evoked chuckles of discomfort from its viewers. This offset the scare factor a bit, but nonetheless, I do appreciate this movie for its intended genre. It was unsettling for its horror and heartwarming for its romance and I think that it’s rare we see this combination done well.

Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet were perfectly cast. Their acting skills are undeniable and the chemistry they had on screen really brought their characters to life. I do think that there was plenty of opportunity for character development throughout the movie and that the writers missed out on this. Maren and Lee sort of remain the same from beginning to end despite all that they go through, and I think that the movie could have been made more enticing by their growth. This could have been purposeful though, so as to allude to the idea that no matter what, these two characters are slaves to their instincts and that will not change through any moral epiphanies they may have. Overall, the movie’s unique plot and unsettling premise make “Bones and All” memorable, and the acting, directing, and cinematography make it a brilliant film.