Bones & All (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Bones & All (2022) Review

Horrorific content by angie on September 29th, 2022 | Movie Review | Slow Burn, Road Trip, Love Sick, Psychological, Cannibalism, Dangerous Exploration

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It's about a young cannibal girl who is abandoned by her father and travels across America to discover her past, and discovers friendship, self-discovery, and love with another cannibal.

Bones & All was directed by Luca Guadagnino (Suspiria (2018)) and stars Taylor Russell (Escape Room, Escape Room 2, and Down a Dark Hall), Timothée Chalamet (Butcher's Hill), Michael StuhlbargChloë Sevigny (The Dead Don't Die, Lizzie, and Antibirth), Mark RylanceAndré HollandFrancesca ScorseseJessica Harper (Suspiria (2018), Shock Treatment, and The Evictors), David Gordon Green, and Jake Horowitz (Shut In, Agnes, and Castle Freak).

Bones and All (2022) Review

In Bones & All, director Luca Guadagnino (who also directed Suspiria (2018)) and writer David Kajganich use the road trip trope set in Reagan's America to explore the monstrous need for survival and human connection through the story of the budding love between a pair of cannibals.

Maren is moving to a new town, and she's excited to make some new friends. But she's hiding a secret: she's a biter. She can't help but nibble on other girls' fingers when she gets the chance. At a sleepover party, Maren finally gives in to her urges and bites one of her new friends. Things quickly spiral out of control, and Maren finds herself in a dangerous situation. Maren's dad constantly has to bail her out of trouble because of her compulsion to eat people. This time, she's run home after the slumber party incident, and they have to leave town quickly before the authorities arrive. Maren's mother left her when she was younger, and after this recent fiasco, Maren's father also abandons her. Maren sets out to discover her past, which leads her to meet other people with similar abilities (Eaters). Through her interactions with them, she learns about love, life, and how to survive in the hidden pockets of America.

Guadagnino introduces viewers to Maren's disturbing lifestyle in a gruesome way. Maren has been compulsively engaged in this behavior since she was a child, though she does not understand why. Maren is a young woman who has spent her life in repression. She didn't even know others like her until she met an older Eater, Sully. Sully could smell his kind from a great distance. Sully is eager to teach Maren the ropes of survival, including how to find and prepare food. Maren's survival instincts and determination to discover more about herself push her onwards.

Maren's journey is purposeful, but she encounters people and events that seem to happen without much planning. This gives her a sense of freedom, even though she knows her goal. Lee is an Eater with a voracious appetite but also a good person at heart. He's had some encounters with others that have been brief but unsettling and some that have profoundly impacted him. Two people who are initially strangers gradually become friends and eventually fall in love.

The film's portrayal of cannibalism is graphic and designed to shock viewers. It's a clever, macabre way of showing how its lead characters slowly succumb to their human desire for connection and understanding, despite their cannibalistic impulses. Maren and Lee are desperate to figure out where they fit in and feel human, but they can't seem to combat their urges. The relationships between the characters in the film are touching and genuine, thanks to the openness and vulnerability of the two leads.

Guadagnino's representation of the era is relatively understated. There's a muted color palette evocative of small-town America; this version of the '80s is more dusty Midwest than neon nostalgia. However, the subtlety of the world-building in this movie is what makes it shine. The little details combine to create a believable and rich setting, and the love story anchors the entire narrative. It's a harrowing tale of survival, but one that is ultimately very rewarding. The character is trying to find a way to sustain themselves and keep their vehicle running while also dealing with the ethical implications of killing and eating others.

Worth Watching? 

Bones & All is a sumptuous and sensual feast, but it's also quite graphic and may repulse some audiences with its matter-of-fact approach to cannibalism. Beneath all the gore and horror is a touching story of first love and self-discovery. It's as beautiful as it is gruesome, and it'll sink its teeth into your heart if you let it.

Bones & All Review (2022) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

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