• Guy Jeffries

Bone Tomahawk Review


Director: S. Craig Zahler

Starring: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Richard Jenkins, Matthew Fox, lili Simmons, David Arquette, Fred Melamed, James Tolkan, David Midthunder, Omar Leyva.

An impressive directorial debut from writer S. Craig Zahler, who also wrote this gruesome, filthy western of how wild the west can really get. More so impressive that the whole film was shot in just 21 days.

An outlaw drifter wanders into the town of Bright Hope unknowingly leading a tribe of savage, inbred, natives better known as Troglodytes which translates as Cave-dweller." During the night, these horrific abominations murder and kidnap some of the town folk, one being the wife of a crippled rancher, who then embarks on a rescue mission with the town sheriff, his old and incapable deputy and an over confident gunslinger.

Kurt Russell heads up the rescue posse as Sheriff Hunt, slipping comfortably into his western boots. Richard Jenkins plays his ageing deputy, Patrick Wilson the limping, desperate rancher and an impressive Matthew Fox who stole the screen, as the charismatic, narcissistic know-it-all who both annoying yet strangely likeable, reminding me a little of Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday in Tombstone.

There's an air of mystery for the majority of the film, keeping the audience on tender hooks waiting to see what's in store for the rescue party. Are the kidnapped still alive? Dead? Or worse? While some elements are left to your imagination, you can only think of the worse, but what isn't, is nothing short of disturbing.

The gory violence is shocking to watch, even just hearing the graphic noises is enough. The sound is gruesome, bloody and unsettling. The climatic end was actually painful to watch, scarring the memory making me shudder just at the thought of it. The lack of a score only intensifies the haunting atmosphere.

Something has to be said for the special effects, make-up and the sound engineering that were all completely on point. I've never seen a more gory western, even more so than The Hateful Eight. The makeup and effects throughout are amazing but they really go beyond during the epic climax.

There's been a few disturbing films this year, visually, Neon Demon and imagination wise, Nocturnal Animals springing to mind but this one really made me wrench covering my mouth with both hands. It's like those good horrors you're too scared to watch but find yourself mesmerised to the screen regardless. This is certainly not one for the weak stomached. Kudos to director Zahler for created a stunning western with a difference, becoming borderline horror.

Running Time: 7

The Cast: 9

Performance: 8

Direction: 8

Story: 9

Script: 7

Creativity: 9

Soundtrack: 9

Job Description: 10

The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for the sound and graphic quality.

Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Yes.

86% 9/10

#SCraigZahler #KurtRussell #PatrickWilson #MatthewFox #RichardJenkins #LiliSimmons #DavidArquette #FredMelamed #JamesTolkan #DavidMidthunder #OmarLeyva #JeffHerriott