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Bone Tomahawk (2015) Review

Updated on October 28, 2017

Long Review

Bone Tomahawk is a horror western directed by novelist S. Craig Zahler in his directorial debut. The main cast consists of Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins and Lili Simmons with David Arquette and Sid Haig in supporting roles. And this movie surprised me to say the least. It felt like a collaboration between John Ford and Lucio Fulci, two completely different directors.

That being said, the movie follows the John Ford framework of moving at a snail-like pace. That’s not in, no way, a bad thing. For much of the movie it felt like more western than horror. This is true even when two drifters (Arquette and Haig) kill several people in their sleep, before desecrating the sacred burial grounds of a local Native American tribe. One drifter is killed, causing the other one to flee to the local town where he gets arrested. This ultimately leads to that tribe abducting the drifter, as well as a deputy and the town doctor. Afterwards, the sheriff leads a posse on a rescue mission. I’m not going to spoil it, but the movie gradually turns into a horror movie for the last 45 or 50 minutes. One particular scene is quite disgusting and unsettling.

Overall, I felt this movie was actually quite brilliant. The slow pace wasn’t slow for the purpose of being slow, but instead to focus on character development. Luckily, all the actors are at the top of the game (especially Jenkins and Russell). Also, the cinematography deserves praise for having a very classic old school feel to it.

Review Recap

So in recap, I want to state that this movie is excellent. The only conceivable drawback is that it does move a little slow, but I didn’t feel that was much of a drawback in this case. I give this film five stars out of five.

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