“Say goodbye to my wife. I’ll say hello to yours.”
Browsing through the ‘New and Noteworthy’ section of Apple TV, I stumbled across the film Bone Tomahawk. A western, with an all star cast and thriller storyline. I was immediately sold.
The first hour and a half were somewhat slow and boring in parts but the question of finding Arthur’s wife, Samantha, kept me intrigued and watching. In the last half hour or so however, the film took an unexpected and gruesome turn. The same tribe of Indians that were holding Arthur’s wife hostage, took two of the remaining search party captive and dragged them to their strange cave dwelling; putting them in a cage across from Samantha. What followed was a series of graphic cannibalistic acts and gory violence played out to the soundtrack of the Indian’s demonic, inhuman howls (produced by a bone inserted into their windpipe, one of which Arthur digs out of a throat in a later scene). Disturbing, to say the absolute least.
The acting was some of the worst I have ever seen. While Kurt Russell’s performance as Sheriff Hunt was quality, the rest of the cast was below par, especially Lili Simmons (who played Arthur’s wife). Every word she spoke was said as though she were reading it directly off the script; she was stiff, unrealistic and awkward. There was also zero chemistry between Arthur and Samantha. Quite frankly, it was uncomfortable to watch and every line that came from Simmons lips made me cringe.
The sets, costumes and cinematography were average; nothing special or new. S. Craig Zahler’s directing, though not bad, wasn’t great either. The story had potential, but Zahler just didn’t execute it well. The middle part dragged on-several scenes could have been cut out-and the dialogue wasn’t the best.
Wether Zahler was going for it or not, he succeeded in bringing huge shock factor to the last thirty minutes. There is something about Bone Tomahawk, not exactly a horror film, that sent a chill down the spine and left me feeling acutely uneasy in a way I couldn’t describe. The last half hour, regardless of how disturbing, managed to add some zest to a poorly acted, and a bit pointless fim.