Bones and All18¦ Blu-ray, DVD
There’s always been a link between horror and sexuality, especially where vampires are concerned, as depicted in the earlier Dracula films all the way up to The Twilight Saga.
But love and lust aren’t just reserved for the likes of vampires, with all manner of characters from the world of horror having feelings too, as this fascinating film proves, looking at a sector of the horror community that very rarely finds love.
1988, Virigina, and young Maren is sneaking out from her home at night, so she can go to a sleepover she’s been invited to. She can’t tell her dad however, as he’s likely to stop her from going. And as it transpires, that would have been the right call, as something horrific happens, that forces the pair of them to flee town as quickly as possible.
They set up elsewhere, when Maren (Taylor Russell) starts to become more curious about her past, as she wonders about the mother she has never seen.
This leads her to up and leave on her own, with her birth certificate in hand, on the search for her mother.
Not far into her trip she comes across Lee (Timothée Chalamet), who she bonds with quickly, and who soon becomes her companion on her journey to discover who she really is.
This film reunites its director Luca Guadagnino with his star of his 2017 film Call Me by Your Name Chalamet, a feature that served them both very well.
And with star du jour Chalamet involved, it’s going to get some attention, so it’s just as well it’s an absorbing watch. But kudos to Chalamet however, as he continues to pick interesting projects that aren’t necessarily the type to set box office records, choosing to challenge himself and not just sign on for the big bucks. Not that it’s all down to him however, as Russell is superb, building on her fine work in 2019’s Waves.
Much of this must be down to Guadagnino’s sharp direction, especially regarding the film’s content. Based on Camille DeAngelis’ novel of the same name, it is a curious story about cannibals. It’s curious because, rather cleverly, it doesn’t attach itself to any lore that may exist, other than their taste for flesh, which gives it a welcome ambiguity surrounding it; stick a vampire in a flick and there are a fair few traits you will expect to see – or in the case of its reflection, not see – such as not fond of daylight, partial to a neck or two etc.
There was possibly an opportunity to build a back story regarding cannibals, with hints of a possible origins story, but this is ignored, in favour of making them more humane, with a whole gamut of emotions.
It is then, a curious mix of a love story, about a young woman in search of her identity and sense of family, whilst hanging out with other with a penchant for human flesh. And under Guadagnino’s compelling direction, it works beautifully, often quite lyrical and poetic.
It also has to be said that Brit Mark Rylance gives a tour de force performance, truly terrifying, in a Hannibal Lechter kind of way, that was definitely worthy of an Oscar nomination.
And just as the director paints both an absorbing and horrific picture, the film’s incredible score, supplied by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, matches it perfectly.
It’s a film that is unlike anything else you’ve seen, that fleshes out the love lives of cannibals like never before.