Author Topic: Bone Tomahawk  (Read 1166 times)

Old Nehamkin

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Bone Tomahawk
« on: October 29, 2015, 03:10:42 PM »
Anyone seen this? It's a new Western/ horror film starring Kurt Russell as a frontier sheriff who leads a rescue party to save a woman who's been kidnapped by a clan of cannibalistic native American troglodytes[nb]It's ok though, cos there's also a nice regular Native American guy in it and there's a bit where he says that the troglodytes are just bad apples and most native Americans are ok guys, so it's all alright, it's ok.[/nb]with bone tomahawky consequences. I don't think it's out over here yet, but there's a nice, clean copy of it floating around in certain quarters if you're that way inclined.

I watched it last night, and I was a bit trepidatious beforehand, assuming from the title and premise that it would be a very smug, ironic, wink-at-the-audience schlock-fest of the type I usually don't get on with, but I ended up liking it quite a lot. It's a very well crafted film with a really strong cast and a script filled with nice little character moments and a level of inventive detail that makes it easy to get drawn into its world. The plot is quite slow-burning for the most part, but the film does a good job of maintaining an atmosphere of dread throughout and when the full-on bone-tomahawking action does come around, it does so in a very well-executed, pleasingly straightforward way that avoids drawing too heavily on standard horror movie tropes in its presentation.

Some thoughts on the actual climax (which is where I did have a slight problem with the film): [spoiler]I thought that the actual section in the troglodyte territory was a little too trunctuated and not quite extreme enough to pay off on the film's very deliberate, slow-burning set-up. When the deputy got all scalped and dismembered (I don't usually watch a lot of gore-heavy films but fuck me.) I assumed that the film was then going to descend much further into that horribly nightmarish territory, but it never really did. After Kurt Russell was put out of action (which was admittedly quite an intense scene) it felt like it was far too easy for the other characters to escape the caves. It felt like the film really needed some last desperate, brutal struggle against the remaining trogs in which at least one more character gets horribly offed (Richard Jenkins would probably have worked best/ been the most poignant). As it is the ending left me feeling a bit deflated, which is a shame as I'd really built up a lot of goodwill towards the film up till then and I did enjoy the climactic scenes, I just wanted more of them. Oh well. The pregnant woman on the way out of the caves was an incredibly memorable, disturbing image at least.)[/spoiler]

Anyway, yeah, Bone Tomahawk. A very well put-together, atmospheric film with lots of small details to enjoy and some really fantastic set-pieces. Ultimately I think it failed to deliver on the promise of its horror component quite as fully as it could have done, but it's still a film that's probably going to stick with me for quite a while. Four bags of popcorn, and maybe throw in a couple of bone tomahawks.

Dex Sawash

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Re: Bone Tomahawk
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2015, 12:05:42 AM »
I would watch that but isn't available[nb]legally[/nb] in us until December

zomgmouse

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Re: Bone Tomahawk
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2016, 08:52:05 PM »
I saw this a couple of days ago after hearing nothing but rave reviews but sadly I just could not get into this. It felt like an overlong TV production and the handheld camera did not do it any favours. The [spoiler]man-split[/spoiler] was obviously very shocking and visceral but it was just about the only thing in the film that I actively sat up and paid attention to. The rest just for some reason failed to set up an engrossing mood. I don't even know if I'd call this a horror film per se, there was nothing to be afraid of.

Re: Bone Tomahawk
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2018, 02:36:17 PM »
Watched this last night.  I was impressed by the strong characterisation, but disappointed that over such a long film, with very little plot, more wasn't done with it.

Also, was it just me or was the cinematography quite poor?  In the interior scenes, views of exteriors through doors or windows were completely blown out.  Is this a common practice that I have only just noticed, was it shoddy craftsmanship, or was it intentional to disguise the fact that there was nothing at all outside?

Re: Bone Tomahawk
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 10:28:08 PM »
I watched it a few weeks ago whilst under a duvet wrestling the vomiting bug and it fitted that situation perfectly - bleak, sad, overlong and yet very memorable. Not at all a Bank Holiday Sunday film but worth the perseverance

Dex Sawash

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Re: Bone Tomahawk
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2018, 02:50:32 AM »
Watched it just now.  Liked it OK  Mr O'Dwyer went a bit Mary Sue1 at the end though.
Like Keebleman, I want to know why it was blown out so severely. Maybe trying to make landscape not beautiful?




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Re: Bone Tomahawk
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2019, 02:36:52 PM »
I finally got around to watching it, its quite possibly the best film I have seen in years, my only criticism is how long it takes to get to the cave, however that is is trivial as the pace is designed for such a climax. The whole cast is impeccable, Matthew (Jack Lost) I particularly think delivers.

Re: Bone Tomahawk
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2019, 02:51:47 PM »
If you haven't already, watch the directors follow up film brawl In Cell block  99 for more great unconventional madness.

Mister Six

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Re: Bone Tomahawk
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2019, 04:41:04 PM »
Watched it last week, along with Brawl, in preparation for Dragged Across Concrete, the director's latest. Agree with everything the OP says, especially about the climax, which ends too fast and too easily. Some really memorably horrible bits, like the disfigured women, that ought to have been deployed as part of a descent into Hell, not glossed over. I wonder if the limited budget had something to do with that; the interior scenes all looked a little bare and cheap.

Still, mostly a good film with some great character moments and turns. Loved the conversation about reading in the bath, and Kilmer's clear distaste for the Injun-slaughterin' dandy. Brawl is very much the same with its measured pace. Could do with some ratcheting up of intensity, which feels odd to say about films that are full of graphic torture and dismemberment, but there you go. There's a matter-of-factness about the grisly stuff that meant it didn't quite connect with me.