Bone Tomahawk (2015)


Bone TomahawkStarring Patrick Wilson, Kurt Russell, Matthew Fox

Directed by S. Craig Zahler

Over the course of horror’s well documented history, there has been one crisscrossing sub-element that hasn’t reaped many rewards, and that would be the inclusion of the Western atmosphere. However, after giving S. Craig Zahler’s cannibalistic shocker Bone Tomahawk a couple good looks, I can safely say that the door has not only been cracked open, but forcefully taken off the hinges with extreme vehemence – let’s roll this one out!

Fantastically-mustached Kurt Russell plays Sheriff Hunt, and along with his awkwardly-paced Deputy (Richard Jenkins), they begin a search for one of Hunt’s employees (Evan Jonigkeit), a doctor (Samantha Jenkins), and a low-level crook (David Arquette)… yes, I’ve just mentioned David Arquette. The threesome has been snatched up in the middle of the night by a marauding band of “troglodytes,” and it’s up to the Sheriff and the doc’s husband (Wilson) to hunt these primitives down, and along for the ride is a cockier-than-cocky gunslinger (Fox in a fantastic role), so you’d have to believe that the numbers are even. This SHOULD be a fairly simple recovery mission, correct? WRONG. The teamwork is immediately hindered with Wilson sporting a broken leg, and then there’s the normal encumbrance of snarky, backhanded parlance between the hunters, adding a nice dimension to their consociation. I’ll say that while some dialogue did have a tendency to drag on in the film, and it could have spared to have about 20 minutes sliced off of its runtime, the interactions between our fearsome foursome certainly spruced up some otherwise laggard pacing – no harm, no foul.

When the audience finally gets the reveal of these crazed killers that have been on the run, it’s nothing less than a frightening inspection – these albino makeup-wearing, massively configured, animal skull-donning lunatics are nothing to sneeze at, and their penchant for extreme violence is well represented. When you dissect the performances on display here, you’ve got to hand the gold medal to Russell alone – his work was gritty, yet minimal – a man of few words, his stoic facial expressions are the stuff of legend. and if there was one actor that was simply suited to work in the western paradigm, it would be him. The support work was admirable; yet, Wilson seemed slightly out of place in his role of the injured husband, and a small cameo role in the film’s opening scene from horror movie staple Sid Haig was an absolute breath of fresh air – simply put, the guy grabs every role, no matter how big or small, and absolutely THROTTLES it – fantastic work.

The imagery and grandeur of the Old West are also put on a very large platform here, and just when you begin to think that you’ll be entrenched in scenic horseriding and tumbleweed blowing vistas, you’re soaked in blood and dirt and succumbing to a sense of sadism that overtakes the entire product… but it was so damn fun to watch!

This film will not only appeal to the horror fanatic in all of us, but is able to cross those rusty railroad tracks and venture over into the western movie lovers’ territory for a more than worthwhile watch – highly recommended.

  • Film
User Rating 3.35 (17 votes)


Sign up for The Harbinger a Dread Central Newsletter