Bone Tomahawk (2015)

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

2015 | R | 132 Minutes

Adventure | Western | Drama | Horror

During a shootout in a saloon, Sheriff Hunt injures a suspicious stranger. One of the villagers takes care of him in prison. One day they both disappear – only the spear of a cannibal tribe is fo...

Overall Rating

6 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • Bone Tomahawk substitutes traditional western genre tropes for plenty of gore. Now y'all know westerns are my least favourite type of film. I find them slow, monotonous, boring and unmemorable. They just don't appeal to me. Suffice to say, I am pleasantly surprised by this. A drifter desecrates an ancient burial ground that belongs to a cannibalistic tribe. Captured by the local sheriff, a young woman is abducted in the crossfire and it's up to some residents to rescue her. We've got horses aplenty. Desolate wasteland landscapes. Enough facial hair and hats to supply a drag cabaret show. And...we have a scene where a guy is stripped, scalped and ferociously sliced in half. What. The. Actual. Flip? I loved the third act. Adored it even. It felt fresh, exciting and packed full of grit. The practical makeup effects were flawless, looked incredibly natural. So realistic and extreme, that I squirmed not once, not twice but thrice! The sheer brutality and gore is something you would find in a Tarantino flick. I found the acting to be rather good actually. Kurt Russell and Patrick Wilson held the film together, but the stand out was Richard Jenkins who I didn't even recognise. Fantastic makeup. Matthew Fox also delivered a good performance. The characters themselves were not always interesting or captivating, but their interactions with each other felt authentic. The occasional banter assists in the surprising comedic undertone within the screenplay. A noteworthy directorial debut from Zahler. However, as with all westerns in my opinion, the pace is like a rollercoaster. A ten second kill is followed by ten minutes of wandering the wilderness. A one minute stand off is followed by a ten minute camping story. Exciting, boring, compelling, uninteresting. It might just be me and my dislike towards these films, but the first two acts couldn't escape the inconsistent pacing that is all too typical from westerns. Having said that, Bone Tomahawk is intelligent in its execution. The bloody third act alone saves this from being forgettable.