Writer & Director: S.Craig Zahler
Bone Tomahawk seamlessly blends horror with the western genre, a mix seldom seen. The combination gives the feel of The Hills Have Eyes meets The Searchers. The plot consists of a posse of hardened frontiersmen looking to rescue some townsfolk who were abducted by mysterious “troglodyte” Indians. The posse, from the tiny town of Bright Hope don’t stand on ceremony and set about their search with calm determination. The troglodytes seem to run on the same cool, unsentimental energy inflicting mute savagery on their enemies. It is their silence while attacking that makes them so frightening. When they are not violently present their ominous horn like shouts keep the viewer unnerved until they strike again.
Bone Tomahawk is a tight and concise film. The acting and technical aspects are skillfully and effectively executed and the characters are developed slowly and appropriately. We’re not bombarded with back story, instead we’re given as much as we need to know as the film progresses. The cast, a fairly recognizable bunch, lose themselves in their 19th century characters. Richard Jenkins is unrecognizable as Chicory, an amicable character who attempts to act as the search party’s moral compass. Patrick Wilson’s crippled character is arguably the most integral part of the film. The peril associated with his fragile state provides excitement and apprehension from the moment they set out.
The film has gained attention for excruciating violence, one scene in particular. Violent and disgusting as it is, rest assured it does not overshadow the film.If you’re looking for a highly entertaining movie that few won’t enjoy, Bone Tomahawk will suffice with much to spare. A rustic rescue mission rambling through the dusty American desert, stalked by savage eyes in the beautiful arid hills, a tried but thankfully not yet tired formula. Bone Tomahawk had small release and seems to be largely promoted by word of mouth. It’s yet not on Netflix, but is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime.