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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

'Bones and All': A Transfixing Romantic Horror Story of Yearning and Desire Across Middle America


Poster for the 2022 film Bones and All

Bones and All (2022) is a chilling yet heart-rending tale of young love starring Taylor Russell as Maren, a tormented teenager with an insatiable craving for human flesh. This grotesque inclination upends Maren's life and forces her and her father Frank (André Holland) into a life marked by perpetual evasion. The strain of their shared desperation ultimately forces Frank to desert Maren, however, setting her on a winding pilgrimage to Minnesota in search of her enigmatic mother.


On her solitary expedition across middle America, Maren crosses paths with a peculiar ensemble of fellow "eaters", able to detect one another's proximity via their heightened sense of smell. Among her new acquaintances are the beguiling Sully (Mark Rylance), an older man whose intentions are increasingly ambiguous, and Lee (Timothée Chalamet) a free-spirited young eater on the run from the police. With Lee, Maren delves into the tumultuous waters of first love—their shared hunger acting as both a bridge and a barrier between their complex personas. Meanwhile the ever-watchful eyes of Sully lurk in the shadows, adding layers of intrigue and suspense to the overall narrative.


Directed by Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love, Call Me by Your Name), Bones and All transcends its horror film framework to emerge as a poetic dance of passion and peril. Screenwriter David Kajganich has adapted Camille DeAngelis' 2015 novel to sublime perfection, deftly fusing elements of terror, romance and existential exploration. Ultimately the film stands as a testament to Guadagnino's unique craftsmanship, blending the grotesque and the gorgeous into a cinematic experience that's as haunting as it is utterly unforgettable.

 

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