Kurt Russell joins S. Criag Zahler in his directorial debut for Bone Tomahawk (2015), a gripping mix of old western and graphic horror. The film follows Kurt Russell’s character Sheriff Hunt as he forms a rescue team to try and save a local nurse named Samantha, played by Lili Simmons, from a group of savage cave dwelling natives referred to as troglodytes. The environment and the setting feels incredibly well realized that it becomes easy to overlook that this film is a western. The rag tag team of rescuers made of Sheriff Hunt, Samantha’s husband Arthur, Patrick Wilson, a doctor named Brooder, Mathew Fox, and the sheriff’s assistant Chicory, Richard Jenkins, quickly become a sympathetic group with moments of understated humor balanced with the much darker themes and elements of this film.
Pace: 8 out of 10
The movie is a series of varying set pieces that easily coalesce. The film moves the story along briskly while still leaving room to create some much needed tension.
Acting: 10 out of 10
The whole cast was simply stellar every character felt believable with a long history behind them. Russell never fails to impress with his signature charm, and Jenkins plays a lovable comic relief while never going overboard into full on parody. Even the speechless Troglodytes managed to express character through their action and menacing presence.
Content: 9 out of 10
The film feels a little too self-contained but the stunning setting, menacing gore, and expertly written dialog add a layer of depth to an otherwise standard western film. The film contains one of the most jarring uses of special effects in a most gruesome and memorable death scene.
Overall: 9 out 10
Bone Tomahawk mixes western and horror elements with clever writing that is sure to impress genre aficionados as well as people who enjoy a good movie.