Bones and All Review


Photo courtesy of IMDb

“Bones and All” is a beautifully crafted coming-of-age story between two cannibals that will make you cringe with disgust and cry. An adaption of Camille DeAngelis’s novel, “Bones and All” follows Maren Yearly (Taylor Russell), a teenage girl who, due to her cannibalistic urges, is constantly fleeing from city to city with her single father. After one particular incident, Maren’s dad abandons her leaving nothing but money, a tape recording and her birth certificate. With nothing tying her down, Maren decides to leave town and search for her mother who she had never met. In her search, she comes across other “eaters” who share the same need for human flesh, which is where she meets Lee (Timothée Chalamet). Together, the two travel across America, running from their painful pasts and finding themselves with each other. 

Directed by Luca Guadagnino, “Bones and All” is described as a harmonious blend of the romance and horror genres as well as its coming-of-age themes. Unlike other horror movies “Bones and All” will not make you jump out of your seat, but will make your skin crawl. The gory scenes of flesh being ripped apart are balanced by the tender interactions between Maren and Lee as they slowly create a deeper connection with one another. Although the film touches upon taboo subjects, there is a certain tenderness Guadagnino brings to the film that is undeniably unique for a movie about cannibalism. The film plays with the ideas of morality, with Maren’s judgment and virtue clouding her sense of survival, especially after a particular incident in which Lee kills a man with a family so they could feed. “Bones and All” touches upon the struggle of finding one’s personal identity and how our pasts can create challenges that we cannot help but let define us. 

“Bones and All” does an amazing job of putting the fleetingness of life into perspective. As a cannibal, Maren is constantly trying to find a way to cheat the death of others but the human necessity of survival takes priority. The macabre displays of cannibalism will at first isolate the leads, making audience members feel uneasy, but the unease will slowly turn into sympathy. The flawed leads will tug at your heartstrings as you uncover their gruesome backstories of abuse and abandonment. In Lee’s monologue about his father, Chalamet displays his ability to really connect to his character. The held back tears and tension in his voice as he recounts the details of his abusive father are both heart-rending and comically ironic.   

Watching “Bones and All” will open your eyes to how fragile life is. The two leads wrestle with this the entire movie: the fact that nothing will last forever. The final ten minutes of the film demonstrate this as a full circle moment of Maren, once again, all alone with no one to rely on. As the cannibalism and dark themes may turn some away, “Bones and All” is a unique take on a coming-of-age story intertwined with a tender and heartfelt romance.