Bones and All: Sometimes a film comes along which defines and revitalises a horror genre; Interview With The Vampire did it for Vampire films, hopefully Bones and All will do the same for Cannibal films. Bones and All is romantic story but much more than girl eats boy, it's horror, it's a road movie, it's about finding one's community. 1988, Maren (Taylor Russell) has moved from town to town with her father Frank, never staying long because Maren is a cannibal, she cannot control her urges, we see her biting off a girls finger during a sleepover. Maren and Frank flee again. Shortly afterwards it's Maren's 18th Birthday and her father departs in the night, leaving her with money her birth certificate (long version) and a cassette tape. the tape relate's Maren's past cannibalistic acts, most of which she doesn't remember. As the narrative unfolds the tape provides a backstory and structure through flashbacks. Maren rakes to the road hoping to find her birth mother, travelling through the Mid-West. She meets more of her kind, Sully (Mark Rylance), an eccentric middle-aged man who can smell her out, tells her they are both "eaters", ""there's not so many of us but more than you'd expect". He teaches her some cannibal lore before she abandons him, we see his sad face as she departs on a bus. She then meets up with Lee (Timothée Chalamet) another eater, closer to her own age, they become friends, travel together, fall in love.
This is a horror film, people are eaten alive, some eaters wait until their meal is dead though. Non-cannibals may be seen as prey to be tricked and slain. We even meet eater groupies, they self ID as cannibals. There are some very disturbing scenes but the life of an eater is similar to that of a vampire. Such a lifestyle takes both a physical and emotional toll on waters but their choices are suicide, confinement to a psychiatric hospital or to live a peripatetic lifestyle, moving from place to place as you seek your next meal. next meal. In ways this film reminds me of Mallick's Badlands and Bigelow;s Near Dark as Maren and Lee drift through the American heartlands but it is very much it's own film. Surprisingly tender in parts given it's subject matter. There are some plot twists and surprises as befits such an epic and I won't give away the origin of the film's title. It fully deserves it's 130 minute running time. Not a film for the squeamish or faint of heart. Directed by Luca Guadagnino from a screenplay by David Kajganich, based on the 2015 novel of the same name by Camille DeAngelis. 9/10.