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I grew up watching westerns, not horrors. My step-father was a huge fan of the genre and although I didn’t quite catch the appeal in my younger years, I still tried my best to watch them with him, perhaps in an attempt at bonding. I can now enjoy a good western in the same way I can enjoy a good spy flick or good kung-fu movie, but the emphasis here is on the word good. The only genre of movie wherein which I can enjoy the blockbuster, the B-grade, and the bargain-bin-bullshit is horror.
Bone Tomahawk is not a horror movie. It does not have the buildup of a horror nor the plot of a horror. What it is, however, is a really fantastic western featuring some truly horrific antagonists. The plot is very typical of the older style westerns, with our band of heroes riding off against unbeatable odds. The script is outstanding and the characters are incredibly likable and nuanced. Richard Jenkins’ Character, Chicory, really adds a necessary bit of humour to the otherwise dark and foreboding tale. Mathew Fox plays rogueish John Brooder, who I suppose is meant to be mildly antagonistic, although he ended up being my favourite character. Kurt Russel plays the stoic and honourable Sheriff Hunt and Patrick Wilson plays the devout and determined husband, Arthur O’Dwyer. The actors were fantastic in their roles and the movie was cast incredibly. The pace is more typical of a western than a horror and the plot is nothing new, but rather a twist on the traditional.
After O’Dwyer’s wife and Hunt’s deputy are kidnapped by a tribe (or rather a primitive band) of natives, The party of four sets off on what very well may be a suicide mission. Needless to say, nothing goes as planned and our makeshift band of hero’s struggles against the will and the wont of the wild west. The movie also boasts one of the most brutal death scenes I have ever witnessed in a film, and that coming from a guy who’s pretty much seen it all. That one will sit with me for a good number of years. My nuts shrink just thinking about it.
All in all, this is a solid film and worthy of all of the praise that it has received thus far. Buyer beware though…If you do not like a good western movie, then this is definitely not going to fill your horror movie needs. Although most reviews and websites are calling it a horror/western, I beg to differ. By all means though, give it a watch and let me know what you think. Catch the trailer below.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.