After the remake of Argento’s “Suspiria”, Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino returned to horror. However, just as his stylized variation on the theme of the cult Italian giall from the early eighties was not classic horror, neither is this cannibal romance. We know Guadagnino before as a director with a clear author’s vision, refined style and strong visuals with which he impressed in “I Am Love”, “The Bigger Splash”, “Call Me By Your Name”, then also the series “We Are Who We Are”. Thematically, “Bones and All” is somewhere halfway between the “Twilight” series, the cult Swedish vampire drama “Let the Right One In” and “Bonnie and Clyde”, but it is a film with an obvious and recognizable Guadagnino touch and flair.
Once again, it’s an intimate story with young people in the center of attention, but Maren (Taylor Russell) and Lee (Timothee Chalamet) have the misfortune of being cannibals. Both of them were obviously born that way and we will realize that they are not the only ones, but that there are a lot of people with the same tendencies and needs that work like a drug addiction. They simply have to feed on people, and we will understand very quickly that there is something wrong with the barely adult Maren, when she bites off her friend’s finger. When she comes home, her father (Andre Holland) acts like he’s seen it all before. They quickly pack up and run away to the other side of America, but the father soon leaves his daughter because he can no longer live like this. He leaves her a birth certificate with information about her mother, some money and an audio cassette in a walkman (after all, the action takes place in the eighties) in which he tells her everything that happened to her since childhood.
And Maren will go in search of her mother, and “Bones and All” will turn into a somewhat atypical road movie because soon she will find Lee, who is only a few years older, and he will decide to help her in her search. To her great regret, before Lee, Maren will meet Sully (Mark Rylance), an old cannibal who will actually be the first to introduce her to the secrets of their species and give her some advice, but this girl will not get rid of the old maniac so easily. And just as the music of Trenton Reznor and Atticus Ross is melancholic and elegiac, so was the entire film premiered at the Venice festival, where Guadagnino won the Silver Lion for direction and Russell the Marcello Mastroianni award for best young actress.
And it is a film in which Guadagnino is not afraid to show some truly gruesome situations, because we still follow the story of people eating other people, but at the same time he managed to achieve a certain romantic touch, so recognizable for all his earlier films. Although “Bones and All” is wrapped in a horror cloak, it is primarily another Guadagnino drama about social outcasts, outsiders, people from the social margins who somehow do not fit into the mainstream, and two of them will now meet there. Regardless of the fact that they are cannibals or “Eaters” as they call themselves, “Bones and All” can also be seen as a parable about fragile young people trying to adapt and manage in a world that is not intended for people like them.