Halloweenathon 2023 · Horror · Microreview · Movies

Halloweenathon 2023: A Microreview in Which I Compare Guadagnino’s Bones and All to Laugier’s Martyrs: The Horror of Transcendence

On the third day of Halloween: BONES AND ALL (2022)

I absolutely adore Luca Guadagnino’s work, especially the Third Culture Kid perspective that’s so obvious in his art. But Bones and All? A horror movie about cannibals? I wasn’t sure if I could manage it given this is imagery that often literally makes me puke.

But I should have known Guadanigno would tackle the subject matter in a way that’s exactly to my taste, pun intended. The result is an achingly beautiful and haunting love story featuring a ragtag group of outsiders doing what they need to do to survive. It’s also a tale of profound social isolation and the specific kind of madness that comes with not just being alone, but believing you’re all alone. The terrible lengths people will go to in order to feel connected, quite literally in some cases. Sully (Mark Rylance) keeps an 8-foot rope of the hair of people he’s eaten. In any other context it would be akin to the souvenirs of a serial killer. In Bone and All it’s Sully’s way of remembering and honoring the dead for their sacrifice.

I spent the entire 130 minutes of the film on the verge of tears in the best way possible. I somehow saw myself and my dreams reflected (or deflected as the case may be) in every character on screen. Remember what I said about Train to Busan and empathy as a main character? Bones and All does something similar. And I am here for every example of this kind of horror. The writing, the acting, and Guadagnino’s unique vision makes this a soul shaking hybrid story that represents every genre under the sun. It’s shifted my emotional and psychological tectonics toward a wholeness in a way that was unexpected, but now welcome beyond anything I’ve seen in years. Since Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs in fact: The journey of liberation, annihilation, and ultimately transcendence.

But with Bones and All, I never wanted this story to end. And as it replays in my mind, it never will.

✨Infinity/5 stars. Recommend forever.✨