Bone Tomahawk (2015)

I'm just going to come right out and say it: Bone Tomahawk has scarred me for life. Before we get there, here's some setup.

Bone Tomahawk is a horror/western movie that stars Patrick Wilson as Arthur O'Dwyer, a construction foreman who breaks his leg while working on a roof. O'Dwyer isn't the type to stay inside for long spells, so he's obviously upset at the prospect of being laid up for months. When his wife is kidnapped by savage Indians, O'Dwyer and a few other people from town go on a mission to bring her back.

The movie also stars Kurt Russell, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins and Lili Simmons. There aren't any weak links in this cast - Kurt Russell just oozes that western charisma, basically resurrecting Wyatt Earp here, but Richard Jenkins is the real standout in Bone Tomahawk. He melts into his character in such a way that I literally had no idea he was in the film until the credits rolled. "Richard Jenkins was in this? Who was h...ooooooooh." Even Matthew Fox does an amazing job as Mr. Brooder, a trained Indian killer.

The first two acts of the movie drag a bit, but I do believe it was director S. Craig Zahler's intention. We get to see a lot of walking, a lot of meandering scenery, a lot of land...but I think that's necessary to the journey the group is on. By the time the group gets where they need to be, you're exhausted, just as they are...and then, it gets bananas.

I don't want to say much about the third act because I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that the violence in this movie is very sudden and very real. There are no music queues telling you something is coming. There are no warnings at all. When it does happen, it's grotesque. The third act is an explosion of insanity that makes sure the journey you took with the characters pays off.

Now I mentioned in the first sentence that this movie scarred me for life. I have seen a lot of movies. A LOT. In those movies, I've seen a lot of death scenes. Some campy, some genuinely disturbing, most violent. However, I've never seen a death scene like the one in Bone Tomahawk. A scene so crazy that it made my stomach turn and left my mouth agape. It's definitely a scene that I will never forget.


Bone Tomahawk is a movie that will stick with you. If you're a fan of horror movies or westerns, you really should check this one out.

Final Score: B+