Realistic Movie Bones and All Discussion and Investigation

Realistic Movie Bones and All Discussion and Investigation
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Realistic Movie Bones and All Discussion and Investigation. Sorry I’ve been a bit touch and go the last week or two. I’ve been spending most of my time on my new podcast that deep dives into complicated movies weekly. Why would I work on a podcast instead of writing for hours and hours each week? Welp, because the Google keeps pilfering my content and tossing it out onto the search results cards and my readers keep dropping. Literally stealing my content. BUT I WANT TO SUPPORT CONTENT CREATORS AND HELP THEM KEEP CREATING! Ok, then sign up for my patreon and I’ll keep showing it some love. Promise.

Regardless, I’m back – and today’s movie is crazy. Dark. And it leads to a discussion of forgiveness, judgement, and cannibalism. hahaha. I love crazy movies like this.

Bones and All Movie Walkthrough

The movie opens with Maren Yearly heading to a sleepover. Her father, overly protective, has kept her from going out, has kept her cloistered. Why? Well, he’s just a single dad, trying to keep his daughter safe. Except his daughter is an eater. Not the Twilight type. But rather an extraordinarily realistic version of what maybe a vampire might actually be like if they were real. So… at the sleep over, Maren eats her friend’s finger. Her dad, who understands the cannibalistic tendencies of his daughter, knows immediately what he has to do when she comes home covered in blood. Then, at eighteen, he abandons her… having left a recorded message praying that she’ll one day get better.

The next town over, she runs into Sully and he introduces himself as a fellow “eater”. Apparently, they can all spot each other by a very distinct scent. And it’s via this scent they should know to never eat one of their own. Having been taken to the home of an elderly collapsed woman, the two feed on her after she dies. Sully also makes a point of showing her a rope made from all the hair of his victims. Yes, yes you are right… that is some serious Buffalo Bill stuff right there. I agree. Nervous about Sully, she runs for it, and takes the first bus out of town.

Maren, meets Lee while shoplifting. They try and keep a drunk man from harassing a woman, and later, she sees him again after having eaten the guy. Taking the man’s truck, they take off together and head towards his hometown in Kentucky. It’s obvious to Maren that his past is filled with horrible tales, but Lee won’t talk about any of it. While out in a field, they are met by a pair of eaters that share their beer and tell tails about eating a victim bones and all. And one of them admits that he isn’t actually an “eater” but rather an eater by choice. Otherwise known as a cannibal. Horrified, Lee and Maren bolt and run for it. While at a carnival, Lee hits on a carnie, and kills him presuming that the man had no family. But when they take the man’s truck and head to his house to see what they can scavenge, not only did the man have a family, but a newborn child as well. This sends Maren into a dark downward spiral as she considers what a horrible person that she is… and that they are.

Realistic Vampire Movie Bones and All Discussion and Investigation - a movie so dark we all might need to go to confession after its over.
This image released by MGM Pictures shows Taylor Russell, left, and Mark Rylance in a scene from “Bones and All.” (Yannis Drakoulidis/Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures via AP)

Leaving Lee’s old stomping grounds, they head to Minnesota in order to try and find her own mother, Janelle. Soon enough they find that she had admitted herself into a Psychiatric hospital. Visiting her, the woman had written her Maren a note 15 years prior on the hopes that she’d one day arrive. Janelle, being an eater herself, ate her own arms and hands… and her letter declares that they are better off dead than to live as monsters. But before Maren leaves, Janelle attempts to eat her daughter. Maren abandons Lee, determined to stop eating people, and to right the wrongs of her life. Later, Sully finds Maren again, and she rejects him once again… causing Sully to become enraged.

Eventually, Maren realizes that she is nothing without Lee and she heads back to Kentucky where he knows he stays close to in order to be near his sister and broader family. Finding Kayla, Lee’s sister, Kayla tells Maren about Lee’s horrible run in with his father. And finally, after a difficult conversation – he tells Maren that he not only tied him up and left him for dead for the better part of three days, but he also admitted that he ultimately really enjoyed consuming his father.

The duo decide, contrary to what they had been doing, that they should create normal lives and try and be like other people. And they do. For a while, they are happy. But ultimately it all goes pear shaped when Sully returns and holds Maren at knifepoint. Why? Because he has “unfinished business” to deal with. Hrm. Is he going to kill Maren? Kill Lee? Is he going to eat them both? Is it more sexual in nature?

We just don’t have any idea what Sully is up to, but whatever it is, he is playing the role of the jealous boyfriend/uncle and he’s going to burn it all down. When Lee comes back they all fight, and Maren stabs Sully numerous times. But in the melee of it, Lee gets stabbed in the chest by Sully. Oh and by the way, did Sully also kill Lee’s sister? Is that her hair in the hair chain? I think so. Because AWFUL! Regardless, as Lee dies, Maren agrees to eat him bones and all…

Thoughts on the Movie Bones and All

First thought? This isn’t a vampire movie is it? It’s different. But it is. Worse? It’s actually a story about compelled-cannibalism. Actually, DNA level cannibals. Hereditary level monsters that are broken deep inside their familial makeup. Which, is pretty messed up. And we know just how messed up it is when we met an actual… just insane cannibal. Not an “eater”. We see just how insane he is, and in that, we see a mirror reflection of how darkly broken they all are in this compelled disposition.

I really enjoy it when a filmmaker attempts to take stories and make them real. Or as grittily real as possible. What would happen is bigfoot really existed. Or Vampires. Or kids had real super powers (The Innocents or Chronicle) etc etc. It’s a fascinating mental exercise. And this sort of sits somewhere nicely in this space? But holy heck is this a super dark and gritty film. The ending is horrible (but could it have gone any other way?) The blood, the gore? The characters are dark. Everything about this movie is dark.

The Theologies of Bones and All

But the reason I really enjoyed it was because it could be a standin for sin. Personally, I get this movie in that I watch these “eaters” grapple occasionally (particularly Maren) with her moral disposition… and her darkness. She wants to be something different. She wants to slough off the guilt of it all, to transform into something new or different. She doesn’t want to be who she is. And that is why, in the end, she survives. She is leaning in the right direction morally. Lee? Sully? Not so much. Lee refuses to grapple with his sinful self… avoids talking about his predilections. And it makes him morally beyond repair I think.

It’s a really glaringly obvious interpretation, but one that I’m sure hardly anyone is going to make. Why? Because it’s a movie about zombie/cannibalistic mutant people. And to equate them back to some sort of story about redemption seems like a stretch. EXCEPT! It’s exactly what Maren was yenning for from moment one of the movie. She hates what she is, what’s she’s become, and what she has done. Right? Her father wants her to change. And her mother?? Better off dead than remaining what she is. Even she herself wants to know how to overcome it all. It’s the same concept with sin. We want to be forgiven. We want the slate to be wiped clean, we want to find a way to pay our debts and right our wrongs. Look at Maren’s response to finding out that the Carnival worker they ate was a father and a husband. She felt horrible about the ripples she was causing by being who she is.

Similarly, our actions, our sin, has very real world results that we have to deal with every day. No? Huh. Seems clear to me, but maybe not to everyone. I loved this movie… it was about as dark as they come, but it really spoke to me about our own need and desires to be made right. But what do I know?