Blending of genres is an interesting way to inject a stale plot with an invigorating and fresh life, Bone Tomahawk at first could be considered a Western film with a horror subplot but I would argue that writer and director S. Craig Zahler created a horror thesis in a Western setting.
Bone Tomahawk begins with a bloody bang, two strangers played by Sid Haig (House of 1,000 Corpses) and David Arquette (Scream) are robbing and killing unsuspecting travelers when they themselves are attacked near a bone filled Native American burial ground.
Days later in the small town of Bright Hope one of the strangers who survived arrives at a local tavern raising suspicion from the Sheriff (Kurt Russell) from there on the movie leads to the kidnapping of some townsfolk by a horde of troglodytes (cave dwellers) with an appetite for human flesh.
Now I know cannibals abducting the innocent is not new especially in horror, but these are not the usual disfigured cannibals grabbing stupid teenagers for procreation and gratuitous gore scenes. This truly is an original variety, a long lost legend of monstrous cave dwelling clan that local Natives consider to be from a demonic realm. The special effects and creature designing is amazing and makes this movie a grade above what it would have been with subpar concept design for the antagonists.
With a cast of Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson (who I will say again is the most underrated actor in Hollywood today) and Mathew Fox (Lost) leading the search party into the unknown frontier, their chemistry is so cohesive that I would not be at all surprised if we see these three cast again in future endeavours.
The story and pace is exceptional, I am looking forward to what Zahler brings in the future including his treatment for the next (yes another) Puppet Master. Though with names like Ridley Scott attached to direct the film adaptation of his horror/western novel Wraiths of the Broken Land, I can not say that S. Craig Zahler is not an up and coming name in the horror realm.
If you enjoy a good amount of gore with intense action set against the backdrop of old West then Bone Tomahawk is a must see. Kurt Russell and Patrick Wilson….nough said: 4 1/2 Claws.