Bone Tomahawk ★★★★

Before it takes a turn into its severely grim final act, this is a surprisingly nimble, endearingly well-cast riff on The Searchers. Of course, that turn is so sharp and so complete that it leads to my one quibble with the film - that it doesn't quite prepare the audience for where it's going to go. Granted, a lot of people are coming into this thinking "cannibal western, all right" but I'm willing to bet most won't have that knowledge, and I could see that being a bit of a body blow. I mean, they straight up "opening-five-minutes-of-Lucio-Fulci's-Conquest" a guy.

Regardless, I love everything about this film. Its languorous rhythms are well-measured, and the conclusion feels hard-fought in a way I wasn't anticipating. Once Zahler raises the stakes, this turns into a white knuckler and doesn't let up. Let me put it this way: Cormac McCarthy may well love this movie, but his ex-wife who went to prison for hiding a pistol in her unmentionables? She'll be over the fucking moon about it. [this is a compliment]

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