Is 'Bones And All' Disturbing? What On Earth Do You Think?

Bones and All Taylor Russell Timothy Chalamet MGM

If there was one thing, this moviegoer was not thankful for in 2022, it is Luca Guadagnino’s adaptation of “Bones and All.” The horror flick was being advertised non-stop on YouTube, and despite my best efforts, it still showed up between ad breaks. Since then, I have not been alone learning about the disturbing film and its even more distressing mainstream release/promotion.

Without getting too lurid, “Bones and All” follows a teenage girl (Taylor Russell, “Before I Fall,” “Lost in Space”) grappling with an appetite for what the title literally suggests. Before long, she crosses paths and the country with a fellow predator (Timothy Chalamet, “Lady Bird”). Make no mistake that this movie is aimed at teens despite its R-rating, and the casting of its leads should solidify their interest. 

Of course, the subject matter should also be a huge turn-off for those who value trying to keep their popcorn down. It all makes you wonder. Why did “Bones and All” need to be made? The studios could have greenlit an innocent, lovely romance with an idiosyncratic twist for Taylor Russell and Timothy Chalamet if they wished to tackle something daring. Why make them play out this disturbing storyline about the characters’ all-consuming appetite?

And what is with Hollywood’s recent obsessions with glorifying or “theatri-fying” this vicious, disgusting act? Earlier in 2022, there was Netflix’s controversial “Dahmer” miniseries from “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy, based on an all-too-real serial murderer. Now 2022 is ending with a disturbing movie salivating at the thought of young lovers playing out one of his many grotesque offenses.

It is hard to know what is more sickening – the premise of the film, that it got made, or that people will continue to watch it. Not to mention Hollywood’s hypocrisy. Isn’t this why it “cancelled” one-time leading man Armie Hammer? Allegations that Hammer allegedly discussed such behavior (per Variety) got him cast out of Hollywood, and the same place makes a “teen romance” on the topic. Weird.

Interestingly, Armie Hammer starred in director Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name” opposite Timothy Chalamet. Before you get any wild ideas, “Blood and All” is an adaptation, meaning the source material already existed before Hammer and Guadagnino collaborated. While that puts that to bed, it does not explain the reaction to “Blood and All,” or does it?

Others probably know of the movie through its festival play, where it received a standing ovation, per Deadline. The envelope-pushing artistic elitist lauding such a film is sad and alarming but far from surprising. Not in a million years did I think I would see a movie like “Bones and All” get made, let alone heavily promoted on YouTube.

Zombies and vampires are make-believe. The disturbing reality of “Bones and All” can be made all too horrifyingly real. Taylor Russell deserves better projects, and young audiences deserve to have eccentric youth-oriented romances they can root for, say “Benny & Joon.” Gore need not apply, “Bones and All.”