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A Horrendous Cannibal Romance

Review of the movie Bones and All (2022, MGM Studios)
Isabel Camacho
On November 18, a horrific movie was released: Bones and All. I could not bear to even watch the trailer, and much less the movie, but I read several reviews and summaries to gain an idea of what it is.

Bones and All

A love horror story to spread sympathy for cannibalism

The movie is an “artistic” horror/romance/drama about a teenage couple who just so happen to be cannibals.

The movie indirectly encourages sympathy for cannibals by showing how the teenage cannibals Maren and Lee have a family history of cannibalism and both have suffered abuse growing up. They are portrayed as simply “misfits” with an illness and an animalistic tendency in a cruel world that does not understand them.

Maren started to eat people when she was only three, and she found out later that her mother was also a cannibal, which gives the idea that cannibalism is probaby a genetic tendency. A similar theme can be found in other horror movies - monstrous tendencies are “genetic” or due to child abuse.

The movie portrays consuming people as an almost irresistible temptation (especially “bones and all”) as a kind of “need” for those with the cannibalistic tendency, and it gives an almost sensual satisfaction.

To justify their action, cannibals often set their own “moral” rules for those whom they choose to eat: e.g. the frail who are dying, the “rude” single men, etc. Some of them will not eat other “eaters” (as they call themselves). But they do not always follow those rules…

The worst part of the movie is the shocking end. Sully, an older cannibal who wanted to take Maren under his wing, became mad after she left him. In revenge, he stalked her and attacked Maren and Lee in their apartment. The two managed to kill Sully in a sordid scene, but Lee received blows that left him close to death.

Bones and All director and artists

Popular actor Timothee Chamalet, director Luca Guadagnino, actress Taylor Russel

Maren insisted that Lee go to a hospital but he refused. Instead, Lee asked Maren to eat him. And so she did, “bones and all,” in a twisted “romantic” final act of "love."

Based on the many positive reviews, people are becoming almost desensitized to the matter of cannibalism. The reviews admit the reality that cannibalism is “shameful” and “animalistic.” However, they fall into a kind of warped sympathy for the characters. By following the lives of the cannibals and showing how some of them are just misfits with a violent gene - really, something beyond their control - the viewer becomes empathetic with them and their "vice."

This kind of movie, which shows the broken “humanity” of evildoers - e.g. Joker (2019); Maleficent (2014) - blurs the lines of good and evil. And slowly, although society still rejects cannibalism, the more cannibals are “humanized” in movies, the more the unthinkable becomes tolerated, just like what has happened with homosexuality and transgenderism.

cannibal

Nothing more than two misunderstood outcasts...

Posted January 11, 2023
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