Ash & Bone (2022) Film Review
Ahhh small town secrets. It’s your run-of-the-mill horror movie staple that exploits the macabre nature of the places some of us grew up in. Places that have a lot of backstories that can start their own horror stories without having to be framed in a horror movie. follow rules. As viewers, we are already used to these. From warnings from old bartenders to deserted streets during nighttime scenes that hide crawling monsters.
In Harley Wallen‘s Ash & Bone, the structure consists of that set of rules. We got no beef as a family comes to this small town for bonding. They are not perfect. Mother and father are actually stepmother and father. Cassie is a rebellious teenager who thinks all meals taste the same and always listens to death metal. His anger is clear and justified. He was pulled out of the safe zone where he hangs out with his emo friend. The idea of fun is that they smoke like chimneys and throw glass bottles at the walls.
It doesn’t take long for Cassie to escape the weekend. At a bar, he meets a couple who shed light on urban legends about missing people who somehow end up at a house where people disappear. Of course, Cassie thinks it’s a good idea to go there.
In films such as Ash & Bone people always do what they shouldn’t. This does not change. However, this is not the most important plot element. Fortunately, he is a writer Bret Miller confident enough to make a film about the people who matter. Cassie’s conflict with her family, herself, and her villains is difficult to say the least. A troubled teenager who can do anything about himself. His father, Lucas, is struggling and just can’t seem to move forward with his development. Cassie’s stepmother, Sarah, is a great pillar of drama in a genre where there are no characters like her. She takes care of him, and audience members suspect that she harbors something darker. Yes, we’re used to condemning characters for crappy, formulaic plots.
Ultimately, the film pays off in a third act completely dominated by another dysfunctional family. Monsters in the Dark is a really interesting duo that will do whatever it takes to continue kidnappings and murders. Their agenda has a secret. One that feeds the plot into horror territory and actually makes the movie better. The big reveal isn’t as impactful as we’d like, but it’s good enough to keep us in an essentially linear structure where the heroes win and the villains lose.
But at what price? Cassie and her father play a role in a pivotal moment Ash & Bone. A scene that makes you think beyond the narrative arc that tells Cassie’s story. After that, a car scene confirms your worst fear. This little indie horror the film is neither huge nor spectacular. But at least he has an untold story in his grasp that may be more relevant than you think. Sometimes your loved ones have secrets they can’t control, and the situation becomes even scarier when you recognize their existence. Then you will always be looking behind you. You never know what might happen or who might be there.