Matthias Höhne's thriller "The House of Bone" is being released, in which even such familiar genre components as an ominous house on the outskirts, naive townspeople who have taken a wrong turn and too strong maternal love are revealed from an unusual side. Tells Julia Shagelman.
On a remote farm somewhere in the Scottish wilderness lives a family: mom (Joely Richardson), dad (Roger Adjogbe) and young daughter Maisie (Sadie Soverall). They seem quite happy and loving, but the very first frames give rise to a feeling of anxiety. And it’s not just the storm beginning outside the windows of the cozy house or the shadow of tragedy hanging over the family: dad is confined to a wheelchair, does not speak and needs to take medication regularly. No, there is something not entirely correct in the fact that on the farm there are no signs of modernity - no television, not even a landline telephone, not to mention mobile phones. But the main thing is how the mother talks to her daughter, how she looks at her, how the sparkle of her almost unblinking eyes flashes not only ordinary parental care and the desire to protect the child from any troubles, but also something, perhaps even dangerous.
Nevertheless, the quiet evening goes on as usual, the family celebrates dad’s birthday with a cake baked by his daughter himself. Suddenly there is a knock on the door: there are two young men on the threshold, one of them claims that they were in an accident and begs to be let into the house, since the second is bleeding. Mom doesn't want to do this at all, but Maisie persuades her. It turns out that the strangers are brothers - the elder Jack (Neil Linpow, who also wrote the script for the film) is injured, and the younger Matty (Harry Cadby) is upset and scared, and, as it becomes clear almost immediately, he is mentally ill, so it is necessary to get coherent information from him Who they are, where they came from and how they ended up in these godforsaken places is almost impossible. They seem to be from London, they seem to be going somewhere north, they seem to want to get on some ship.
Of course, these guys don’t look like peaceful tourists at all, and perhaps you should start worrying about the family that let them onto their doorstep. Especially when Jack, whose wound his mother stitched up right on the kitchen table, comes to his senses and begins to behave not only very cheerfully for a man who ten minutes ago had an impressive piece of reinforcement sticking out of his stomach, but also extremely strange. However, you quickly stop paying attention to the less believable details: the authors of the film have prepared a sufficient number of twists and present them in such an energetic rhythm that soon your head begins to spin.
The central idea of “House of Bone,” around which the plot revolves, cannot be called entirely original. Here we can recall Stephen King’s “Misery” (both the book and its 1990 film adaptation with the inimitable Kathy Bates in the title role), and numerous films about bad people who find themselves in even worse circumstances, so that the audience involuntarily starts for them get sick. However, some predictability of the script is more than redeemed by the gloomy atmosphere and carefully built pace, in which the creators, without wasting time, move the story towards the finale. Yes, from about the middle of the picture you can guess what it will be like, but it is no longer possible to refuse to participate in the terrible journey to this point.
Additional chilling credibility of “House of Bone” is given by the acting and the interaction of the characters with each other. Since the film turns out to be not only a horror and thriller, but also the story of two dysfunctional families at once, it largely rests on how reliably the performers convey the complex tangle of emotions experienced by their characters towards each other. The main burden, of course, falls on Joely Richardson, who at first only hints at the madness of her heroine, and Neil Linpow, who even manages to evoke sympathy for his lost hero, who, in his own words, committed terrible deeds. However, the rest of the acting ensemble is not inferior to them, creating images on the screen that are perhaps more voluminous than you would expect from a genre film, which usually does not pretend to be anything more than to thoroughly tickle the audience’s nerves. Perhaps that is why the feelings of longing and anxiety when watching seem so real.