Review: The Bone Snatcher


OK this movie which seems to have fans divided, some, who appear to have given it an overwhelmingly bad reputation, absolutely hate it, and the rest who say it is actually pretty good. Well, I can see how it got its reputation, and I'm not going to make any bones about it, I was not impressed.

Bone Snatcher is a UK/South African collaboration shot almost entirely in the desert where, when a small team of diamond prospectors unearth an ancient creature, their rescuers discover nothing but bones. When they remain to investigate they must battle against the creature who wants nothing more than to snatch their bones!

So the above is the usual plot, and with adding some decent gore as well as some gratuitous nudity you have yourself a safe 6 out of 10 without even trying. The sad thing with 'Bone Snatcher' is that they do try, but fail miserably. Now, I will get the good out of the way to begin with because I fear that once I start with the criticism it will be difficult to stop:

  1. the desert is a relatively original location for filming a horror movie and the extreme day/night temperature add nicely to the survival issues
  2. the acting is pretty constant - even more so when you consider the stupid plot they must play out

What follows is not so good, so, if you are a fan of the movie, or affiliated in anyway, better just click the back button in your browser now.

The biggest problem with this movie is the silly creature. Not only do you see snippets of the giant skeletal ant in the first few minutes, effectively killing any mystery or suspense which might have followed, the idea for its existence is nothing but ludicrous. Apparently ancient ants have evolved to use bones to make their colony humanoid, roughly the size of a man, using their natural acid to strip victims bodies down to the bone. So, whilst the little ants can swarm, infiltrate and at one point dissolve a man completely undetected in his sleeping bag, the larger, so called evolved version, which is big, obvious and extremely vulnerable to gunfire,is what we should be afraid of. I'm not saying that if I was accosted by a skeleton reanimated by ants I wouldn't be scared, I just don't see the evolutionary advantage to them, were they hoping to fit in?

So I thought, OK it will be played for laughs, like the awesome 'Feast', but no, serious, really serious, where the plight of the surviving are shown in full dramatic glory in several over long pace killing scenes. To top it all off the man in the suit monster was replaced by some really bollocks looking CGI, which admittedly didn't look so bad it became funny, but it certainly didn't do the movie any favours. The small about gore is equally dodgy where the bright red blood looks cell shaded.

Overall, despite the merits of the movies location and some positive aspects of cast and cinematography, it is a little difficult to recommend a creature movie when it is the creature which is the biggest let down. I don't all together agree with some of the comments I have read on the web, it is not the worst film ever, far from it, but to be honest as a creature movie, it's pretty uninspiring.

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