Review: BONEHILL ROAD Is A Marriage Of Genres And It's A Blast
My favorite horror movies are mostly produced outside of the studio system. Granted, I love me a big mainstream release as much as the millions of other people that flock out to see them, but the fright fare that tickles my taste buds is DIY and independent. While lots of movies of this ilk receive significant media coverage, others bubble underneath the surface, waiting in the unknown terrains of spooky cinema to be discovered by genre fans. Todd Sheets is a maverick when it comes to making quality micro-budget gems, and his latest, Bonehill Road, is another solid effort from the underground auteur.
The story follows a mother (Eli DeGeer) and her daughter (Ana Plumberg) as they set out to escape from a broken homelife. The man of the house is an abusive prick you see, and the cops are no use. However, a spot of bad luck on their journey leads them further into the heart of darkness, as they encounter a pack of hungry werewolves in the middle of nowhere. But that’s not the end of their night from hell, as they discover when they stumble upon a captive (played by Linnea Quigley) in a farmhouse. Stranded with nowhere to go, they must fight for survival against all odds.
Bonehill Road feels like two movies in one, but that’s not to the film’s detriment by any means. On one hand we have a gruesome little hostage thriller featuring a “batshit fuck” villain and keen chef who specializes in meat of the human variety. On the other, we have a fun werewolf flick that boasts spectacular practical work courtesy of Joe Castro. The creature work really is top notch and the beasts occupy much of the screen time, so monster enthusiasts won’t be disappointed in that regard. Sheets’ genre-bending exercise makes for an experience that’s never boring, and it contains some impressive blood-letting for good measure.
The performances range from competent to over-the-top and hammy. The film’s villainous humans chew scenery spectacularly, but there’s some charm to be found in that. Some viewers might be put off by the juxtaposition of loony performances coupled with the dark tone of the movie in general. But as I said earlier, Sheets’ vision never ceases to entertain if you can appreciate what he’s going for.
Some viewers will likely wish focused primarily on the hostage story; others will wish it was a straight creature feature. The marriage of both won’t be to everyone’s taste. That said, there’s a type of film fan out there that loves this kind of “throwing everything at the wall and hope it sticks” level of ambition, and they’re going to have a blast with Bonehill Road. I certainly did.