This year, I took a large step away from reviewing films because I just wasn’t seeing the passion in the genre that I was used to finding from independent moviemakers. Everything that was coming across my desk was “good,” but nothing was really “great.” However, I took a chance on reviewing ASH AND BONE after being contacted by one of its associate producers, Joseph Williamson, and I’m glad that he reached out. ASH AND BONE is a cozy horror-drama and dark-thriller, and it wholeheartedly reminded me of why I got into receiving films in the first place.
Shot under Cama Productions and Painted Creek Productions, ASH AND BONE finds a small, secluded town, not much unlike any other that we’ve seen, and an ominous force of brutality lurking in the woods. A young woman and her parents take a trip out of the city for some quality bonding, but instead they’re forced to face off against two lunatics hidden by corruption. Every town has an urban legend, but this one’s about to shoot you in the face for real. Think of same genre inclusions like THE HILLS HAVE EYES, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and WRONG TURN, brought to you specifically by director Haley Wallen and writer Bret Miller.
ASH AND BONE stars Angelina Danielle Cama, Harley Wallen, Kaiti Wallen, Erika Hoveland, Jimmy Doom, Mason Heidger and reigning queen of scream Jamie Bernadette. It was edited by Alex Gasparetto and produced by Harley Wallen, Annette Cama and Nancy Oeswein. Three of the cast members listed above break into a murder house known for kidnapping, slavery and murder – so you can guess where the plot goes from there. Luckily, the cast jelled together really well, and I saw glimpses of on-screen chemistry. And that’s a hard foundation to build when everyone is screaming, crying and getting covered in grime!
I enjoyed the back county feeling that’s so ominous that it makes you sweat. I love what the behind-the-scenes crew did with the picture quality and the darkness fills a void desperately needed to make a horror film successful. I enjoyed the pacing and the attempt at making something that breaks the traditional mold. Really, ASH AND BONE made me fell in love with reviewing horror films again. My only complaint is that the body count is very low. I would have loved to see at least one more character death, even if they were just a throw-away character. Well done, great job all around.
Review: 8 out of 10.