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Bonehill Road

Bonehill Road (2017) Extreme Entertainment [ ]
runtime: 1.28.35
tagline: “Stranded, But Not Alone”

In the interests of full disclosure, I’ll admit right off the bat that I’m a big fan of Todd Sheets. I was stoked to get a chance to take a look at this movie, and I went into it fully expecting to enjoy it based on my experience with his previous output. After having seen the film I can say with certainty that I was not disappointed in the slightest …

Things get off to a quick start, with the viewing being put right into some pretty intense footage. There’s clearly excellent chemistry between the actresses playing the mother (Eli DeGeer) and daughter (Ana Rojas-Plumberg ) as they escape a terrible domestic violence situation. A very palpable sense of tension is built with the combination of music, camera angles and lighting. This is where the experience working under low budget movie conditions really shines with the Extreme Entertainment crew. They wring every last little bit of value out of their resources and it shows with what they’re able to pull off on screen with so little money.

Finally we get a quick little view of a small portion of the creature, but no full reveal right off … and I love it. The job they’ve done on Bonehill Road with such minimal light sources is impressive. A significant portion of the movie takes place outside and in very dimly lit areas, and at no point did I find the lighting a hindrance to the on-screen action. The acting showed a real sense of panic without becoming comical and over-played. We are treated to another quick tease of the creature before a shot of the full creature … heavily shadowed. I really enjoy how they’re teasing with the creature reveal and drawing it out like this. When we do finally get to see the monsters, we’re treated to some gorgeous practical monster suits, which are wonderful to see in use on such a low budget indie film.

There’s a secondary story arc brought into play here, but it’s handled well and doesn’t distract from the primary story. It serves to move the characters along in their development, which makes it easier to care about them in the context of the surrounding events. It also wouldn’t be a Sheets film if there wasn’t some of the red stuff thrown about and the first real graphic bit of it is a beauty. As over the top and gross as you’ve come to expect from Todd and the folks at Extreme Entertainment, the practical effects in Bonehill Road are just repulsive. There’s one scene in particular where the camera angle and lighting give you a perfect view of just how slimy and nasty the effect is, and you can even see how it’s textured as the camera doesn’t shy away. On a few shots I actually laughed out loud which is another hallmark of a quality gore film for me as it means I’m invested in what I’m looking at.

No spoilers, but the conclusion of the secondary story arc is a wonderful bowl of just desserts served with a super-sized side order of the red stuff.

I’d also like to take a moment to note how much I love the Dreaming Purple Neon shirt worn by Linnea Quigley (Suzy). She has a pretty small part in this, but it plays a key role in the secondary story arc and she does a good job. Dilynn Fawn Harvey (Lucy) has a tricky role to play but she does it well. It would have been very easy for her portrayal to become comical if exaggerated too much but she keeps it reigned in just enough to prevent that from happening.

Bonehill Road is definitely worth seeing. Great acting, wonderful practical effects, and a compelling story. While I wouldn’t have minded some more monster action (there was a fair bit of time spent with the secondary story arc), this is a very small issue. The secondary arc serves to introduce new characters as well as moving forward with the development of Emily and Eden, and again I have to stress how much the chemistry between the two really helps fill out the characters and reinforce the gravity of certain plot points. Highly recommended to check this one out with friends around a big bowl of popcorn and some tasty beverages as I think it would be an absolute riot.

Review by Bacon Kractor

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