Waynesville Mail

Diving Into the Depths of Family Lore

MOVIE REVIEW
Queen of Bones

     

Genre: Horror, Thriller
Year Released: 2024
Runtime: 1h 30m
Director(s): Robert Budreau
Writer(s): Michael Burgner
Cast: Julia Butters, Jacob Tremblay, Taylor Schilling, Martin Freeman, Christopher Heyerdahl, Martin Julien, Vin Volpe
Where To Watch: showing at the 2024 Santa Barbara International Film Festival


RAVING REVIEW: QUEEN OF BONES is a journey back to the 1930s, where mystery and folklore mix the lives of two siblings and their father in Oregon. Directed by Robert Budreau, this movie promises an escape into a time where secrets and spells govern the fate of a family. My first impression? This film is an intriguing mix of history, drama, and supernatural elements, creating a viewing experience that keeps you guessing what's around every corner. With a cast led by Julia Butters and supported by Taylor Schilling, Jacob Tremblay, and Martin Freeman, QUEEN OF BONES is a memorable dive into a lesser-seen era of storytelling.


The attention to detail in the costumes and set design transports viewers to the Depression-era setting, adding layers of authenticity and atmosphere. The world created on screen adds depth to the film by making you feel like you’ve stepped into this period. Many films like this suffer from bright color palettes or worlds that don’t feel genuine. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case here; the depth in every item on screen proved the key to making the viewer feel like they’re part of this story.

Julia Butters steps into the role of Lily, proving that her range as an actor knows no bounds. Alongside Tremblay, they form a duo that brings depth and curiosity to the screen, embarking on a quest to unravel the mysteries behind a tragedy involving their mother. The clues they discover set them on a path that blends the grim aspects of fairy tales with the stark realities of their reality, creating a haunting and compelling narrative.

However, while the film excels in atmosphere and acting, it occasionally hits some roadblocks in its pacing and clarity. The story, rich with potential, sometimes felt shallow, with a need to cover more ground, leaving specific plot points underexplored or rushed. This doesn't detract from the overall experience but does leave one wondering what a tighter focus or additional screen time devoted to specific aspects could have achieved.

The ensemble cast, including Freeman, Schilling, and others, provides a solid foundation for the story, contributing performances that resonate well beyond their screen time. The collaborative effort on screen is palpable, with Budreau guiding his vision that pays homage to cinema's history while carving out a unique space in today's movie landscape.

QUEEN OF BONES is a solid addition to Budreau's filmography, blending the lines between history, mystery, and supernatural intrigue. It's a film that invites audiences into its richly layered world, offering a peek into a past filled with secrets waiting to be uncovered. While not without flaws, the movie is a testament to the power of narrative and the endless possibilities of exploring the depths of human connections and history in its own right. Whether you're a fan of period pieces or supernatural tales or simply looking for a well-acted drama that thinks outside the box, QUEEN OF BONES is worth the watch.

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[photo courtesy of FALLING FORWARD FILMS, RADIANT FILMS INTERNATIONAL, APPIAN WAY, LUMANITY, PRODUCTIVITY MEDIA PICTURES, PRODUCTIVITY MEDIA]

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