When you think of a horror film, you likely think of a film such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Halloween or Friday the 13th or any number of films identified with the genre.
Yet, if you are a true fan of horror, you know that horror can transcend gore. The best "horror" films aren't necessarily the most violent or the most gory or the most exploitative. Sometimes, it's the quietest films that are the scariest. Sometimes, it's the films that give us the creepy, crawly feelings way down deep inside. Sometimes, it's the films that are deeply personal and touch something deep inside that haunts us or that we try to keep hidden.
The Price of Bones is a psychological horror film, a film that rattles the bones and makes you think and makes you feel and makes you more than a little bit frightened deep inside. Caprice and Heather are two beautiful young women who don't quite realize it, woefully lacking in self-acceptance and desperate to transform themselves into different beings and different bodies and who are willing to do anything to make this transformation happen.
But what if it already has happened?
Delving into the world of eating disorders in a unique, deeply felt and extraordinarily intelligent way, The Price of Bones is a jarring film and a disturbing film precisely because it does feel so incredibly realistic. Oh sure, it may seem somewhat dramatized for impact yet there's something so incredibly familiar about it all that one is simultaneously riveted by and repulsed by it all.
At a mere 10 minutes in length, The Price of Bones could have easily been a longer film and still completely satisfying. As their obsession intensifies, one senses a sinister fate awaiting. Lisa Dennett, as Caprice's mother, projects an emotional villainry that nearly reminds one of Mo'Nique's Oscar-winning performance in the unforgettable in Precious.
Summerisa Bell Stevens and Jordan Anton are mesmerizing as Caprice and Heather, respectively. It speaks volumes about their performances that one can see and feel the physical and emotional transformations unfolding in the short span of a ten minute film aided by Jesse Gouldsbury's transformative lensing and Andy Lanni's emotionally raw yet layered original music.
Director Brandon Taylor, working off of Samantha Kolesnik's deeply personal yet universal script, paints a truly horrifying portrait of just how far women will go to achieve that number that once reached is still never enough. The Price of Bones captures the unquenchable desire and the driving passion that drives this quest and is relentless in portraying the horrifying consequences.
The Price of Bones is just getting started on its festival circuit and is one of those films you simply will not forget.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic