The Bone Box
the bone box | luke genton | gareth koorzen | michelle krusiec | maria olsen | ghost | ghosts | haunted | drama | thriller | united states | aaron schwartz | david chokachi | jamie bernadette | cynthia bravo | art roberts | arielle elonys | maximus birchmore
Film: The Bone Box
Director: Luke Genton
Writer: Luke Genton
Starring: Gareth Koorzen, Michelle Krusiec and Maria Olsen
This is a movie that I heard nothing about. I was in a bit of a time pinch as I wanted to watch a 2020 horror release for my podcast, Journey with a Cinephile: A Horror Movie Podcast, as well as keep up with movies released this year with a vacation looming. I happened to check Shudder and saw this one on there and decided to give it a viewing. It did pair up nicely that the same week I saw The Mummy’s Hand which shares a similar plot device. The synopsis here is a grave robber comes to believe he’s haunted by those he stole from.
We start this with an interesting long shot of Tom (Gareth Koorzen) who is traversing through a graveyard. He has a lantern, but aside from that, it is pitch black. We do get some tension here as he tries to avoid cars by hiding behind different things, a police car being one of the vehicles he’s hiding from. He then makes it to a house where he sneaks in and goes up to a room. It is there that he relaxes a bit and turns on the light. Tom goes to take a shower, but we see something move in his room across the hall. He hears a noise and goes to investigate.
It turns out to be a friend of his, Elodie (Michelle Krusiec). She has an interesting part to this story as she works for a mortuary with her father and stole files. Tom has them and used them to rob their graves, which includes that of his uncle. He has a box in his room which Elodie refers to as a ‘bone box’, where morticians would keep items while working. Elodie is going through a divorce and needs money, which is why she gave the files to him. She didn’t expect Tom to actually to go through it or so she says. As he goes to sneak her out and look for his cellphone, his Aunt Florence (Maria Olsen) asks if that’s him from her room. His aunt then warns him about Elodie and he convinces her it isn’t what she thinks. He then tries to get some sleep.
Through a dream we get to see that Tom was married to Claire (Tess Bellomo). As time goes on, it is revealed she died of cancer. He is having a nice dream with her, but a bell wakes him up. He doesn’t find anyone in his room but does see there’s a bell that would go on a bike under his bed. This isn’t where the odd things stop though. The painting downstairs now has a black figure on it. He keeps getting calls at the house from his cellphone, but whoever has it won’t really say anything and just makes creepy sounds. He starts to think the spirits he robbed are after him, but is Tom really being haunted for what he did or is the stress of his plight getting to him?
That’s where I’m going to leave my recap, because to be honest there isn’t a lot to the story. I’m bummed by this if I’m going to be honest as there is a decent set up that we get here. When I saw the title, I didn’t know what it meant and I like the reveal of this box that morticians use. He has a box of his own that he keeps the stolen items in. This movie also does well in slowly introducing us to Tom and fleshing him out. What is interesting though is that not everything we learn about him is good.
I unfortunately think that this movie is a bit generic if I’m going to be honest. I wouldn’t be shocked to see that the director is new or was a former cinematographer or both. I say that as there was a lot of care to how the movie was shot and it is one of the best aspects. They use depth very well in with having characters in the foreground and things in the background for us as viewers to see. There were a few times that it made me feel uncomfortable and this is something that spooks me. I even like the ‘ghosts’ that we’re seeing. They are somewhat clinched, which is fine.
I’ve kind of jumped around a bit, but to get back to the story. I’ve already said what thought of the ghosts. I do like that this movie is grounded that there would be a logical explanation or a supernatural one. Tom is stressed as he owes money and didn’t sleep. He’s drinking as well as well dealing with grief over his deceased wife and now uncle. My problem though is that this becomes a movie about Tom needing money due to a gambling problem. It just feels basic and it really didn’t add a whole lot to me. The characters are also back and forth on their thoughts of what they should do about things. The story just lost me which is crazy is that it runs less than 90 minutes.
Something I should point out though is the acting isn’t bad. I thought Koorzen was fine as the lead as was Krusiec. Aaron Schwartz overacted in my opinion in his role as Benji and he really doesn’t need to be in the story if I’m going to be honest. There were other things that could be done to drive more emotional impact for me. The best performance though is probably Olsen. For whatever reason, she puts me at ease and I felt her grief of losing her husband. Aside from that David Chokachi and Jamie Bernadette were solid in their cameos as police along with Art Roberts, Maximus Birchmore, Cynthia Bravo and Bellomo as the ghosts that may or may not be haunting Tom.
Aside from that would be the effects. I’ve already said how I thought the movie was shot and the look of the ghosts. We also get some wounds from when Tom gets hit that looked good. The blood was solid as well. I’ll reiterate, how this movie was shot is probably the best part in my opinion.
Now with that said, I feel this movie does do some good things and there are issues with others. There’s an interesting set up here, but the movie just loses its way and focuses on things that I didn’t really care about. Not to beat a dead horse, it is shot extremely well. The effects and look of the characters are good. The acting is above average for the most part and the soundtrack worked for what is needed. This movie is just average in my opinion though. The good and the bad don’t really outweigh each other I’m kind of indifferent to be honest.
My Rating: 5 out of 10