Knucklebones Review

The Plot

A group of bored college students unleash a murderous demon while playing a dice game made from human knucklebones.

The Good

Writer Mitch Wilson’s directorial debut brings one of the most exciting horror villains to life in the form of Knucklebones, a skull-headed demon who terrorises a group of young teenagers after they decide to play with pentagrams. Which is really never a good idea when it comes to horror. Fantastically played by Tom Zembrod, Knucklebones has managed to establish himself as an iconic horror villain that takes the bloodthirst of Jason Voorhees and the darkly camp humour of Freddy Kruger and mashes it together perfectly. Whether he’s terrorising his victims with his spine-tingling stalking skills or busting out some killer gags during his kills, Knucklebones is the first success in horror icons for a long long time.

Set in an abandoned warehouse where our main heroes decide to hang out in order to cheer up Neesa (Julin) after a breakup leads to a suicide attempt. Julin brings a strong central performance to the screen with the script managing to set up the premise at a steady pace which is surprising considering the three separate introductions it offers, first in 1944 with Nazis attempting to meddle with the cursed game, then again in 1977 where a young boy gets involved with Knucklebones, before landing on present day. It might sound like a lot but Wilson’s script manages to make the time fly by.

The Bad

If you’re going in expecting a great piece of filmmaking you may feel short-changed by the time the credits roll. It’s certainly no Shining, and really should be approached with the same attitude it clearly had during filming; good gory fun.

The Ugly Truth

At its essence, Knucklebones is a love letter to the slasher films of the 80s with some clear inspiration taken from icons such as Freddy and Jason, while still managing to produce an instant icon of its own. Here’s hoping this is just the start of the Knucklebones franchise.

Review by Johnny Ellis

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