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Bone Tomahawk

At Nightmares Fear Factory in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, you will find horror, and horror will find you too. In the Nightmares Fear Factory, the halls are dark, narrow, and long. The walls shift. The eyes watch. Hands reach. Things scream.

At Nightmares Fear Factory, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, you will find out how brave you are.

The idea of human-hunting savages with odd, mystical powers only echoes the long history of otherwise writing that mostly comes out of the colonial periods of the Western European countries, during their world-taming periods.

Think about it. People are people, and colonizers headed to India or Africa or somewhere else that was totally foreign to them knew only from scouting missions that if you stepped foot on the continent, you tended to die—and though this was mostly through disease and accident and occasional brush war with indigenous tribes, you can’t stop rumour with reason.

Bone Tomahawk is the American adaptation of a similar story to any other “dark continent” adventure story, similar to Thirteenth Warrior (from Michael Crighton’s Eaters of the Dead) or The Ghost in the Darkness.

Set as a spaghetti Western but with Kurt Russel instead of Clint Eastwood, Bone Tomahawk is the story of a group of cannibal natives raiding American settlements and carrying off its own particular brand of forage; other human beings.

Bone Tomahawk is everyone’s nightmare, at least from the period. The cannibals, once a native expert has been consulted, turn out to be a vicious group of outcasts from the rest of the indigenous nations who have been a problem for everyone, for a very long time… but far too scary and dangerous for anyone to do anything about, as they move through supernatural means and communicate with one another through odd, inhuman sounds which echo across the desert.

Kurt Russel stars, as I mentioned, through an extremely entertaining, psychological horror movie where the hunters are hunted whilst engaging in the type of conversation that seems almost Victorian in its intellectual contrast to a bunch of colonizing invaders with heavy weapons (for the period) moving in to disrupt local culture and custom (which apparently, was eating people).

The high points? The dialogue. Russel himself. Most of the caste is fantastic.

The low points? The movie has a slow pace, which is mostly meant to allow the tension to build. Unfortunately, there are enough minor cathartic moments throughout which prove counterproductive for a lasting execution of a tension-build.

Also, the moment where you have to watch the natives eat someone may be among the most profoundly disturbing moments I’ve ever seen on film.

So have you ever felt hunted by your nightmares? During its period of colonization, Niagara Falls, Ontario, probably lead to the deaths of a few men who had just arrived on its shores. Who knows what nightmares this spawned in the minds and hearts of the incoming British, French and otherwise settlers?

Who knows if those nightmares ever left?

So come down to Nightmares Fear Factory, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, and find out how brave you are.

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