The plot, as mentioned earlier, is so thin as to be practically nonexistent. The small Canadian town of "Munster" has experienced a rash of child abductions, which is only mentioned tangentially in discussions because no one really seems to care that much. The name "Munster" is, naturally, utterly atrocious, almost on the level of "Nilbog" in terms of pointlessly obvious and stupid place names in horrible movies. Loser dork Kyle is working in his loser dork library when single mother Madeline comes in asking for the section on local myths and superstitions. Her young son was mysteriously taken and her only lead was a bizarre instrument apparently used by "bonesetters" in the 19th century, leading her to believe that a long-dead evil bonesetter had for some reason returned to life and needed the lives of young children to attain immortality. After telling Kyle her plight and talking about how desperate she is to find her missing son, Madeline reveals she's gone insane with worry when she straight-up asks Kyle out on a date that night, because if there's one thing aggrieved mothers do, it's to ask out ugly men who are visibly afraid of them on dinner dates where they will make out after discussing their children. I hate this movie.
The Bonesetter himself is the worst kind of utterly generic horror film villain: the kind where it's obvious the writer decided with some sort of idea of where he wanted to go with the villain, but then either gave up due to laziness or ineptitude or, in this case, obviously both. So a bonesetter is apparently a man who made his entire living in the 1800s by driving a cart from town to town and setting the broken bones of the people whom I suppose dove off their roofs when they saw him trundling down the road. Madeline explains that this bonesetter was known to residents as "bonhomme sept-heur" which vaguely sounds homophonic to the English translation, despite actually meaning "seven o'clock man". The movie then even tries to explain this by saying that the bonesetter would only show up in the evening to set the bones of all the patient boys and girls who had been sitting around with mangled limbs waiting for him to arrive, and the fact that the French words sound suspiciously similar to the English term is somehow all part of a massive coincidence they shouldn't even bother thinking about, probably because it would make their heads explode.
The Bonesetter lurks in the shadows and wears a stupid hat and cape and does next to nothing in the entire movie. Occasionally a child is kidnapped, which is accomplished by the Bonesetter appearing in a camera frame for 0.7 seconds before it switches to a POV view rushing up to the child who immediately disappears into thin air. Once or twice he comes out into the open and strides in front of the camera, giving a wonderfully blurry of his silhouette as he runs by and maybe punches someone through the stomach for no apparent purpose before skulking away again into the darkness. At the end it's revealed he has to sacrifice seven children before midnight on the seventh day of the seventh month, because "the number seven is very big in religious circles." I couldn't make this shit up if I tried. Actually I wouldn't want to make this shit up, and if I ended up making it anyway, it certainly wouldn't be because I was trying.
At the end Kyle and Madeline and a couple other hangers-on manage to track down the Bonesetter's ramshackle ranch by literally following a trail of cow shit. Once there Kyle manages to defeat the Bonesetter by allowing himself to be beaten up while the Bonesetter cackles menacingly and refuses to deliver the final blow because he has to continually announce how much he is enjoying it. After Kyle triumphantly points to his digital watch which strikes midnight and causes the Bonesetter to evaporate in a cloud of smoke accompanied by a series of low gonging noises, everyone celebrates before the last scene reveals that the Bonesetter had actually been resurrected by the Satanic ritual of a retarded man who had a bit part earlier in the movie. As near as I can tell the man was actually supposed to be retarded and not just putting on an act, which means that even in its final moments "The Bonesetter" manages to find a way to drag itself to new lows, if not with introducing a villain literally 4 seconds before it fades to black, but also with making that villain mentally disabled and expecting people to find a Special Ed kid performing black magic perfectly normal and acceptable.
The amazing thing is that with a running length of only 60 minutes, "The Bonesetter" shouldn't have enough time to become patently offensive. Usually when a movie really angers me it's because it drags on too long and I simply cannot wait for the credits to finally roll. In the case of "The Bonesetter" this took about five minutes before I realized than any original idea which even crossed within the vicinity of this production was shot on sight in order to protect the writer / director / actor's vision of himself as a triple threat, and lest any thoughts like "isn't this whole thing absolutely horrible?" ruin the film's momentum.
There is an economic idea that posits that breaking a window is actually beneficial to society because it stimulates the action and commerce necessary to replace it and thus is benefiting humanity as a whole. Every respectable economist alive calls this idea a fallacy but "The Bonesetter" proves there are exceptions. If the amount of effort spent by the crew in making "The Bonesetter" had instead been spent in smashing every window in Canada there is no doubt that society would have been better off for it. And yet the window-smashing would get them sent to jail, and "The Bonesetter" continues to exist. What a world.
|Special Effects:||- 10|
|Music / Sound:||- 9|