Review: Executive Produced by Ari Aster, chilling short film ‘THE BONES’ is unlike anything you’ve witnessed before.

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Directed by Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña (The Wolf House) and executive produced by Ari Aster (Midsommar), The Bones (Venice ’21) is a fictitious account of the world’s first stop-motion animated film. Dated 1901 and excavated in 2021 as Chile drafts a new Constitution, the footage documents a ritual performed by a girl who appears to use human corpses. Emerging in the ritual are Diego Portales and Jaime Guzmán, central figures in the construction of authoritarian and oligarchic Chile.

Is there such a thing as playful morbidity? In just under 13 minutes, the short film THE BONES captivates audiences with one-of-a-kind images. I found myself transfixed by the black & white stop motion animation. I was thankful for the brief plot summary, as I am unfamiliar with Chile’s political history. I’m not sure if understanding the context of these real-life figures makes it more or less ghoulish. THE BONES is equal parts bewitching and disturbing. Composer Tim Fain crafts a haunting score. It is easy to see how Chilean filmmakers Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña attracted the eye of executive producer Ari Aster. This short feels akin to a children’s bedtime story in Aster’s cinematic realm. You will not be able to look away from THE BONES. It is pure macabre art. 

THE BONES is now streaming exclusively on MUBI

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