While Luca Guadagnino’s cannibalistic new romantic horror film Bones and All follows the bloody love story of Maren (Waves‘ Taylor Russell) and Lee (Lady Bird, Little Women, and Dune‘s Timothée Chalamet), the story is actually quite gayer than you’d expect…
I mean, perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised since Guadagnino and Chalamet’s last project together — the Oscar-winning, queer coming-of-age tale Call Me By Your Name — but the film includes some queer moments that we simply must talk about.
Set in the ’80s American countryside, we follow Maren, a young cannibal, as she is out on her own for the first time. After she learns how to (quite literally) sniff out others like her, she stumbles upon Lee, with whom there is an immediate connection.
With two people on the fringes of society finding each other in a hopeless place, the story is already queer-coded – but there are a couple of moments that truly push it into a queer story.
When we first meet Lee, he is very open about his love for the band KISS, tight t-shirts, and his red-streaked hair. His quirks make Maren fall him quickly, though that might just be because they’re the only two cannibals around under the age of 20. When we meet Lee’s little sister a bit later, she is not feeling his vibe and doesn’t hesitate to tell him that he looks “like a fagg*t.” Lee has a very visceral reaction to the slur (but hey, it’s the ’80s, so whatever).
But we quickly learn why the comment struck a nerve.
Lee and Maren are in the throes of their budding relationship, galavanting around a small town fair and kissing on a Ferris wheel when Lee spots a vendor in a very flamboyant button-up. The two make eye contact that’s just a little too long, and when Lee walks up to play his carnival game, the sparks are flying higher than fireworks on the fourth of July.
Though their desire is unspoken, they agree to meet once the fair closes. Maren hides in the truck while Lee walks up to the man. As they head into a cornfield for… some privacy, Lee grabs the guy by his neck and kisses him before vanishing into the stalks. Maren sneaks over to get a look for herself and stumbles upon Lee fully jerking the guy off from behind while he moans into the abyss. Just as he’s about to finish, Lee slits his throat. He waves Maren over and the two feast on his remains.
Just a casual Friday night.
Since Lee could’ve just killed the carnival bro and gotten it over with, the handjob seems to signify that he is bisexual – though it is never again addressed in the film.
Without giving too much else away, Bones and All is absolute chaos at every turn that makes for a delicious ride that may or may not make you hesitate the next time you handle raw meat.
Bones and All is playing in select theaters now and is set for wide release on November 23. Watch the trailer in the video below.