Not to be confused with the 1993 porn film of the same name, Bone Alone is the hideous offspring of mockbuster titan The Asylum and some dogs they found outside one time. It’s a remake of Home Alone, that John Hughes classic which marked out Macaulay Culkin as a child actor we’d all feel terrible about witnessing later, and replaces any decent actors with dog/CGI hybrids.
After a cringe-worthy animated opening sequence, a generic family leave for Christmas, taking their supposedly good dog Columbo (who by the way is a bit of a shit, so we’re glad to see the back of him) with them and dropping off Bone (the less loved dog, clearly) to a shoddy kennel. Five minutes later, Bone has had enough of the terrible owner, a poor man’s Paul Giamatti attempting the comic lovability of a poor man’s John Candy, and the weird dog who sounds like Christopher Walken, so he pisses off back home- and just in time! He’s about to foil a burglary!
The slapstick element of Bone Alone is definitely not lacklustre. At first you might well think scratching a floorboard is no paint can to the head, but by far one of the best seasonal movie scenes I’ve watched this year is one of a dog hitting a man on the head repeatedly with a frying pan. That’s when the slapstick fun starts getting sinister. Yes, the dog manages some solid quips as he’s laying out his plans, but read the tone, Bone! A light-hearted family comedy does not call for a dog taking a man up the chimney (might fit in better with that ’93 porno though…*ahem*)- let alone nearly drowning a man! That isn’t “lols for all”! The violence seems universal across the canine world, with Santa’s dog hurling a nail-adorned wooden plank at a car and sending it into a spiral of bad CGI.
The terrible effects are another redeeming factor, if you aren’t a massive fan of murderous dogs. Just look at those whited-out windows in every car- are the characters all driving into the light? Probably yes if their dogs are killing them. The film, however, doesn’t die so easily- after the fun of laughing at atrocious SFX and burglars stealing exclusively low value items (You’re in a massive house, and you take baubles and bean dip? What is the point, Bone Alone.), the appeal dwindles rapidly. The main villain’s speech is completely ignorable, which is probably why the film quickly throws in some explosive farts (you read correctly) to pique the audience’s interest at the end.
I’d ask The Asylum to respect its audiences more, but then I realised how pointless a request that is. If you’re with a group of friends for a viewing party, Bone Alone totally holds up- for the first half of the film. After that point, just play Scrabble or something. A film cannot live on parody alone- which is a shame, because that frying pan bit was gold.
Rating: Ho Ho/Ho Ho Ho.