‘Bone Tomahawk’ Ending Explained: Do the Crew Rescue Samantha?

BoneTomahawk Ending

Welcome to the Ending Explained for ‘Bone Tomahawk’, a horror western film written and directed by S. Craig Zahler, and starring Kurt Russell, Matthew Fox, Patrick Wilson, Lili Simmons, David Arquette, and Evan Jonigkeit. The film is a classic Western film that adds horror elements to make the stakes even higher than ever before. However, when it comes to its structure, the film uses the classic maiden in distress trope to gather a gang of powerful personalities to face the threat of the group of cannibals that are getting a bit too bold in their incursions into civilized territory.

S. Craig Zahler is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting filmmakers and creators of the last decade. His films and novels go for extreme violence, but never in a gratuitous way. They actually try to depict the world in the harshest of ways, only to highlight the positive more powerfully, so it can shine greater than in other movies. Zahler seems to be a fan of the Western genre, having written several novels in that setting. Bone Tomahawk is his first feature film, and together with great character, great horror, and amazing performances, it is one of those amazing debuts that every director wishes for.


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The following paragraphs contain spoilers for ‘Bone Tomahawk’. Read at your own risk.

Who kidnaps Samantha?

‘Bone Tomahawk’ begins like many other stories before it. Setting up the enemy our heroes will face on the road takes time. In this case, it is a tribe of cannibals. These people are quite strong but also kind of brutish and completely uncivilized. We meet a couple of criminals on the road who find a burial site that seems to be inside the cannibal’s territory. This results in what is expected of a movie like this. The cannibals attack the criminals, and only one of them, a man named Pervis, is allowed to escape. Pervis makes his way injured through the desert and arrives in the town of Bright Hope.

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It is at Bright Hope that we meet our heroes. This very particular set of characters consists of Sheriff Franklin Hunt, gunslinger John Brooden, The Sheriff’s deputy, Chicory, and Samantha O’Dwyer, the local doctor’s daughter, who has been attending to her sick husband as of late.

Samantha is brought to the police station to attend to the wounds of Pervis. Hunt and Chicory leave Samantha with the youngest of the deputies, Nick. However, in the middle of the night, the station is attacked by the cannibals, and Samantha, Nick, and Pervis are kidnapped. The next morning brings bad news for the rest of our heroes.

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Hunt decides that these cannibals need to be stopped. It is dangerous to allow them to come so close to their town and, on top of that, let them kidnap people. And so, Hunt gathers, Chicory, and Brooder to create a rescue party. However, Samantha’s sick husband, Arthur, also wants to partake in the enterprise. His condition doesn’t allow him to walk long distances without suffering a lot of pain, but he is willing to take it if it means he can rescue Samantha. You can feel that he truly loves her very much. Hunt accepts Brooder’s and Chicory’s help, and they embark on the mission.

The group from a local native that the group they are after are some sort of troglodytes; a tribe that has been shunned and rejected by many other tribes. Their customs are savage, and they are violent enough that they can eat their own mothers. It doesn’t seem that they are the type of people you can reason with. It might be impossible to do it as they don’t have a language. They inbred with themselves, transforming them into something closer to monsters than humans.

Do the crew rescue Samantha?

The party travels through the desert, and it is as hard as you can imagine. The sun is unrelenting, and the heat is deadly. In the middle of the night, Brooder kills a couple of men for getting close to their party. He fears they are scouts, and in the end, history proves him right as they are later ambushed and their horses stolen. This becomes quite a bit of a situation, especially for Arthur, whose legs cannot withstand the punishment of such a long walk. The tension between Arthur and Brooder finally explodes, and Arthur’s injury becomes greater.

Arthur is left behind to recover with Chicory for the company while Hunt and Brooder continue forward. However, this time the troglodytes ambush them. Hunt and Brooder manage to kill the attackers, but the sneak attack leaves Brooder injured. Brooder sacrifices himself to make time for the others and kill some more troglodytes. He cannot imagine leaving as a cripple after this injury, so he chooses a hero’s death. He is an interesting character, as many of his actions and the things he says are arguably unpleasant, but he has honor and pride.

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Things get worse. Hunt and Chicory are captured by the troglodytes, while Arthur is approaching slowly but surely because of his injury. Hunt and Chicory are brought to the troglodytes’ cave. There, they see how these people live, and it is not pretty. Samantha and Nick are still alive. Samantha gives Hunt the information about how many troglodytes there are. The troglodytes grab Nick and kill him in a horrible fashion by scalping him and then bisecting him while still alive. They eat him. Hunt uses his cunning to make the troglodytes drink poison and seizes the opportunity to kill a couple more of the savages.

However, Hunt is overpowered by the troglodytes’ leader, and his belly is cut, and then they introduce his flash into him. Pretty brutal. Hunt finally gets shot by the troglodytes’ leader, but Arthur comes to save the day at last. He kills the leader and frees Samantha and Chicory. Hunt decides to stay behind and kill the last three troglodytes when they come to the cave. As the group escapes, they see a woman without limbs and with bones in her eyes. She is pregnant and more of a baby machine than anything else.


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Arthur, Samantha, and Chicory leave the caves, and Chicory grabs a stone as a weapon. However, when they hear three shots in the distance, Chicory drops the stone on the ground, knowing that Hunt just killed the last three troglodytes and that they are safe.