Following on from the 2017 thriller The Invisible Guardian, The Legacy Of The Bones is an enjoyable enough follow-up, even if it is haunted by some structural problems and a glacial pacing that offsets some of the intrigue inherent with this one. The narrative itself is enjoyable enough, with plenty of interesting ties to the past for our returning Investigator Salazar to deal with.
After such a grounded start, the film quickly settles into a methodical rhythm before the second half adds that aforementioned supernatural uneasiness to the fold and with it, a climactic third act full of action and thrills. Given a third film was shot at the same time as this one, the ending does leave things on a frustrating cliffhanger, with little resolved and an underwhelming feel to the final scenes.
The story itself predominantly revolves around Amaia Salazar, an investigator looking to put the past behind her after solving a slew of crimes in her hometown. Now heavily pregnant, a suicide leads to one chilling word that pushes her forward into a new investigation – “Tarttalo”. Returning after her 4 month absence for maternity leave, the story picks up with Amaia on a crusade to uncover the truth, as more dead bodies start arriving with that same chilling word at each crime scene.
Between the investigative segments are a string of formulaic family issues for Amaia to deal with, and as the investigation starts to ramp up, so too does the tension at home. With the first half of the film adopting a slow, methodical pace, Legacy Of The Bones is a film you really have to be patient with to get to the heart of the drama.
The midway point of this one turns the tables slightly, as Salazar uncovers ties to her estranged Mother Rosario and hidden secrets to her past. All of this builds up to that climax where little is resolved and the film gives the impression of it feeling like a middle chapter of a book rather than a stand-alone segment in this trilogy. As a three-part miniseries that would be fine but as a stand-alone Spanish picture, this one suffers from some pretty big structural issues.
Legacy Of The Bones uses an abundance of long shots until late on in the game too, which only further exacerbates some of the problem with the pacing here. Even worse, the film adopts a lot of the usual investigative tropes we’ve seen time and again in other films, but does so without much in the way of flair or creativity.
Having said that, there are a few nicely shot scenes and there’s a couple of really gorgeous composited segments that certainly help the film stand out but Legacy Of The Bones is unashamedly rigid in its structure as a crime drama, and even more unsatisfying given it fails to wrap up many of its plot threads, especially surrounding Amaia’s family.
If you’ve watched the first part, no doubt you’ll stick around and watch this to find out what happens next but if you’re going into this one without seeing the first, Legacy Of The Bones makes absolutely no effort to get you up to scratch on what’s happened before. While Legacy Of The Bones isn’t a bad film per-se, it’s not a particularly great one either, ending on a whimper rather than a roar.