Episode #1:8 'Skin & Bones'

What the critics said ...


"What makes this episode really work is the incredible Doug Jones. If fellow Hellboy star Ron Perlman is this generation's Boris Karloff, then Jones is most definitely our Lon Chaney. Doug absolutely owns this role, his performance shining through the very subtle prosthetics and makeup. It's clear that this man is more than just a guy with foam latex stuck to his face. He's a very rare kind of actor who understands makeup as a tool, and works with it instead of around it. He shifts effortlessly between creepy, scary and physically imposing, transforming himself from the inside out, changing even his voice."


"In Skin and Bones, a wealthy rancher (the truly awesome Doug Jones) returns from a week lost in the mountains and he's barely alive. Living up to the title, the rancher looks like the walking dead. Even his family is kind of terrified of him and the doctor says his survival, after ten days in the wilderness, is a miracle.

"There are moments in Skin and Bones where [director] Fessenden's skill shines through. There's a shot with an emaciated Grady at a barn door that I particularly loved. And Doug Jones simply rules. He's become one of the most interesting physical presences in film, stealing scenes as the Pale Man in Pan's Labyrinth and Abe Sapien in Hellboy. His riveting physicality nearly makes Skin and Bones worth watching and anyone who enjoys this hour of horror television is going to do so largely for what Jones brings to the piece."


"What a treat it is to see a performer as talented as Doug Jones show off his stuff while wearing hardly any makeup for a change. Jones is the actor behind Abe Sapien in the Hellboy movies and Faun in Pan's Labyrinth; here we actually get to see his face, and he's the best thing about Skin and Bones. He's a genuinely frightening creature, his head poking out from the top of his blanket, grinning and salivating and freaking everybody out. This episode is really a one-man show, as the rest of the cast does little to hold their own against the monster in the bedroom - Jones is obviously having a blast as he gets to act without tons of prosthetics.

"Despite its shortcomings, Skin and Bones is ultimately a great showcase for Doug Jones, who's always able to bring a level of humanity to all of his various creatures. You won't be able to take your eyes off him as he glares and growls his way through this nightmarish episode - here's hoping he gets more roles where we can see his real face and hear his real voice."

UGO.COM Brian Enk

"Skin and Bones has a potent pair of talents in key roles: Larry Fessenden as director and Doug Jones as star, and together they elevate the material to good ’n’ creepy levels.

"Fessenden, imbuing Skin and Bones with the same rustic/claustrophobic atmosphere he brought to Wendigo, delivers both tension and a couple of jump-off-your-couch jolts. Alwyn J. Kumst’s cinematography, gorgeous in its early exteriors before becoming eerier when the action moves indoors, is a strong asset, as is the off-kilter score by Fessenden regular Jeff Grace. And at the center of it all is Jones, literally tearing into his role and cutting a genuinely fearsome figure; he really does seem to be inhabited by a malevolent force. [ ... ] And Jones’ exposure in this episode will hopefully lead him to more genuine onscreen face time."

FANGORIA Michael Gingold

"Jones is the star - front and center - of this episode and he looks terrible! [ ... ] He’s so thin; he looks like he could kill you with his collarbone. It’s horrifying and yet, Jones is such a presence that even when he’s sleeping you can’t take your eyes off of him. [ ... ]"


"Doug Jones brings down the house in the creepiest episode to date. [ ... ] Hellboy II: The Golden Army’s Doug Jones scares the bejesus out of everyone as a hungry carnivore looking for fresh meat – from his wife, to cows, to horses, to whatever he can get his nasty green tongue around. Jones is downright creepy as the father that is only a shell of what he was and instead is a vile creature only concerned about its ever growing appetite. Frostbitten fingers, frostbitten ears and withered away and looking like something out of Auschwitz, Grady first kills a horse and has a gnarly confrontation with an Indian ranch worker that knows exactly what got inside of him and tells him to fight it but he can’t as it has “already consumed him."

”The story itself is basic: Demonic force invades man and man terrorizes family. But it is Jones and Jones alone that makes this story what it is – the scariest and creepiest episode of Fear Itself of the season. Helped by a simply amazing score that sets the tone from emotionally tormented as brothers face off, to pounding music as Grady attacks the family to the last desperate attempt at surviving this creatures onslaught. This, my friends, is good horror and what we should have been seeing in this series from the very start."


"Jones is a proven master at playing the bizarre and/or downright creepy under heavy make-up, as he ultimately does here. With roles like the Silver Surfer (Fantastic Four), Abe Sapien (Hellboy) and El Fauno/The Pale Man (Pan's Labyrinth), Jones is absolutely brilliant at bringing these characters to life.

"And make no mistake, it is the power of Jones' acting that truly propels this story into the upper echelons of the short Fear Itself catalog."

TV SQUAD Jason Hughes


"Doug Jones practically brings this episode to life; Skin And Bones would've been a weaker outing if it weren't for him [ ... ]

"Alas, the real meat and potatoes of Skin & Bones is Doug Jones. The man is very good here. And the great makeup further enhances his performance. The scene with his wife, the body, and the meat cleaver near the end is, besides the ending to Family Man, the only memorable moment this show has provided. The rest of the cast is subpar for the most part, but I found the character of the wife to pull of a decent performance; she handled herself quite nicely while being in Doug's scene-stealing presence."

IMDb Dawn

" [ ... ] the awesome Doug Jones. The man is a complete artist and performer, putting his whole self into every role he plays. This is no exception. The makeup team did a truly terrifying job with his look, and he was completely believable as someone at war with a personal demon."

IMDb Darren Bailey

"First, we have easily the most blood and gore in the series yet (thanks, NBC). I thought the limits were pushed before, but here I think we've found the end. Human flesh! Then we have Doug Jones, who is amazing as the stick-thin wendigo-infused father. Say what you will about anything else, but Jones was pretty awesome."

IMDb Gavin Schmitt

"The heart and soul of this episode is Doug Jones's performance as the rancher. The only time we see him before his ordeal is glimpses of photographs. His makeup is reminiscent of the silent classic Nosferatu. In the second act he's in bed, flat on his back, staring at nothing: Jones does more with his eyes than most actors can with ten pages of dialog."

IMDb Bryan from Texas

"And the good news is that Doug Jones, probably one of the greatest gifts to modern horror and fantasy since Don Coscarelli 'discovered' Angus Scrimm, gets showcased here. Not since Andy Serkis as Gollum has an actor been so good at playing characters who completely obscure his identity. If he's not at all familiar to you, hopefully you saw Guillermo Del Toro's mind-blowing Pan's Labyrinth, or the considerably less wonderful Fantastic Four sequel. The guy who played both the menacing "Faun" and the even scarier "Pale Man" in Pan's, and the "Silver Surfer"? That was Doug. And with more of his real face and body showing than usual, he still manages to be creepy as hell in this Fear Itself episode.

"But this is pretty much Doug's baby, and director Larry Fessenden wisely just points the camera at him and lets him go. It's just too bad the script doesn't nearly measure up to Doug's uniquely creepy talents. Here's hoping Guillermo has him back for his next film. Now THERE'S a man who knows how to put Doug's talents to good use."

IMDb Christopher T. Chase

And a final word from the director of Skin & Bones Larry Fessenden, in interview with Fangoria

"Fessenden agreed, and soon determined that there was only one actor for the role of the slowly degrading Grady: the man who has brought everything from fantasy creatures to superhero antagonists to life on the big screen.

“I woke up one night and said, ‘Oh my God, Doug Jones, that’s it!’ ” he reveals. “I must say I don’t know what magic had hit me, but this was brilliant, and I immediately submitted him to casting. That’s a notoriously difficult process, because the networks generally think in terms of television [names] and they really hadn’t heard of Doug, so I said, ‘Excuse me, let me educate ya’ [laughs]. They became aware of who he was and how important he was, and I said, ‘Listen, he is the special effect, I’m gonna save you huge amounts of money and you’re gonna get something great, and the fans will be excited because he’ll be without the same amount of makeup we’re accustomed to.’That paid off in spades; Doug was approved very quickly when they figured out who he was, and he is absolutely the centerpiece of the film. He is so spectacular, it’s really remarkable and I believe it’ll be remembered as an iconic episode, and this little minifilm of Doug’s performance.”

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