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|Index||51 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sub-par CGI aside, this movie is actually not that bad. We have a pretty good and plausible plot, decent acting, some ancient folklore, reality in that when firing on someone you take down the horse first (nothing graphic though), nasty/bad guys (but not over the top), decent people, and some monsters out on the prairie eating up people, and only so because certain people did away with their major food source. The movie managed to address certain sociological and political issues without being preachy, and it worked well with what was going on. All of the characters were believable. Where it fell down was, as mentioned above, and by a few others, the bad F/X. SPOILER ALERT! What would have made this movie even better, and more suspenseful than it already was, was to not really ever have the audience see The Burrowers, other than a face flashing by. It was tense without ever seeing them. Also, when the Burrowers went for the bait have the bait only in the moonlight, and we'd only see an occasional claw/hand or face, but mostly just see the beasts in shadow. Can movies be fixed/updated? If so, fix the little problems here and I'm buying this one.
I actually wanted to rate it a 6 (out of 10), but I liked the ending so
much I had to give the movie an extra point. Plus it does dare to be
different. And I think it does succeed most of the times, with
combining known ingredients and mixing them up. Of course this is a
western, but there is more to it than "cowboys and Indians" (much more
and no pun intended).
Most of the time we do know more than the main actors. And while we do know, it might feel a bit too slow moving for a few people. Of course I haven't watched the short (look in the movie connections on IMDb) or the web series, that are connected with this. It's a great nice idea though, that has some nice acting and a decent enough plot to follow.
"The Burrowers" is an original little film to say the least. It makes a
pretty damn good western, & commentary on how whites treated the
Indians badly in the late 1900's. It makes for a nifty little horror
film, as what the white settlers & Calvary thought was a Indian raid &
massacre of a family, is not what happened, to their horror.
Very good acting, directing, & pacing compliment this film, with enough of a spooky soundtrack to intensify scenes just at the right moment. The creatures are a bit tough to make out in the dark, but in retrospect, that probably enhances this film too.
If I had to liken "the Burrowers" to any movie(s), I'd call it "the Mole People" on steroids, meets "the Searchers." Though no where near as good as film as "The Searchers," (not many westerns are), it digs up "the Mole People," & buries them for good! "The Burrows" is one of those rare films that combines the western & horror genres & makes it work!
Notched it up a extra star for originality!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
...especially given its pitiful rating here on the IMDb, "The Burrowers" is an engaging Western creature feature with far more brains than it seems to have been given credit for. Apparently adapted from a Fearnet mini-series, this E.C. Comics-ish tale defies its minuscule ($7mil) budget with some fine camera-wrangling by Phil "The Devil's Rejects" Parmet, an effectively evocative score from Joseph "The Evil Dead" LoDuca, fine ensemble work from its cast (including William "Lost" Mapother, Sean Patrick "The Fountain" Thomas, Doug "The Green Mile" Hutchison, Karl "Coney Island Baby" Geary, and Clancy "Starship Troopers" Brown---look also for a brief appearance by Jocelin "The House of the Devil" Donahue), and a delightfully intelligent script from director/writer J.T. "Faces of Death" Petty. The pace of things is leisurely, which may dissuade the ADHD crowd, and the critter fx are at times a bit dodgy (but still mostly satisfying), and the ending may feel a bit anti-climactic, but for the patient viewer, there is much to be enjoyed, including some nice dark humor and unexpected happenings. Not quite deserving of cult status, but heads above much of the dreck that passes for horror movies these days.
I heard about this film from "Kim Newman's Video Dungeon" feature in
Normally he gets to sort through the straight-to-DVD trash that most (or some) would rather leave to others. However, his "dungeon breakout" selection of the month is always worth a look. This is one such example and is a highly ambitious film that was bizarrely "shitcanned" by LionsGate Films. Especially since they're about to release Saw 5(!)
I feel the whiff of corporate defecation amidst!? Anyway! Sorry back to the review:
Great acting, grizzled new frontier dialogue, thought provoking overtones of "injun" racism and amazing vista shots of 1800's Dakota plains. Plus a "beastie" that preys on all of them!
Okay, so yes maybe it's contains some horror. but at it's heart is a great epic. Highly recommended and a lot more related to "good country for old men" or "The Proposition" than "the Thing" or "Tremors". But if you expected a trashy "short sharp shock" horror movie then don't say I didn't warn you.. p.s. this is NOTHING like tremors! :P
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Reading a chapter in Kim Newman's book Nightmare Movies:Horror on the
screen since the 1960s,I noticed a small section of the book focusing
on Horror-Westerns.Nearing the end of the section,I spotted a title
that Newman mentioned,which sounded like a great genre cross-over of
the Western with a monster-movie Horror,which led to me getting ready
to track down the Burrows.
The Dakota Territories- August 11th,1879:
Returning home, Fergus Coffey discovers that his fiancé Maryanne Stewart has been kidnapped,and that a number of her family members have been brutally murdered.Suspecting that Stewart has been kidnapped by an Indian tribe,Coffey gathers up a gang of fellow outlaws,who soon set off to track down Stewart.Trampling on any Indian tribes near by,Coffey and the gang fail to find any sign of Stewart. Interrogating a number of the tribes people,Coffey begins to hear about a group called The Burrowers.Presuming them to be a new tribe,Coffey and the gang start setting their sights on finding The Burrowers,but soon discover to their horror that they will have to dig deep into the unknown,in order to find the mysterious Burrowers.
View on the film:
Featuring hardly any indoor scenes,writer/director J.T. Petty soaks in every inch of the outdoor atmosphere,by using vast wide- shots,which along with giving the title a gritty feel,also superbly shows the haunted wilderness that Stewart is tracking The Burrowers in.Along with the epic wide-shots,Petty and cinematographer Phil Parmet show an expert eye in the use of shadows,with the impressive (practical) special effects for The Burrowers being wrapped in velvet darkness,so that they can slowly creep up on the viewer.Keeping the horror nerves shredded with the clever use of shadows,Petty splashes a lavish Western mood across the shaken nerves,by using candle lights and camp side fires to show the deadly terrain that Stewart and the gang are entering.
Slowly allowing the haunting horror elements to seep in,Petty sets them against an excellent, rugged Western backdrop,thanks to Petty showing Coffey and the gang desperately try and stick to "the old way" in hunting down Stewart and The Burrowers,with Petty being unafraid to show his heroes in a less-then positive light,as they pull bits & pieces of info on The Burrowers out of the tribes people. Gripping the Western atmosphere with a firm Horror fist,Petty fires off dozens of horror shots,which brilliantly go from being extremely creepy, ( character's being buried alive) to delightfully squishy, (Coffey finding himself surrounded by dozens of Burrowers) as Coffey starts attempting to bury The Burrowers.
The first half is a bit dull with it's constantly having the characters
(and the viewers) waiting for something to happen.
The actor playing the commanding officer of the Indian hunters, fresh off his role as Loonie Bin Jim in Punisher: Warzone, appears to be playing the same person, only with a stiffly waxed fake mustache and an absolutely dreadful fake southern accent.
What was the point of making him a Southerner? Any Southerner with an ounce of self respect wouldn't have joined the Army in the years following the war between the states, not until the first world war and the institution of the modern draft. Are Yankee filmmakers trying to rewrite history and lay the mass murder of Indians at the feet of the the South? That's their cross to bear! It was the victorious northerners that did to the Indians what they perfected in the countryside and on the battlefields of the south. I think the only reason he's even in this movie is to get some torture in it to satisfy the low brows.
In the last half everything gets better, apparently even the directing! Actual suspense begins to build and the encounters with the Indians begin to become increasingly bizarre. The atmosphere becomes more sinister and the movie begins to take on the aspects of a nightmare in which you can't wake up. The finale is pretty harrowing.
Despite my gripes, it's definitely worth viewing and ten times better than those awful and dull After Dark Horrorfest films.
In my view, this is more of a Western with a Creature feature. Except I
was surprised to see they didn't trash it.
The Creatures are actually parsed out well and fit in the Western Genre-- No Campy Count Dracula/Zombie transplanted to a One-Horse town silliness. And the best part is, you are given only hints of the creatures until later in the movie as the characters get deeper into dangerous Indian territory.
The best part, ironically, is the serious attention paid to the Frontier setting: the harsh, uncertainty of relations between White Man and the Indians, the potential brutality of frontier life and conflict, the gritty realism of the action when they get caught in a battle with hostile Indians.
It moves slowly at first, but when you consider this is a frontier setting, just men and women settlers sparsely spread out amongst hostile tribes, first they have to reason past the natural suspicions to see the unnatural threat. And the progression happens with a kind of Frontier logic and pace.
This is actually a Good Saturday Night Creature Feature rental/streamer on a Wide Screen. Enjoy it!
I watched this movie on Comcast on Demand when it was in the free movie section. I had seen the cover in a retail store, and paid no attention to it, as it looked cheesy. Boy was I wrong. Both the Director, and the Director of Photography took unique looks at shooting this movie. I have to assume that their budget was low, but even so, they made a thoroughly entertaining movie. The imagery of the Dakota territories during this period seemed accurate to me, and I found that the character development was pretty good for a horror movie. The movie's ending was very good, and probably the most realistic they could have pulled off for a horror movie set in the west. I am a fan of Lost, and enjoyed seeing two reoccuring characters from Lost play integral roles in this movie. WIth all the recycled garbage that has been coming into theaters recently (almost always a remake of an original movie, or a grossly overdone retelling of a classic fairytale), it was refreshing to see some original concepts here. My hat is off the the production crew, filmmakers and cast of this film. Spend $5 at Walmart, and buy this film. You will not be disappointed.
I love these quality B-flicks and I always get excited when I find a new one. Now I just found The Burrowers and from the cover and some stills I even started having expectations. Furtunately this is not bad at all. It's actually a movie of very good quality. Where most B-Movies tend to be lashed-together, obviously realized for some profit exclusively, apparently some are crafted with love. The small details, the refined tone, quality cinematography and gross creatures will get you over some flaws in the script. But the fact, that it takes it's western side serious and manages to score in that genre too, makes Burrowers a cool feature, absolutely worth your time. 6/10
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