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|Index||53 reviews in total|
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
Ever since I saw Blood Red Earth (a freebie on Fearnet/on demand), I've
wanted to see the actual film. Blood Red Earth was a prequel, 20 minute
short film, that introduced the "burrowers" without ever showing or
naming them, and I was so intrigued by the native American actors and
the idea of a spooky prairie monster in the wild, wild west, that I was
actually waiting for this to come out in the theater.
I found it at Hollywood. Straight to video, which is a shame.
It's a dark film, so if you're like us and have a DVD-to-TV that plays darker, it's hard to watch. That's because all the action and spook is at night, by moonlight or campfire light.
There is some violence in this that may be disturbing, although the human on human violence is very historically accurate, but I think most middle school and older kids would be fine watching this. The question I was asking myself was "who is the real monster?" Anyway, the creatures are not that exciting, except for what they do. The CGI was hard for us to see, so maybe it was spookier because our DVD plays dark shots without much contrast, we watched it on "vivid" and nothing helped.
I think it could have been filmed in a way so that it would have played better on DVD, if they intended to go straight to video, that's my only real complaint. I loved the vistas and the creepy loneliness of the prairie. There was some artistic cinematography that worked for me (camera angles) and a few devices I think are homages to Peckinpah and Eastwood style westerns. I think it's a smarter film than other "creature features" and was more enthralling than most westerns.
As far as creature features, my taste runs towards Pitch Black/True Blood and my horror runs towards Event Horizon/The Exorcist, and my sci fi is Star Trek/Firefly type stuff. Indian/Westerns I like include Jeremiah Johnson/A Man Called Horse/Windwalker. My guess is, if you are anything like me genre taste-wise, you're really going to enjoy this flick and it's well worth at least one watch, but play with the DVD player to get the best dark.
The Burrowers defies expectations. Where one might expect something
along the line of Tremors (or, god help us, Tremors 4), the Burrowers
should and cannot be confused for a lighthearted horror. The film is
instead dark and vaguely disturbing, with a presumably high body count.
The titular Burrowers largely stay out of sight for much of the film, although the creatures always feel close at hand and there are quick glimpses as they attack. The creature design is less than impressive although the creature's lore helps compensate for any shortcoming. The creatures seem to fill an evolutionary niche which, once disturbed, has caused them to hunt for alternative food supplies.
The acting was surprisingly solid. There's an authentic flavor to the Western atmosphere and a certain degree of lawlessness pervades the film. Every encounter seemed tinged with danger which adds an additional suspense to the film.
The Burrowers offers more than enough fodder for thought. The movie arguably has a lot going on in it, between eco-themes, racial undertones and overtones, etc, that could feed any number of academic papers depending on how you read into the events. At the same time, the sheer amount of things going on at times can be a turn-off. One gets the impression that a lot of characters are killed not simply for dramatic reasons but instead are written out as a means of balancing the otherwise overladen story. Right around the end is the distinct feeling that the director and crew didn't really know how to end the movie so they tacked on an awkward conclusion that offers little in the means of closure rather than to simply leave it open-ended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I enjoyed this horror movie. It is really a vampire movie, with two variants. These "burrower" creatures of the night travel underground rather than flitting around in the sky. Also, their power to render their victims utterly helpless to resist their feeding comes from a curare-like poison in their saliva rather than hypnotic stares from the traditional vampire's eyes. This poison makes the victim unable to use any voluntary muscles (as would be necessary to scream out for help, for example) but in each case they are conveniently left the use of one digit to signal their waking/living status to uninfected observers. Nice touch. Effectively done.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Burrowers" may not be on the level of, say, "Tremors", in its
placement of a creature feature in a rural type of setting, but it
isn't bad at all either. It does sort of suffer from a "been there,
done that" feeling most of the time, although the way it puts a horror
genre on a classic "The Searchers" type of Western plot is commendable.
Where it works best is in the creation of a period feel, from the
acting to the few locations used; mostly, it's filmed in the wide open
spaces, and establishing that feeling of isolation can always help in a
A rural family is set upon by mysterious forces, and when only some of the bodies remain, some of their neighbours determine to find the supposed survivors. Among this group of searchers are Fergus Coffey (Karl Geary), who intended to marry Maryanne (Jocelin Donahue of "The House of the Devil"), one of the missing. They assume their people have been abducted by Indians, but are in for a shock when the perpetrators turn out to be something FAR worse.
Writer / director J.T. Petty has his movie unfold at a deliberate pace, so some genre fans may grow a little impatient waiting for the good stuff. However, this does allow the actors time to create some well defined characters. Coffey, for one, is a basically good guy, but is shown to be fatally impulsive. Sean Patrick Thomas is quite engaging in the role of Callaghan the cook. Doug Hutchison, best known for playing Percy in "The Green Mile", adds another memorable interpretation of an incredibly unlikable part to his repertoire. Veteran Clancy Brown is solid in a tough but stolid role; however, he disappears from the movie a little too soon. The music (by Joseph LoDuca) is good as is the gorgeous widescreen photography. The creatures themselves don't sport particularly innovative design, but there is at least one entertaining aspect to what they do with their victims. The ending, too, falls short of being really satisfying. Still, Petty and company deserve some credit for preventing it from being wholly predictable, and for their blunt and honest depiction of the in-your-face racism of the time.
Taking everything into account, one could do better than this and one could do a lot worse. Horror junkies should find it reasonably entertaining.
Seven out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is, maybe not what I expected, but excellent nonetheless. This movie is NOT a horror movie, it is a Western Action/Sci-fi movie. The creatures in this movie are not particularly scary, they are quite disgusting, however. They're mutant, incestuous children of Alien, Night of the Living Dead, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Along with Tremors, of course. This movie may pass off as a thriller, perhaps maybe a scare or two, but it is by no means a pee-your-pants movie. All said and done, this movie is still very good and worth watching, at least a rent. I got it off Comcast under free movies and under the horror section. Some scenes are a tad brutal, they may be too much so for a child to watch, in one scene an Indian is turned into a eunuch - definitely not a kid-friendly trait :)
The idea of underground creatures menacing the old west was well portrayed in "Tremors 4". "The Burrowers" adds some interesting twists relating to why these burrowing beasties appeared, and the Indians way of dealing with them. The film opens strong with a slaughtered family, and everyone wrongly blaming the Indians. What follows is a prolonged hunt for the hostiles. Unfortunately character development is sacrificed in favor of hitting the trail. A lot of effort went into the burrower monsters, with not a hint of c.g.i., and unfortunately it is mostly wasted in the barely discernible night attacks. Another glaring problem is the lack of subtitles for the cowboys, as their mumbled jargon is no easier to understand than the Indians language which is subtitled. Somewhere in here is an intriguing movie, but "The Burrowers" obvious flaws are objectionable. - MERK
This movie begins quietly on the prairie like other great western films with a man profess his love to a woman. A causal viewer would mistaken this as a western love story. Boy, would he or she be surprised. This movie is a cross between "The Searcher", "Days of Heaven", and "Feast". For me, I like the quiet opening of the movie without any loud and overbearing music, and its subtle overtone might strike others as being slow, but for me the subtleness sets up the creepy atmosphere of the film. I love Doug Hutchison's performance as cavalry officer, he gave this film a realistic feel to it, although, I doubt all cavalry officers behaved like him back in the old west days. The monsters which I am sorry to say are the weak point of the movie. Even though, they are scary but not well put together consider this film has some budget that are higher than other horror films. Also, I found the settings of the movie a bit disruptive at the end of the film as the characters went from a prairie setting to a forested mountain setting and back all too quick. It's too bad that this movie didn't see its theatrical release. Perhasp a better title would help.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is one of those films where I need to balance how I personally
felt about it, with trying to be objective about how well it was made.
Something I might add, MOST people do not do.
First off, this really isn't quite my kind of Horror film. I DO like the concept of the Horror / Western just fine, so it isn't that at all. I guess what put me off, and again this is just my personal taste, is the overall downer tone of the movie. Like I said in my Summary, it has a pretty heavy nihilistic tone; in my lowly and wretched opinion, there just aren't really any truly 'enjoyable' moments in this movie to be found anywhere.
But... you can see that clearly by some of the other reviews and discussion comments here, that many REALLY did like this film. So, I think that if this TYPE of Horror film is your cup of tea, so to speak, then you probably will like it.
I will do my best to be objective and give what I feel are the strong and weak parts of the film. Overall, it was technically pretty well made. The look and the photography were very good. I, myself, was kind of put off by some of the dialog and most of the acting. I'm not saying that it was necessarily BAD, but I really didn't like the style that the director brought out in the actors; it just struck me as a BIT amateurish, especially considering the caliber of the actors that were in this movie. I just didn't quite get the feel that the director was really bringing out the very best from these otherwise experienced and good actors, and the net effect, to me anyway, was that the resulting performances were somewhat trite and clichéd. Not horrible, mind you, but I feel that perhaps a different director could have REALLY tightened up the tone and performances CONSIDERABLY, thus much more powerfully engaging the audience and drawing them into the film, instead of giving us the feeling that we were just uninvolved bystanders. I hope that that makes some kind of sense.
Again though, I think that it is likely that many people will not be nearly as 'fussy' as I am about this aspect of the acting / directing, and will simply be able to enjoy it for what it is. A moderately scary Horror / Western.
The tension and suspense were also very well done (however, I feel that some of the performances detracted from this) The basic story moved along at a decent pace and towards the latter scenes where the monsters really let loose, there are indeed some pretty decent Horror elements.
I for one, do not personally care for this kind of casual nihilistic approach to film making, whether it is Horror or otherwise. Just not my kind of thing. So, without entering true Spoiler territory, I will say that with this in mind, I did NOT appreciate the last bit shown at the very end. NOT my thing, DIDN'T like it, and I did NOT think it was cute. What the hell is the purpose served by that...? Is the audience supposed to 'Get Off' on it and derive some kind of sadistic pleasure from it...? Like I say, quite DEFINITELY NOT my thing... But, to others who get 'Into' that kind of style, which seems to be born out by some of the discussions concerning the ending, it appears that a number of people really do like this movie and it's ending and think it's pretty 'Cool'.
So, as you can likely tell; I personally didn't really enjoy the film that much. But, I have tried to be fair and balanced, and I've tried to rate it and review it as far as the merits of the film itself, especially taking into consideration that there ARE a lot of people who like movies like this. The overall idea and concept are very good; and perhaps if the director were a bit more experienced and / or talented, and if the performances had been better, then I feel that the movie could almost have been a Classic...
I would say from my standpoint that if you are like me, and you prefer a little more cleverness in your Horror films, or perhaps a bit more subtlety or maybe a more nuanced atmosphere, then you may not enjoy the movie that much. BUT... if you just like your Horror movies straight up, and don't mind a nihilistic or sadistic bent to them, then you may very well be entertained by it...
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