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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day 7: The Burrowers

The Burrowers
Not a re-imagining of The Borrowers

Horror and Westerns rarely team up, and when they do the results are usually painful to watch. The Burrowers break the trend with a movie that is both visually striking and mentally stimulating. The movie picks up right away when a family is assaulted and kidnapped by unseen attackers that they believe are Indians. Irish immigrant Coffey, who was in love with one of the kidnapped joins a posse with old-timer Clay, Parcher, and Dobie who is the teenage son of the woman Parcher is trying to court. The posse teams up with the cavalry, including their black cook Walnut to trail the Indians, but it becomes apparent that Indians are not the culprits. Mysterious holes, freakish chittering, and a girl buried alive all point to something far more sinister; The Burrowers. The posse must not only stop The Burrowers, but survive.

You're right. I don't know my ass from this.

The Burrowers start off with action right away before getting into the story, which I am always thankful for. Too often, horror movies plod along and struggle to tell a story before realizing that the movie is almost over and we need to get to the action quickly. Every actor does a very good job with their role, aided by a good story and a smart script. Whoever did the location scouting and cinematography for this movie deserve awards because the scenery is absolutely beautiful and the each shot feels like you are transported back to the 1800s.

The movie uses its surrounding well to hide the monsters. Rustling grass in the darkness creates fear without giving away what exactly is terrorizing the characters. There are plenty of “jump out and startle you” moments, but they work because the movie does such a good job of building suspense and atmosphere. The Burrowers themselves are CGI, but don't look too fake or cartoony. However there are a few scenes though that involve digital blood that look a bit too computerized for my taste. 

 Avon calling

The movie does a good job of social commentary in regards to over-hunting, the treatment of Indians and Blacks at the time and the brutality of the cavalry without being too preachy. There are good action scenes that keep the story moving along without getting bogged down in violence and the story moves fluidly with acting that keeps you invested in the characters. The Burrowers is a good movie for fans of Westerns and Horror, something that not many movies can accomplish, I highly recommend it. Yeehaw!


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