Thursday, August 23, 2012
That's Not a Rabbit
Drawing from other successful horror movies as Alien, the sci-fi action film Aliens, Dog Soldiers, and also Tremors, The Burrowers is actually different than most of those films. While its not better than any of the ones I listed, I still thought this was pretty solid and even entertaining. The Burrowers also is a rather bleak western, portraying the Old West not in romantic terms but showcasing it as a place where if evil underground creatures don't get you, the Native Americans or even your fellow white man will. While the movie, like so many westerns, features stunning views of the great outdoors, the film's color scheme perfectly matches the film's tone. The drab, flat colors and the way the film is shot in a harsh, nasty manner adds to the overall proceedings, and is right at home in a western that, killer creatures aside, has the tone and style of a tragic and cruel western such as The Proposition (2006).
Having Clancy Brown in this film helps a bit, although he is not even the star of the film. Still he seems relatively at ease in an old west film, and most of the cast is okay for this sort of movie despite some of them seeming to be out of place in a movie set in the past. As for the creatures themselves, the movie wisely avoids showing them until later, which is good because the effects are sketchy, and when you actually get a good look at them you can tell this wasn't a particularly big budget movie. However I can admire the film's creators for going with a practical, mostly non-CGI approach, and the scenes where they attack are rather tense and exciting at the same time.
A final note: the movie does tackle the issue of the white man's genocide against the Native Americans, although it does in a relatively limited manner. Although the ending does address this issue a bit more in some regards, perhaps the director and company decided not to sacrifice the movie's scares for social commentary. In the hands of someone more talented you could have your cake and eat it too, but in this case I'll just let it slide. 83