Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The Burrowers (2008)

An interesting one this one, the first thing that springs to mind is that its a miss-spelt “Borrowers” but anyone looking for a story about little people should look elsewhere.

The Burrowers is a Horror/Western now how often do you see those words together? Set in Dakota in the 1870s it follows a group of lawmen and cavalry as they search for a group of Women and Children that they believe have been taken by Indians. We follow their conflicts and characters very thoughtfully for the first half of the story with a conflict between the methods of the arrogant Cavalry man and the more intelligent observations of the local Law posse helping to round out our fairly small ensemble.vlcsnap-5085543

The cinematography is for the main very good with a nice use of light and dark and some colour tinting to wash out the prairie and bring some feeling of hopelessness. The film also seems to use a technique I have never seen before that gives a claustrophobic feeling of tunnel vision to some shots. Certainly an achievement considering this was entirely shot on locations and mainly outside.

Of course in time we do discover what the Burrowers are and to be honest they are pretty nasty. A creature native to the prairie they originally fed on bison paralysing them and burying them to “ripen”. Of course to add a sinister twist the ripening happens best when the meat is still living. Mmmmm. With their main food source hunted almost to extinction by the white settlers what WILL they eat now?vlcsnap-5109588

I thoroughly enjoyed The Burrowers as a touch of fresh air to the very stale horror genre. William Mapother (Ethan Rom: Lost) turns in a sterling performance, as do the rest of the cast. There is also an excellent use of dialogue and translation with characters translating what they want the others to hear and each with their own strengths of understanding. The idea that our translators know only a little Sioux is perfectly portrayed as is the Coffey characters basic command of French.

The film moves at a very amicable pace, never rushing but not dawdling either. I never felt the need to hurry it along or became bored and the ending, when it comes, does not let you down at all with a perfectly believable conclusion to the tale. Lets just say, be careful when you go camping…

Paul out…and sleeping on the top floor with both eyes open.

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