Day 37: The Burrowers (2008)

Ah, The Burrowers. What can I say about The Burrowers that hasn’t already been said? What, exactly?


The Burrowers was one of those films that just showed up in my queue. I have no idea how it got there. Maybe I was on a Clancy Brown kick and wound up adding a few of his films (I love me some Mr. Krabs, indeed I do). I had no idea what it was about (was I confusing this with The Borrowers?). All I know is that after watching The Burrowers, I feel a bit perplexed and a strong need to play some Red Dead Redemption.


The Burrowers takes place in 1879 in the Dakota Territories. As if it wasn’t frightening enough to be in the Dakotas, a man comes home to find several people dead (ALL dead, not mostly dead) and others missing. As was apparently custom during the Wild (wild) West, a posse was formed to find the missing persons. Out on the open short-grass prairie, the searchers find themselves prey to whoever (or whatever) attacked their settlement.


***possible spoiler alert for the rest of the review (I say possible, because, honestly, with a name like The Burrowers, we don’t expect Confederate soldiers to pop out of the ground and eat people, do we?)***


History books leave out a lot of information. Those who are not the victors tend to be omitted. The Burrowers tries to tell the previously unwritten story of the crazy cricket-spider-people that crave flesh. Very few movies would have the guts to tell this tale—but this, this is one brave film that boldly puts forth what has previously gone untold (the jackalope film is in the works).


I have to say, I somewhat liked this film. It really felt like a western (hence my desire to hop on the PS3 for some Red Dead). The tones of the film were muted—mostly browns and grays—and seemed to evoke the old photographs of the time. The acting was decent. And the cinematography was good. The story seemed to be on track for a while, then veered off course. Early in the film, it seemed to bring up issues relevant to the westward movement and that period in American history (and I was like, sweet!). But it took a turn for the weird (and I was like, doh!). While I understand a horror movie is not always realistic, something about the design of the cricket-spider-mole-people lost me. Cricket-spider creature? I could buy that. Mole person? Well, if the MST3K I watched years ago was any indication, I would be on board. But the look of the monsters was just weird (and not in that good, Steve Buscemi type of way).


It also decided to be oddly environmentally preachy when it gave explanation of the creatures. Apparently, the cricket-spider-mole-worm-people only ate buffalo. Until the buffalo were hunted to near extinction! Thanks, Buffalo Bill Cody! Then the monsters acquired a taste for human flesh. Oops. The moral of the story? Don’t kill buffalo or weird nocturnal cricket people will attack! Easy enough. This just felt way too forced.


As a horror movie with vaguely humanoid creatures that live underground and try to kill people, I would say this is a bit better than The Descent and a lot better than Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience (um, or so I’m told. I haven’t watched that film– I swear!). It wasn’t an awful movie, but I guess I was hoping for something more. I liked the premise and the actors– but the design of the creatures just knocked the film down a few notches for me (and I usually am willing to believe anything I see in the movies. This is why I have only the round handles on my doors at home. The velociraptors can’t grab those like they can the bar handles– I’m no dummy). Overall, it was OK. If you are into cricket-spider-mole-worm-alien-people who are also vampires who don’t like sunlight, then this film is for you! 🙂


Score: C

Netflix Watch Instantly Queue: 199

(I think a few more titles were switched to watch instantly. I swear I haven’t added any new titles lately. Apparently, I just don’t understand how Netflix counts titles in my queue.)

4 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Better than the Descent? I really liked that movie!

    September 16th, 2010

  2. meg

    The Descent was OK too, but I think the Western theme added a unique twist to this film. 🙂 Also, maybe I am a bit claustrophobic, and The Burrowers has wide open plains…. and cricket-spider-people

    September 17th, 2010

  3. Bernard

    Your comparison is “Descent” interesting choice – I like your choice! Keep up the interesting reviews!

    Chicago’s Best Guide and Blog

    September 17th, 2010

  4. meg

    Thanks for reading! I will keep the reviews coming 🙂

    September 17th, 2010

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