The Burrowers (2007)

Written and Directed by JT Petty
Lionsgate/Blue Star Entertainment

It’s probably a fairly damning indictment of a horror picture – or any similar kind of picture, actually – if it revolves around some horrible creatures doing horrible things and the worst problem the production has is the appearance of those very same creatures. Now, to be fair, I suppose the “burrowers” here are not actually all that bad; they’re effectively creepy and gross, and only occasionally betray their CGI animation. They don’t necessarily stretch the bounds of credulity too terribly, either. So what the hell is my problem?

A slow-building, personality-driven nature horror, with all kinds of subtle societal commentaries, this Western set in the Dakota Territories during the time of the “Indian Wars” doesn’t overwhelm its viewer with visceral assaults, preferring to derive its impact from psychological discomfort. All right, fine, that’s laying it on a bit thick, but there’s a villain here that isn’t the insectile hunters, whose method of preparing their dinner is damned unsettling in its own right.

Why Did I Watch This Movie?

I had no idea this flick existed until only recently, as it was amongst those discussed in 100 American Horror Films (published, obviously, by the British Film Institute).

Should You Watch This Movie?

If, like me, you’re a sucker for tracking down, once you’ve finally heard of them, underpublicized films described as being of an originalist bent … sure.

Highlight and Low Point

As hinted above, upon further reflection I can accept the titular beasties well enough. While actually watching the proceedings, however, I hated them. (Admittedly, I tend to be hypercritical of modern movie monsters.) And I will employ my usual shtick to aver that the truly disheartening REAL HORROR here is only to be discovered at the bitter end.

Rating From OUter Space: B