For some reason, hearing the name of the film and then finding out that it was a western horror flick, instantly conjured images of the film Tremors. Well, I got the monster part right, but without the cheeseball antics and a whole lot of bacon. Kevin that is. The Burrowers is an interesting take on the monster film and is propelled by some fine acting. But ultimately, its hindered by a painfully slow pace and far too much dragged out tension.
The film kicks off with a family out in the ol' west, hanging out one night in their farmhouse only to be interrupted by screams and gunshots outside. They quickly exit stage left and head for the basement below their home. Screams are heard and as the family huddles together, a strange rustling outside begins and something breaks through their basement door. When day breaks, a group of locals including the future groom to be of one of the girls in the family, inspect the house only to find a pool of blood and no one around. Assuming the work of indians, the group gets together along with a tracker and a U.S. cavalryman and his soldiers and head out in search of the injuns who have taken the family prisoner.
As they traverse the landscape in search of the band of indians, they come across one, capture him and toture him into revealing the name of the tribe that attacked the family. He only utters the name 'burrowers' and the search party deem it the name of a tribe they've never heard of. As the night progresses, members of the group get picked off one by one. Strange noises are heard during the night and of course, like any 'good' horror film, they need to be investigated, by golly. When they wake up the next morning, they find their group noticeably thinner and the group of locals along with the groom to be, break off from the U.S. soldier and his men as they feel they would best be served by splitting up.
This is where the movie begins to drag. Another day of slogging through the plains, random blatherings about women and the ol' west, and another camp set-up at night which gives way to more strange noises. We FINALLY see what the monsters look like (think those weird, vagina face looking things in Roger Corman movies), goofy CGI and all. The band of rag tags fend them off and as the morning dawn comes to save the day (and only one of the guys make it through the night), we find out what the creatures are susceptible to. Lame.
As mentioned, the acting is mighty fine and you will immediately recognize the bit actors who star in it but probably can't call them out by name. They carry the film for awhile and lend credibility to the tension and drama as it initially builds. But the slow and dragged out pace, coupled with the less than great reveal of the actual creatures themselves (not too mention the hokey ending), is ultimately what leads to a big fat bag of fail. Although I would personally like to see more western themed horror films.
Cortez the Killer