torsdag 1 september 2011

The Burrowers (2008)

There aren't really enough Western/horrormovies out there, which is truly a shame. You would think that the vast, unexplored plains of the old west would be the progenitor of some sort of weird beastie but so far we havent really had anything worthwile. Until now. The Burrowers, which at a quick glance looks like a Tremorsprequel, is exactly like I would want such a genrehybrid to be.

The movie starts whith a family living in the middle of the plains recieves a warning from their neighbour and hides out in their cellar. Their daughters suitor arrives the next morning only to find that the cabin is drenched in blood and the initial reaction is that indians are responsible. A group of gunslingers and some soldiers form a searchparty, but while the soldiers firmly believe the culprits to be indian, the other soon start to suspect that something entirely different is lurking. They split up and our heroes soon find a young woman buried in shallow earth with a strange wound in her neck, seemingly in a coma but they realize that the girl is still alive. She is very very paralyzed and they send her away with one of their own to find a doctor and start to follow some mysterious tracks in the wilderness. Yes, no injuns here. This is something that the indians themselves are afraid of.

I should "warn" you here, The Burrowers is a methodically slow movie which means that everyone that has grown up on Michael Bay will most likely either stop watching after half an hour or fastforward through it. Your loss. The slow pace is actually perfect for this type of movie, slowly moving forward with the plot to maximize the doomsdayish mood that grows stronger every minute as the characters discover what they really are up against. The script has brains, keeping a fine line between who is a good guy or a bad guy which really suits the movie well. They actually feel like real people. It is always nice when a movie tries to avoid clichés and the creators of this movie do an excellent job. Another strong point is the cinematography, capturing the beauty of the american wilds while still maintaing that cool feeling of dread and unease that you want to find in a good horrormovie. J.T. Petty, whose previous credits include Mimic 3, seems to know exactly how he wants everything here and I am looking forward to seeing what he does in the future, although I am not really sure if reworking Faces of death into a fictional narrative is such a great idea, at least if Wikipedia is correct. We'll see. Back to the Burrowers. If you want ensure the quality of a good script you populate it with a group of excellent character actors and here we have names like Clancy Brown, Doug Hutchinson and William Mapother, all doing what they always do, kick some acting ass. And then we have The Burrowers themselves, awesome creations that we do not really see that much of, exactly like it should be. We never really find out any major details about them, only enough to start to fill in the empty spaces ourselves, to enhance the fear they strike into you.

This is an excellent movie, with just the right amounts of horror and gore which I recommend to everyone that like to take horror seriously. There are no cool lines here, no flashy camerawork. Just a slow and gory horrormovie that takes your hand and leads you straight into a shivering nightmare. And gives me hope for the future. Essential viewing.

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