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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.78.35.170
Posted on Tuesday, May 05, 2009 - 01:41 pm:   

Hi all,

Inspired by Huw's posting about the charming SPLINTER movie, I will post here about my biggest horror movie discovery in the last few months: THE BURROWERS.

The interesting thing is that this is filmed as a classic western: wide landscapes, peculiar dialogue phrasing, angry native americans and the like. Also beautiful camerawork, and a good rendering of the dangers of living at the frontier back then. And if I recognised him well, with the guy who played Ethan in "Lost" as one of the protagonists.
What's the setup of the movie (without real spoilers): already at the very beginning a few people disappear. Indians nearby are blamed, predictably, but the cowboys also find strange holes in the ground...
So, yes, you and I know that there are monsters lurking, but rest assured it's not Tremors set in the wild west.
The careful, atmospheric filming and serious approach make for a real gem to be savoured by us genre hounds. How rare is it for us to find a serious creepy movie without a wise-cracking sidekick?
This is really a must, a movie that deserves better than the very limited release it got before being dumped on dvd. An interesting extra: I understand that the dvd edition which I will eventually buy has a short 10 min. prequel as well.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.241.143
Posted on Tuesday, May 05, 2009 - 02:00 pm:   

the guy who played Ethan in "Lost"

That's Tom Cruise's brother, that is.

This sounds very good - I'll keep an eye out for it.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Tuesday, May 05, 2009 - 02:01 pm:   

There was a UK version, but it was less about cowboys and more about tiny people living behind walls and using matchsticks to prop up their washing-lines.
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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.78.35.170
Posted on Tuesday, May 05, 2009 - 02:24 pm:   

> That's Tom Cruise's brother, that is.

Now that you mention it... indeed there is a similarity.
But "Ethan" has more presence in my opinion. And he doesn't wear that stupid grin.

> There was a UK version, but it was less about cowboys and more about tiny people living behind walls and using matchsticks to prop up their washing-lines.

Joel, that sounds like The Smurfs
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Michael_kelly (Michael_kelly)
Username: Michael_kelly

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 70.29.44.58
Posted on Tuesday, May 05, 2009 - 02:46 pm:   

I saw The Burrowers last year with my wife and son and we all really loved it. It's cleverly shot: you get a great wide, sweeping aerial, showing the vast, open frontier. Then a tight claustrophobic scene. The music (and often lack of sound) make for a very atmospheric film.

Here's the brief review I posted to my blog last year.

"The Burrowers" is directed by JT Petty (Soft for Digging, S&Man), and is set in the late 1800's in the Dakota Territories. It's a western/horror hybrid and a good old-fashioned creature feature. From the title, you can probably guess the premise. It's smartly shot. Petty does a good job of ratcheting up the tension by use of sound (or no sound), and he effectively muted the colors to give an authentic, gritty western feel. And all the actors were exemplary. It was quite a good film. My son proclaimed it "one of the best horror films he's ever seen." Afterward, there was a short Q&A with the Petty. Lionsgate Films has distribution rights, so the film will get released, eventually. Seek it out.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Tuesday, May 05, 2009 - 03:08 pm:   

nobody got it
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Tuesday, May 05, 2009 - 03:30 pm:   

I did! But did you ever read Mary Norton's "Paul's Tale", a kind of retelling of the theme as a tale of terror?
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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.78.35.170
Posted on Tuesday, May 05, 2009 - 03:44 pm:   

Michael, from your blog extract I see that we think very much alike about the movie - but you describe it waaay better than I can !
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Tuesday, May 05, 2009 - 04:06 pm:   

Ramsey no, but I'll look out for it. Did you see the brilliant film 'Small Things' that won the prize in the short films category at the last Festival of Fantastic Films?
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.177.119.48
Posted on Tuesday, May 05, 2009 - 04:27 pm:   

I read The Borrowers as a lad, Joel, plus I've seen THE BURROWERS too, and thought the latter very good.
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Michael_kelly (Michael_kelly)
Username: Michael_kelly

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 70.29.44.58
Posted on Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - 04:04 am:   

Tom,

Actually your description was quite evocative and made me think of the film again.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 218.168.193.225
Posted on Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - 05:29 am:   

Tom, I have The Burrowers on my to-watch pile! I got it at the same time as Splinter and She Beast. I'm glad to hear so many good things about it.
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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.78.35.170
Posted on Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - 01:19 pm:   

Huw, let us know what you think of it. We often share the same taste, I noticed.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 218.168.194.152
Posted on Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - 02:18 pm:   

Will do, Tom!
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 218.168.194.192
Posted on Saturday, May 09, 2009 - 11:35 am:   

I just watched The Burrowers, and I whole-heartedly agree with Tom: it's an absolute must-see. Very nasty, very bleak, with very little of the silliness and sentimentality that makes a lot of modern horror films so poor by comparison.

I've just learned that it was originally a 7-part television series, but I don't know if it was ever released.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.240.106
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 12:45 am:   

Tom - thanks for recommending THE BURROWERS. I've just watched it, and quite frankly it was excellent. Serious, beautifully shot, superbly acted, all about the slow accumulation of dread rather than cheap shocks, and with some terrific old-school effects rather than GCI. The ending is brilliant, and the film works as both a westren and a horror film.

Oh, yes, Zed liked this one a lot.
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Stu (Stu)
Username: Stu

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 86.29.178.174
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 11:04 am:   

Western and horror? I might have to look for this.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.219.8.243
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 02:00 pm:   

Stu: http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/10136638/The-Burrowers/Product.html

Cheap as chips. Possibly even cheaper these days - chips are a rich man's snack.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.200.227
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 02:27 pm:   

Glad you liked it, Zed! I thought it was one of the better horror films of the last year or so, and found it refreshingly bleak and 'old-school' (in terms of effects, atmosphere, etc.).
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.219.8.243
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 02:48 pm:   

I agree completely, Huw.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 03:29 pm:   

I must see this film... an old school non-CGI horror movie that is also a western!

Holy Fuck!!!!
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 04:19 pm:   

Thanks, Z! I've ordered one. I see Play.com also has Let the Right One In at the same price.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.219.8.243
Posted on Friday, January 08, 2010 - 09:41 am:   

Wathced FEAST last night. The single most derivative film I have ever seen - yet it was great fun.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Monday, January 18, 2010 - 05:08 pm:   

Add my voice to the chorus of praise for The Burrowers!
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.157.23.22
Posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 10:46 am:   

It was made as a six part series;
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Borrowers-1-DVD-Ian-Holm/dp/B0001BPS1Y/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF 8&s=dvd&qid=1263894261&sr=8-4
And i must be getting hard because it wasn't that frightening to me.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.157.23.22
Posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 10:48 am:   

Ack! Joel - you beat me.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.114.209
Posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 11:05 am:   

My copy just arrived this morning. The quote ont he back damns with faint praise:

"Delivers the goods that fright film fans will be looking for." -- filmcritic.com

Do I detect a sniffy tone Implying that the author wouldn't touch the stuff himself? Has anyone ever thought of themselves as a "fright film fan"? Can one quote from webpages now? They should put a bunch of those laurel wreaths on it. They look good from a distance.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.120.134
Posted on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 01:42 am:   

It's good.
Characters. A sense of place. Unexpected events. People being alternately stupid and noble.
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Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 98.220.97.79
Posted on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 02:37 am:   

I saw it. Can't remember a thing about it. That speaks volumes, I guess.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.227.178
Posted on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 01:15 pm:   

A horror western . . . Brings to mind the one with the girl who ends up being an ancient goddess. Now what whas it called? . . .
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.109.142
Posted on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 01:16 pm:   

GRIM PRAIRIE TALES?
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.240.106
Posted on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 02:00 pm:   

Shadow of Chikara?

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