The Burrowers defies expectations. Where one might expect something along the line of Tremors (or, god help us, Tremors 4), the Burrowers should and cannot be confused for a lighthearted horror. The film is instead dark and vaguely disturbing, with a presumably high body count.
The titular Burrowers largely stay out of sight for much of the film, although the creatures always feel close at hand and there are quick glimpses as they attack. The creature design is less than impressive although the creature's lore helps compensate for any shortcoming. The creatures seem to fill an evolutionary niche which, once disturbed, has caused them to hunt for alternative food supplies.
The acting was surprisingly solid. There's an authentic flavor to the Western atmosphere and a certain degree of lawlessness pervades the film. Every encounter seemed tinged with danger which adds an additional suspense to the film.
The Burrowers offers more than enough fodder for thought. The movie arguably has a lot going on in it, between eco-themes, racial undertones and overtones, etc, that could feed any number of academic papers depending on how you read into the events. At the same time, the sheer amount of things going on at times can be a turn-off. One gets the impression that a lot of characters are killed not simply for dramatic reasons but instead are written out as a means of balancing the otherwise overladen story. Right around the end is the distinct feeling that the director and crew didn't really know how to end the movie so they tacked on an awkward conclusion that offers little in the means of closure rather than to simply leave it open-ended.
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