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The Burrowers

3.5 out of 5 stars 180 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Dakota Territories. 1879. A handful of brave pioneers maintain isolated settlements in the badlands beyond civilization. Irish Immigrant Fergus Coffey is near to winning the hand of his beloved Maryanne when she is suddenly taken from him, her family brutally abducted in a nighttime attack on their homestead. Suspicion falls immediately on hostile Indians. Experienced Indian fighters Will Parcher and John Clay form a posse and set out to rescue the kidnapped settlers, taking along a nave teenager hoping to prove himself a man, and ex-slave looking for his place, and their ranch-hand, Coffey. But as men vanish in the night, and horrific evidence accumulates with the dead and dying, the group discovers that their prey is far more terrifying than anything human, and their prospects are fare more terrible than death.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Clancy Brown, David Busse, William Mapother, Jocelin Donahue, Alexandra Edmo
  • Directors: J.T. Petty
  • Writers: J.T. Petty
  • Producers: Alton Walpole, Jason Shuman, John Sacchi, Lauren Kisilevsky, Peter Block
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: April 21, 2009
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001R10BJG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,458 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Burrowers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had heard some buzz about writer/director J.T. Petty's latest film, "The Burrowers", but had no idea what to expect when I received my copy from NetFlix. I was amazed by this film - not since Alex Turner's brilliant period horror, "Dead Birds" (2005), has a movie really given me hope that the horror genre has not been taken over by CGI garbage, PG-13 crap and pretty 20-something "actors". And I was surprised to discover that "The Burrowers" has ties to "Dead Birds" - the creatures in both films were designed by Robert Hall and his company, Almost Human. No wonder I was so unsettled.

Set in the Dakota Territories in 1879, the plot revolves around the mysterious murders and disappearances of settlers in the area. Knowing Indians MUST be the culprits, an Army outfit, led by Henry Victor ("Lost" and "X Files" actor, Doug Hutchison) as well as some Indian trackers led by William Parcher ("Lost" and "The Grudge" actor, William Mapother) and John Clay (Clancy Brown, another "Lost" alum!) head out in search of the kidnapped settlers. After disagreements break out between the Army and the Indian hunters, the two groups go their separate ways but Mapother and company are soon to discover that what they are hunting is FAR more dangerous and horrific than they ever imagined! Along with the Indian hunters are Irish immigrant Fergus Coffey (Karl Geary), whose sweetheart, Maryanne is among the missing, an ex-slave, "Walnut" Callaghan (Sean Patrick Thomas) and a young man, Dobie (Galen Hutchison), whose mother is being courted by Parcher.

The film unfolds slowly, letting the sense of dread increase as characters are picked off, one by one. And when all hell finally breaks loose, the wait is definitely worth it.
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Format: DVD
"The Burrowers" reminds why the serious horror fan must continue to scour the endless flood of direct-to-DVD releases. These films are generally lousy, usually quick, craft-free cash-ins, but sometimes a quality film slips through. I suspect the well-crafted "The Burrowers" slipped through because it is completely unmarketable. It's a rare horror-western that will leave many conventional horror fans wondering when the monsters will show, while those looking for a western may find the horror movie climax off putting. It's not merely a horror-western, but a moody art western and a slow-burn, atmospheric horror film, both of which will turn off much of their fan base. As such, "The Burrowers" is hardly a flawless film, but it's surprisingly novel and ambitious, particularly for a non-theatrical release. (Though, with a budget of 7 million, it's actually quite a bit more pricy than many theatrical horror movies.) Thrills may be in short supply, but it's a gorgeous, strange film, that steadily generates sense of dread.

Like many of your modern, artier westerns, "The Burrowers" has a thin story. In the Dakota territories a large family is attacked, with some members killed and others dragged from their home alive by an unseen, monstrous assailant. The locals assume this was an Indian raid and send out a search/retribution party to retrieve any survivors, though this party slowly discovers that the conventional narrative does not apply.

"The Burrowers" is a gorgeous film, and the sepia-tinged photography takes full advantage of the New Mexico landscape. Petty also displays a great range visually, sometimes abandoning the slow, steady style for a bit of fast paced action or a conventional horror scene.
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7 Comments 42 of 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
This is a great film who did not get a theatrical release... sadly because the cinematography is gorgeous and the whole project is many times superior to other horror films who actually get a wide release.

The director here did an excellent job recreating a western scenario where a group of men go on a journey in search of a family of settlers who were (they think) abducted by indians - when in fact, the abductors are a breed of underground creatures who feed on the humans they keep paralyzed under the earth.

The characters are great, the actors are great, cinematography is top-notch, music is great... everything is perfect.

...but the only thing that prevents me from giving this film five stars was a strange taste of "I've seen all this before in other films". Don't get me wrong, because I DO think this film is a true labor of love superior to most of the junk we see today. But somehow the utilization of elements we already saw in films like The Descent (the group of monstrous flesh-eating humanoids...) or Tremors (...who live under the earth) left me a bit unimpressed and disappointed. The idea that came into my head was that this film was a great combination of formulas I've seen before BUT under a (unusual) western scenario.

Maybe that's why it did not get a theatrical release.

STILL... this is a gorgeous horror film that even being a mixture of other films we all have seen before, still manages to keep you interested all the way until the end - thanks to a master director who clearly has great taste.

So if you are looking for a superior work of horror, give this DVD a try.
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