Filmmaker J.T. Petty is Unleashing The Burrowers Next

February 19, 2008

J.T. Petty's The Burrowers

While J.J. Abrams' Cloverfield depicts a very conspicuous monster amidst a crowded modern-day city, J.T. Petty's (Mimic 3) The Burrowers is taking a very opposite approach - an illusive new monster that sets upon pioneers in the Dakota Territories of the 1870s. Not exactly your typical gun-and-saloon Western. Petty, who both wrote and directed The Burrowers, recently spoke to about his fourth upcoming film and shared some interesting details which might excite horror fans.

"A lot of what I wanted to do with the movie was create a new monster," Petty is quoted as saying. "I love what Guillermo [del Toro] is doing in trying to create new monsters, so with The Burrowers I'm trying to do something new."

IMBb has a description of the film that states: "A band of courageous men sets out to find and recover a family of settlers that has mysteriously vanished from their home. Expecting the offenders to be a band of fierce natives, the group prepares for a routine battle. But they soon discover that the real enemy stalks them from below." The photo above is a bit of concept art from The Burrowers that first showed up on Dread Central.

The premise sounds great. There's something about an open, seemingly quiet landscape that can be a pretty terrifying device when used well. However, The Hills Have Eyes readily comes to mind when I think on this prospect. It's probably because that's about the last creepy flick I saw that was set in anything resembling a desolate landscape; which is sort of to say there's more room for such a plot in today's monster genre, especially one being set so far back in history.

It'll be interesting to see what Petty comes up with in terms of the monster(s). What exactly could lie under the quiet grass plains of Dakota, in the 1870s, no less?

Late in '07, Petty produced seven different 3 to 5 minute prequel webisodes that appeared on FearNet, which aimed to set the stage for his upcoming film. I'm ashamed I didn't catch wind of this back then, as it would've be great to see what story was beginning to unfold. If anyone finds the original videos, please let us know!

No doubt he probably laid the foundation for his set of three key characters that make up the "band of courageous men" - Starship Troopers and Pathfinder star Clancy Brown, World Trade Center and "Lost" star William Mapother and The Green Mile and The Salton Sea star Doug Hutchison. Of the characters, Petty explained, "[it's] like a Coen brothers kind've cast where you're going for the real acting talent instead of gorgeous nineteen years olds. The cast needed to feel like they could fit the texture of the Old West."

Not including gorgeous nineteen year olds in a horror flick will certainly be something new. We'll wait and see what he can do about the monster (or monsters?). The Burrowers is being distributed by Lionsgate but doesn't have a specific date set in 2008 yet.

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Sounds interesting i love monster movies ill keep a eye on this one.

Curtis on Feb 19, 2008


Sounds a lot like the Tremors films to me.......

Craig on Feb 19, 2008


Ditto to that Craig. Might be inspired by that monster type? In any case, I'm almost always down for a good monster flick 🙂

Robert G on Feb 19, 2008


Oh sweet! A Tremors sequ.... Oh. Nevermind.

Sean on Feb 19, 2008

5 'underground monster attacks people' film i can think of...a classic camp horror film imo. I think the concept of having monster movies based in 'olden times' is a fantastic idea...what would people have done in the 1870's if the Cloverfield monster attacked? How would Zombies get on in the Wild West where lots of people carried guns around? It's a whole new concept for these movies which have been getting stale in the last few years....snakes on a steam powered pleasure ship anyone? How about a good old fashioned slasher stalking a remote farm community in the late 1800's? 😛

chris on Feb 20, 2008


I really liked the movie "Ravenous"--and some of the reason was the setting...the 1800s. I find that to be a very interesting time period to set a horror film b/c people's perceptions and knowledge were much different. I think it is easier to scare people...modern people can have a bit too much info at their fingertips. So I am really looking forward to this one. Sounds scary!

Movie Lover on Feb 20, 2008


Sean.. hit it on the head!

Scorpio on Feb 21, 2008

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