Indie Movie Review – The Burial

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There’s an old meme doing the rounds. It goes along the lines of “A best friend doesn’t ask what you’re going to do when they hear that you’ve killed someone. They just say ‘I’ll get my shovel’”. At one point I thought that The Burial was going to be that joke spun out for eighty minutes. Things like that have happened before; Car Trouble was a thirty second joke spun out for over an hour and a half. That was the eighties though. Here and now, we have a different approach. The Burial is another example of a “there’s something nasty in the woods” type film. First thoughts had me wondering if there was anything else that was going to be brought to the party. I’m rather glad to say that plenty was!  

I feel I need to point something out before I go too much further…part of my routine is to look at the blurb that comes with the film, watch the trailer, and read what there is on IMDb. This is the point when I got a bit of a jolt. I put The Burial into the IMDb search bar and the first return was for a film with that name starring a name I didn’t recognise and Tommy Lee Jones! I kid you not! The next name was another surprise…Jamie Foxx!  I did wonder if this was a case of some big names helping out an up and coming crew working on a new project by doing a cameo. 

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If You Go Down To The Woods Today

I didn’t worry too much more about it as the trailer linked to it was definitely for the film I had in front of me. It was only afterwards that I noticed one particular name was missing…Michael Escalante. Mr Escalante is obviously quite the polymath as he is the writer, director, producer, film editor, and wrote the music! You can see why I noticed his absence from the opening credits. It seems that there are two films named The Burial and there must have been a wee bit of a mix up.  So, what did I actually have in front of me? 

It turns out that I had a very entertaining film made on what can only be described as a micro budget. The listed cost is an estimated $5,000! Highly unlikely to be seeing either Mr Jones or Mr Foxx then! Instead there was a cast of just four people. But a small cast doesn’t mean an untalented cast! The story revolves around a reclusive alcoholic, Keith (Spencer Weitzel), who gets himself into a spot of bother with regards to Lenny (Aaron Pyle). He reaches out to his brother, Brian (Vernon Taylor) who comes to his aid along with his partner, Molly (Faith Kearns).

You’re Sure Of A Big Surprise

As I alluded to earlier, The Burial is set in an out of the way location which seem to make up most of the USA! Honestly…over here, a cabin like that would be within sight of a café, a pub and a bus stop. Everything seems to be settling in nicely when Keith takes Brian into his confidence and tries to solicit his assistance.  Obviously I can’t go into much more detail as I will be firing out spoilers left, right, and centre! The trailer says “Nothing is what it seems”. That is accurate and I’ll leave you to invest the eighty minutes and enjoy the outcome.

I’ve gone on record multiple times saying that I’m not a fan of the horror genre. However, I did enjoy The Burial as Michael Escalante managed to concentrate more on the drama of the situation and produced a horror which is leaning very heavily into the thriller category; there were genuine “how are they going to get out of that” situations. Excellently acted by all concerned, a good story, and surprisingly professional editing and filming. I say surprising only due to the money involved, the talent is there in spades. They don’t have a lot of credits behind them but I shall be looking out for all concerned in the future.

Movie Grade: B+



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