A really monstrous creature dominates the otherwise mediocre Unearthed--a film about an archaeologist who has gotten a bit too involved in Native American tribal lore.
An obsessed archaeologist named Kale (Luke Goss) is hidden away in the hills of the desert researching a Native American tribe that mysteriously disappeared. With the help of a well-meaning Indian historian (Russell Means), Kale discovers that a creature destroyed the tribe, and he inadvertently unearths the remnants of the monster. Along with Goss, the monster traps a rag-tag group of people, including an alcoholic female sheriff (Emmanuelle Vaugier), a grizzled rancher (M.C. Gainey), a wise-cracking dude (Charlie Murphy), and others. To their horror, this creature is a ruthless and cold-blooded killer who picks them off one by one.
Although there are some character actors doing what they do best--especially Means as the wise and haughty Native American grandfather--in general, the acting is pretty mediocre. Vaugier tries to do more with her role as the outcast alcoholic who's trying to hold onto her job as the local sheriff, but ultimately it's one note. As is Goss as the obsessed scientist, desperately trying to bring some veritas to his performance. Actually, the very weirdly-shaped creature is the best actor of the bunch, and that's not saying much.
Matthew Leutwyler made a splash with his zombie comedy musical Dead and Breakfast and tries to follow up with Unearthed. He has assembled a competent special effects team to create one helluva creature--not your usual garden-variety monster here. This creature spits balls of acid, which turn into worm-like things that burrow into people's skin. The creature also seems to have claws for hands and needles that come out of his skeleton. Nice image, huh? Good thing Unearthed has such a scary villain because this film otherwise would be dullsville.
Hollywood.com rated this film 2 stars.