Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore
CHAW (Korean)

  Publicity Stills of
(Courtesy of Cathay-Keris Films)

Director: Shin Jung-won
Cast: Kim Kang-su, Eum Tae-woong, Byun Soo-ryun, Jung Yu-mi, Chun II-man, Chang Han-sun, Baek Man-bae, Yoon Je-mun
RunTime: 2 hrs 2 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films & InnoForm Media
Rating: PG
Official Website:

Opening Day: 24 December 2009


The frightening cannibal boar, Chaw comes out in the mountain village Sameri, where there's been no crime for more than 10 years! In a calm and peaceful mountain village Sameri where has been no crime for years, a community headman dreams about bringing an economic success to the town with a weekend-farm business. One day, a terrible damaged dead body is discovered in the grove by the village, and the whole town sinks in the chaos by this shocking tumult it never experienced before. The dead body turns out to be the granddaughter of CHUN Il-man, a former gunner who runs an old gun shop. After investigation police says she was murdered, but CHUN digs into the case by himself and claims she was attacked to death by the cannibal boar Chaw. Voices are being raised that the weekend-farm must be shut down, but the town leaders, blind with the greed for money, keep pushing the business ahead. In a few days Chaw appears again to attack tourist as CHUN predicted and Sameri turns to the most dreadful and dangerous village in the whole country from the once heavenly place on earth.

Movie Review:

Bong Joon-ho's The Host had everyone sit up and take note that Korean Cinema can churn out its own monster movies to great aplomb, even though from time to time you'll come across lacklustre offerings such as D-Wars which featured giant snakes. With Chaw, a humongous wild boar said to weigh more than 400kg and with a palate for human organs, wreck havoc in a village which is trying to boost its fortunes through eco-tourism, given that it already boasts being a crime-free village.

One cannot deny the underlying message with regards to nature and the lack of human care toward Mother Nature, where rampant poaching eats into the wild boar's prey, and that it needed to come closer to human habitats to get its food source. And our nonchalant behaviour toward the environment has caused the boars to mutate and change their diet, that they now source for human dead bodies buried six feet under, and developed a taste for human meat. Or so the story goes. This mutation and genetic evolution means they're looking for that unsuspecting human left alone in the thick of the woods, thereby becoming easy prey as the boars launch their attack, which filmmaker Shin Jeong-won adopts the first person, erm, animal POV for.

Once you're bought into that premise, the narrative takes quite a while though to assemble a few good men and women to go on a hunting spree. It's not until the second act that the humans decide to form a fellowship to tap on one another's expertise, and the first half was dedicated to character introduction and the politicking between the police and the village chiefs, one group fearing for the safety of their residents and guests, while the latter concerned with economic survival should their tourism bid be shut off even for a temporal duration.

It's not too much about the quest to destroy the boar, but rather an examination of the myriad of characters in the quaint little town whose lifestyle got disrupted by a man-eating boar. In what would seem like a leaf taken out of Hot Fuzz too, with hot-shot city cop Kim Kang-soo (Eom Tae-woong) being posted to a village (just because he put down “anything” in his transfer form!), and encounters a band of village cops who are both fumbling and lazy, led by an inept police chief Captain Yoo, with everyone lacking crime solving experience because, well, nothing actually happened!

Then there's the aged Mr Chun whose grandchild was devoured by the wild boar, hence having a personal vendetta against the beast, a kleptomaniac in shades-wearing Detective Shin (Park Hyeok-kwon) sent to investigate what could be a serial killing, famous Hunter Baek (Yoon Jae-moon) being roped in to take the beast down, and researcher Su-ryeon (Jeong Yu-mi) who's seeking to document her pet research subject. Granted though that some characters prove to be there for comedic or horrific effect, or a combination of both, such as the strange hag who cradles a doll and yearns to be called Mum, or Kang-soo's senile mom, there are some quieter, poignant moments that they share where we get to feel a little more for them (especially when danger becomes imminent!), or just plain sleight of hand scenes which the director subtly inserts, for laughter.

When it came to action, Chaw has some nice build up of tension and anticipation, and a dash of thrills thrown in when the boar comes charging toward the screen. Some CG portions do come across as a little raw though, and its size could be a bit inconsistent, but the set action pieces such as the one in an enclosed town hall celebration, ranks one of the best with its mix of humour and gore.

Filled with plenty of black comedy moments, you'll find yourself laughing more than squirming at the sheer horror of being chomped alive by the animal, no thanks to the bone crunching sounds that reverberate through the cinema hall in the aftermath of an attack. If you're sick of the turkey and ham this Christmas and not want to have a saccharine time with a sextet of chipmunks, then perhaps you'll want to spend some time with this boar instead, in a story which is anything but boar-ing.

Movie Rating:

(Boar hunting was never so much fun)

Review by Stefan Shih


. Thirst (2009)

. The Guardpost (2008)

. Hansel & Gretel (2007)

. The Host (2006)


DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.