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John’s Horror Corner: Chaw (2009, aka Chawu), a Korean film about a boring giant killer boar.

June 24, 2018

MY CALL:  This film completely failed me on all levels. It was boring, unexciting, terrible effects and CGI, no gore, and the alleged “comedy” was horribly executed.  MORE MOVIES LIKE ChawFor more (and better) killer pig films, try Razorback (1984), Pig Hunt (2008) and the upcoming Australian film Boar (2018). For more Korean horror, I’d recommend Train to Busan (2016), The Wailing (2016), I Saw the Devil (2010), Thirst (2009) or The Host (2006).

I love foreign horror films. LOVE THEM. But, admittedly, “reading” films can pose a challenge to one’s attention to the visual cues, timing and tone. Subtitles can result in a lot being lost in translation, and subtitles often paraphrase resulting in a change of perceived context. Yet, with this film, I cannot help but to feel that the writing is weak, highly simplistic, and that the frequent attempts at hokey comedy are cheap and uncompelling. I’m just not buying into it… and that sucks.

A small town outside of Seoul finds its share of excitement when a recent grave is dug up and the local police force investigate. After another body appears and it’s evident that a large wild animal is responsible, the local police try to keep everything quiet in their famously crime-free village until things get out of hand. It feels a bit like the premises of Hot Fuzz (2007) and the mayor from Jaws (1975) are behind this.

Eventually a professional hunting team is hired and they fail—catching the much smaller female mate and effectively just pissing off the big bad male. After the big bad boar wreaks havoc on the village celebration, the villagers take things more seriously, setting traps with claymores and dutifully working together to track the beast to its lair.

So… the boar is really a bore—sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Really bad CGI effects fail to bring any credible life to this Korean-ScyFy movie-of-the-week monster. Even as some scenes deliberately echoed the classic Razorback (1984), I couldn’t get into it. The effects were too lousy, the scenes never felt dire, and nothing is ever exciting. Even the chase scenes are flat and uninspired, and gore is hardly present at all. Nothing relevant transpires onscreen. Worse of all, the finale battle with the boar was lame—even boring.  [Sigh.]

Despite my recent obsession with giant killer boar films, writer/director Jeong-won Shin (To Catch a Virgin Ghost, Ghost Sweepers) has royally failed to entertain me. Terrible writing. Terrible and boring. I watch a lot of bad movies and, quite frequently, I manage to find the good in them. However, this may be my most regrettable movie of the year so far. I find noting redeeming about it.

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