Friday, January 24, 2014

Review: Chawz (2009)

Chawz (Review)
Shin Jung-Won/Uhm Tae-woong/2009
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"I laughed out loud many, many times..."

Officer Sun-Kyeong Kim (Uhm Tae-woong) of Seoul is transferred to the quite, crimeless village of Sameri where a man-eating boar is causing chaos...

Chawz continues as Sun-Kyeong, his pregnant wife, and ill mother, transition into this quiet yet bizarre village. The police are incompetent, some of the villagers are strange while others are greedy, and so on. Anyway, a man-eating boar is suspected when a hunter's granddaughter goes missing and, well, he suspects said boar. Basically, the story follows a bizarre cast of characters as they try to hunt the boar before it attacks the main village. Chawz leads to a predictable yet hilarious ending.

Chawz is a black comedy monster flick. In this case, the monster is a huge, man-eating boar terrorizing a small community. The story is hilarious, it's quirky, charming, and occasionally dark. The dark elements of the film, however, occasionally feel out of place because the quirkiness of the rest of the film. I laughed out loud many, many times, though. Even from the beginning, with all of the cops foolishly rolling down a hill, I could tell I was in for a quirky, bizarre comedy. And, it delivers tenfold. Also, Chawz delivers quite a few thrills, mostly during the final act, though. However, all is not well in the village of Sameri: the runtime felt a bit bloated, there are a couple of unnecessary scenes, and the pacing is static -- sometimes it's fast, while it occasionally dragged during others.

Uhm Tae-woong does well as the lead; quirky, charming, and humorous in his performance. Yoon Je-moon delivers a great supporting role, as well. The film is greatly shot, the cinematography is great. The music fit the quirky style of the film well. The special effects are great for a film of this budget -- yes, the boar is occasionally out of place, but don't go in with Hollywood expectations and you should be satisfied. Shin Jung-Won is a master at creating these quirky black comedy/horror mash-ups, his direction is great at willfully bending genres.

Overall, Chawz is a highly entertaining monster flick. It's hilarious from beginning to end, despite a slightly bloated runtime and some pacing issue. If you like bizarre and quirky comedies, like Shin Jung-Won's previous film To Catch A Virgin Ghost, then you'll likely enjoy Chawz.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and gore, and brief nudity.

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