Movie Review | Claw (2021)

Don’t look for answers from Claw, as your scifi-esque “prehistoric predator” itch will not be scratched here, nor will there be a long, tech-inspired backstory to explain things. Claw puts very little effort into the whys and hows of things and a lot into robust character interactions that, at the end of the day, make us want to care about everyone on screen. It's two attractive stars are Chynna Walker [My Dinner with Werner (2019), Sam (2019) and Shotgun (2014)] and Richard Rennie [Bachelor Lions (2019)]. They are on an ordinary trip to LA in their Subaru when an unplanned stop in a po-dunk little town changes things.

At the heart of the action here is an ensemble that involves a fledgling comedienne, “Julia” (Walker), her gay best male friend, “Kyle” (Rennie), an old man they meet in desperation whose help they need, “Ray” (Mel Mede), and a wild-eyed scientist (Ken Mertz) whom we can’t make heads or tails of.

Claw starts slow, but when we suspect it is going nowhere fast, it will use its Jurassic Park-ish-ness to draw in audiences. From there, it relies on the strength of its personalities for the rest of the way.

Billed as a mystery-horror-scifi, it seems more suited as a mystery-horror-comedy--(the tagline is: “Do you think he-saurus?”). Some tonal confusion notwithstanding, this film must have been a lot of fun to make, and perhaps to watch later if you are one of the actors involved hoping to break out and get your start.

It is hard to make an effective film without likable leads and potent plot-shifts at the right places. This film has both--with special effects and teasers that make good use of its $69,000 budget. On this front, Claw succeeds by a fair margin.