BEASTS CLAWING AT STRAWS is a new South Korean crime-thriller that works really well. Lots of fascinating characters and a story that offers one hell of a ride. All with a runtime under two hours. Read our full Beasts Clawing at Straws movie review here!

BEASTS CLAWING AT STRAWS is a new crime-thriller from South Korea. This is the kind of movie that works extremely well thanks to plenty of interesting characters that will keep you guessing. South Korean movies are already known for often being very character-driven and this crime-thriller is yet another great example of why that is.

Thanks to all the characters – even if I do feel that especially one female character really kicks ass!

Continue reading our Beasts Clawing at Straws movie review below.

The stellar cast of Beasts Clawing at Straws 

The cast of Beasts Clawing at Straws is full of well-established South Korean stars. We have Jeon Do-yeon starring as Yeon-hee. If you’ve watched the 2010 South Korean thriller Hanyo (aka The Housemaid), then you’ll know her from that one since she played the main character.

Also, Youn Yuh-jeong is part of the cast, and fans of Sense8 will definitely recognize her. Youn Yuh-jeong was also in Hanyo and apparently, once Jeon Do-yeon was cast, she managed to convince her former co-star to join as well. Quite the scoop!

While there are many awesome actors and characters in this movie, my favorite very quickly became Yeon-hee. I’m sure you’ll see why when you watch the movie. She is definitely a badass in all the right (and wrong) ways!

Beasts Clawing at Straws – Movie Review

An international success story

Beasts Clawing at Straws is yet another little gem from South Korea (org. title Jipuragirado japgo sipeun jimseungdeul) and it has already been nominated for (and won!) several awards. Including a Special Jury Award at Rotterdam International Film Festival 2020 where it had its world premiere in January of 2020.

In other words, it’s not just in South Korea this movie has won over audiences and critics alike.

The movie premiered in its native South Korea in February 2020, which was at the height of the pandemic outbreak. It was the box office “winner” during a time when very few tickets were sold. The number of tickets sold in South Korean movie theaters was only half as many as the previous weekend.

However, it should still be able to reach a huge audience worldwide now. Just not in movie theaters, unfortunately.

Watch Beasts Clawing at Straws on VOD

Kim Yong-hoon is the writer and director of Beasts Clawing at Straws which is adapted from the Japanese novel by Keisuke Sone. This is the first movie from Kim Yong-hoon who has made quite a few changes to the original story from the novel. Both due to taking place in South Korea instead of Japan and to make it better fit his own style.

The result is a noir thriller with wonderful use of very dark comedy and quite a lot of violence – of course, what else would you expect from this plot?! If you enjoy South Korean genre movies in general such as the Academy award-winning Parasite, then this one should be added to your watch-list.

Beast Clawing at Straws has a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes, which is almost short for a South Korean movie. However, that just means there’s less of a slow-burn and much more of a punch. Definitely worth checking out if you like a good crime-thriller with a mystery!

Beasts Clawing at Straws is out on VOD from December 15, 2020.


Director: Kim Yong-hoon
Screenwriter: Kim Yong-hoon
Stars: Jeon Do-yeon, Jung Woo-sung, Bae Sung-woo , Yun Yuh-jung, Jung Man-sik, Jin Gyeong, Shin Hyun-been, Kim Jun-han, Jung Ga-ram, Park Ji-hwan, Heo Dong-won, Bae Jin-woong, Jang Eui-don


A Louis Vuitton bag stuffed full of cash sends a group of hard-luck lowlifes on a desperate chase for the fortune in this pitch-black neo-noir crime thriller. Fish-mongering gangsters, a greasy cop, a crooked customs official, a sad-sack gym attendant, a beautiful prostitute, her wife beater of a husband, her ruthless boss and her clueless boyfriend all violently scheme to get their hands on the elusive bag.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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