LUMBERJACK THE MONSTER on Netflix is a new serial killer horror-thriller that feels South Korean but is from Japan. It’s by Takashi Miike, who has delivered in the past as well. Read our Lumberjack the Monster movie review here!

LUMBERJACK THE MONSTER is a new Netflix movie from iconic Japanese director Takashi Miike. The original title is Kaibutsu no kikori which is the title of the book it’s based on. It’s a horror-thriller and the movie is from Japan, but the character-driven plot gives it a South Korean vibe.

This one even has a serial killer mystery plot. There’s plenty to like – and for fans of Takashi Miike’s crazy style, I can assure you that his vibe is also up-front and center. The runtime is just shy of two hours, and with the story told in the film, it makes sense. We have plenty to cover during this runtime.

Continue reading our Lumberjack the Monster movie review below. Find it on Netflix from June 1, 2024.

A serial killer going for brains

In this cat-and-mouse chase, we see a serial killer with a lawyer getting ever closer. Why is a lawyer chasing a serial killer? Well, that’s something you should watch Lumberjack the Monster to find out. However, I don’t mind saying that the lawyer isn’t your average lawyer.

Also, you should know that this story has quite a lot of psychopaths. Now, that’s not just my interpretation of the character. They are actually described as psychopaths – and yes, this also goes for our lawyer chasing a serial killer, who steals the brains of his victims!

A character like Dexter Morgan from Dexter could also be described as a psychopath so they can be both useful and have empathy and even love for others. Just only a select few!

The stars of Lumberjack the Monster are largely unknown to me, but I did recognize a few of them. The cast includes Kazuya Kamenashi, Nanao, Riho Yoshioka (House of Ninjas), Shota Sometani (Seven Orifices), and Shido Nakamura (The Village).

Lumberjack the Monster – Review | Horror-Thriller on Netflix

Japanese movie, South Korean storytelling

When I state that I feel this Japanese genre-hybrid has a South Korean vibe to it, I mean this to be a compliment. I love South Korean movies due to their storytelling. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the iconic J-Horror movies, but they just never hit as hard for me. This one did!

What works so well for Lumberjack the Monster is the way we follow these characters. And especially how no one is entirely good or bad, which is a classic South Korean storytelling trait.

There is a serial killer and obviously, a serial killer is not a “guy good”. However, there is actually a solid reason for his murder spree. I’m not saying it’s acceptable or makes his actions good. It is however something more than the classic serial killer plot and I really enjoyed that.

Watch Lumberjack the Monster on Netflix

As mentioned several times already, the director of Lumberjack the Monster is Takashi Miike. Any fan of J-Horror will be familiar with this name. If not, then you have quite a few movies you need to check out. If you can stomach his very visceral and wild (often quite disgusting) style.

Two of the most iconic movies by Takashi Miike are Audition (org. title: Ôdishon) from 1999 and Ichi the Killer (org. title: Koroshiya 1) from 2001. I recommend watching both, but only for those who can handle the wilder stuff. Human Centipede is not a bad reference guideline.

More recently, he also directed the South Korean Hulu/Disney+ series Connect (org. title: Keonekteu). This might explain why this more recent movie also has a distinct South Korean storytelling vibe.

Hiroyoshi Koiwai (Blade of the Immortal, Bleach) wrote the screenplay based on the novel “Kaibutsu no Kikori” by Mayusuke Kurai. The title of the novel is also the original Japanese title of this horror, crime, thriller genre-hybrid of a movie. Be sure to check it out and enjoy it!

Lumberjack the Monster is out on Netflix on June 1, 2024.


Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Hiroyoshi Koiwai
Cast: Kazuya Kamenashi, Nanao, Riho Yoshioka, Shota Sometani, Shido Nakamura


A self-proclaimed psychopath, coldblooded lawyer Ninomiya becomes obsessed with stopping an ax-wielding serial killer who’s made him their next target.

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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