From Gerald Rascionato, mostly know as the director of Open Water 3: Cage Dive, this is the other dinosaur movie he made in 2021 that we mentioned in the review of Triassic Hunt, simply titled Claw.
The premise is fairly simple, with two friends forced to spend the night in a ghost town (after getting a flat tire), where they find themselves hunted by a prehistoric predator.
Almost immediatly i got Raptor Ranch vibes, since we also have a scientist creating dinosaurs via a ramshackle laboratory in a middle-of-nowhere town (here Southern California instead of the usual rural town of backwoods stereotypes), the dinosaur pen, the dinosaur outsmarting his creator, etc.
It does feel like a bigger budgeted (while still in the indie low budget territory) and non-exploitation version of Raptor Ranch (itself a rip-off of Carnosaur), as in, they’re really trying to make this type of story work in a mildly serious way, without rubbish obnoxious teen douchebags that exist only as dino chow or greasy butcher-hot dog vendors smoking cigars like a cartoon bully would.
But it’s still a B-movie with the tagline featuring tortured puns such as “Do you think hesaurus?”, i feel you’re not supposed to take it too seriously… and you don’t, but i wish it was funnier or had something more to it, Claw it’s indeed what the synopsis promises, but the plot is very thin and there is really nothing of substance to back up or expand the premise in any interesting way, nor any big twist.
The pace is decent and the CG for the dinosaur it’s pretty decent-to-good looking, the acting it’s good for this kind of movie, the scares are cheesy but fun, and the scenario of the creepy roadside attraction filled ghost town is quite nice, so it’s not a drag to watch, but it just feel that there should be more to it, you really can’t pull off a movie like this like you would (and could) if it was about real killer animals in a realistic survival setting, as movies like The Reef did with sharks.
Especially since it’s a B-movie that leans into being a horror comedy more than a horror thriller, and it’s about dinosaurs, you gotta have some twist to accompany the stuff Jurassic Park did decades ago better, some weird spin or absurd sub-plot, something, or either some incredible direction and screenwriting able to make great atmosphere by using such a simple promise.
Claw simply doesn’t have any of that, and i guess it’s more sincere than some of the crap i’ve reviewed here, with some marketing not just overhyping shit but being downright deceptive, but the issue can’t really be overlooked since the movie it’s actually 66 minutes long, plus 14 of goofs and actual credits.
Yeah, it’s one of those that inflates it runtime via this familiar ruse.
The main characters are a girl training her comedy routine for a show, and her flamboyant gay friend, both incredibly stock but not unlikeable, the script has some funny moments for them and some fun comedy, and this is overall a very ok movie, but the overly simple plot and the weak ending (really weak) stop it from being decent.
Still, it’s an ok little b-movie about dinosaurs, made with effort and some budget.
I’d say Triassic Hunt it’s the better dinosaur flick from the director, it is more fun overall, but you can see SO much worse than this. Not bad, but doesn’t have much to say for (or about) itself, and it’s kinda forgettable.