I Saw the Devil is an outside-the-box take on the serial killer genre. It was a meditated neck-turner through its explicit content and graphic portrayals. The film contained brutality of women and other sporadic violence through rape, torture and murder. Honestly it was not that thrilling, instead it was emotionally-dulling. The revenge plot, however mutilating and inhumane, somehow lacked luster and came off over-the-top. This is probably because it became a bit of a cat and mouse story, or a hunting game of catch and release as stated within the film itself (which I thought gave it a flat tire).
Similarly, its hardly appealing when motives or meanings have to be spelled out to you. In fact, any other dialogue was simply vacant and the story was strung together by cinematic long-shots and sequences. Perhaps less is more. Less as in the film ran too long as well. Overall it received its fair share of both positive and mixed reviews (reception). I’m think average movie-goers should stay away from it, and killer/ thriller movie enthusiasts should give it a watch.
Its a big film in terms of movie content, direction and acting. In addition to deranged (read: psychotic) and revengeful undertones, the movie attempted to embody the devil / evil through its content and characters. Its can also be classified as “torture porn” for its scenes of molestation, rape, torture, mutilation etc. Acclaimed director Kim Jee-Woon has no doubt made a mark in the serial killer / revenge / thriller genres with I Saw the Devil. Top actors Lee Byung-Hun (A Bittersweet Life) and Choi Min-Sik (Oldboy) put on very methodical performances which worked for their opposing characters.
“When his pregnant fiancee becomes the latest victim of a serial killer, a secret agent blurs the line between good and evil in his pursuit of revenge.” (IMDb)
Summary: I Saw the Devil is murder and revenge on steroids.
aparoo’s words: serial killer, murder, vengeance, revenge, thriller, crime, horror, drama
aparoo says 4/5, entertaining