NNWIJ: I Saw The Devil (2010)

Director: Jee-woon Kim

Notable Cast: Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi

Rating: NR

Review:  Well, it’s the end of the year, so time to catch all the noteworthy films that slipped through the cracks.  I started with Melancholia, and with some time to kill on a lazy Saturday I sat down for this two and a half hour thriller.  Wow.  I Saw The Devil is a relentless tale of revenge with all the gorgeous style of far east cinema.  The story follows Kim Soo-hyeon (Lee) as he hunts his wife’s murderer Kyung-chul (Choi), and the tangled web of madness both get caught in.  The lengthy run time soars along as Hoon-jung Park’s  intense screenplay assaults you with raw, brutal violence and psychological elements that alter our view of each character constantly.  Kim Soo-hyeon is the obvious protagonist, but watching him resort to Kyung-chul’s disgusting level questions his intentions, especially when innocent people get involved in his renegade antics.  Byung-hun Lee (GI Joe: Rise of Cobra) acts out Soo-hyeon’s transformation from family man into monster so convincingly, just as Min-sik Choi (Oldboy) played a super-psychotic, power-hungry, just overall depraved serial killer to a scary convincing level.  Their exchanges were charged with emotion, making their fighting almost animalistic.  And then, when things looked to have reached the climax of all things meant to push our nerves, our script ties in even more insanity, like cannibalism.  Why not?  But I Saw The Devil had everything not only a good horror film has, but everything good quality films in general have.  Phenomenal pacing kept the pedal pressed to the floor mostly, slumping momentarily and reminding us just how long 2 and a half hours really is, but those moments were few and far between.  My thirst for action was quenched, my want for a mind-bending revenge epic was reached, the acting drove home how distorted both character’s minds were, the story utilized elements for Hostel type torture horror mixed with a criminal thriller….I Saw The Devil is the full package, hands down.  Sit down and soak it in, the payoff in this film is off the charts.  Yet another foreign film that blows American cinema genre garbage clean out of the water.

Netflix Rating: 5/5
But since it’s a 2011 film, it gets pulled into the year wrap up as well…
Final Rating: 8.5 rolling heads out of 10

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About Matt Donato

I love all things film. I'll watch any genre, any actor, at any time. This whole film critic thing is a passionate hobby for now which I'm balancing with working in the business world, but hey, someday, who knows?
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8 Responses to NNWIJ: I Saw The Devil (2010)

  1. Pingback: 2011: Recap of the Good, the Bad, and Everything Else | Cinema Scrutiny

  2. Pingback: Best of 2011 Horror | Cinema Scrutiny

  3. jovanny says:

    jovanny back 🙂 i saw these movie it was great i didint love it, but it was good and sry for not coming back for weeks 😦

  4. jovanny says:

    is a very interesting and unique movie i think its a good rental or to buy movie

  5. jovanny says:

    i am glad you like it 2 its one of those movie were i didn’t want to skip the boring parts because tere weren’t any loved the actors and the protagonist rolling heads down lol i get what you said tere funny

  6. I totally agree with that. I Saw The Devil hooked you in for every part, even when it was slow, which is bound to happen in a two and a half hour movie. I dug the story and the gore, and thought both actors did a fantastic job. I’ve loved Min-sik Choi ever since Oldboy, and thought he killed it as the murderer. I Saw The Devil grabbed me by the balls and never let go…

  7. anon.ymous says:

    I’m late to the party with this one. I just finished this film and felt as if I needed to at hear someone else’s take on it. Wow indeed. I’m still reveling quite a bit. At the end of the movie, it’s all so pointless, all the violence and the vengeance and the blood and all of it. I guess that’s part of the point.

    What an incredible film. I have to say though, glad I watched this one without my lady. LOL

    • Between the cannibalism, decapitations, and gore…probably a good idea you watched this on your own. That said, I stand by every notion mentioned, and I f#cking loved this movie. Revenge, betrayal, suspense, real gripping horror…my god I Saw The Devil had me hooked…

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