I Saw the Devil

Original Title: 악마를 보았다
Release date: August 11, 2010
Director: Ji-woon Kim
Screenplay by: Hoon-Jung Park
Cast: Byung-Hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Gook-hwan Jeon, Ho-jin Cheon, San-ha Oh, Yoon-seo Kim

A young woman is killed while waiting for a tow truck. When she is later found, all that is left is her head. Her fiancé is a secret agent, her father is a former police chief. They want revenge for her cruel murder, and they go to the extremes to make the monster that did that to her pay. But is revenge the right answer? Will revenge quench the feelings of injustice? Lee Byung-Hyun stars in a cat and mouse game along Choi Min-Sik, where there are hardly any winners, just a lot of loss.

To sum up this movie, I am going to quote what my dear friend Dani said while we were watching it: “Man, Korea is seriously crazy.” Crazy it is, seeing as this is one of the bloodiest movies I have seen in a while. Not that blood is bad, but this movie is just that, blood and more blood, deaths, a crazy ahjusshi, his even crazier friends. It is an orgy of death, blood and psychopaths. Which can be totally amusing if you are into that sort of thing. It is a very well done, bloody thriller, there is no denying, Korea loves to make those sometimes taboo filled movies, they don’t mind stretching the boundaries, and that demands some balls.

I Saw the Devil is ballsy, gory and crazy. And yeah, it makes you jump in your seat because of the details in the production. Despite its kick-ass cast, the story is predictable at best. I love me some Lee Byung-Hyun oppa, but he didn’t do much in this besides hurting a whole, and separating jaws with his bare hands. He barely spoke, and I guess oppa is best when he is silent.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 


Music is all I do: I work in music, I write about music, I listen to music.

16 Responses

  1. Hey Amy & crews, great site! Keep up the good work yo!!! Been caught up with many stuff lately, exhausted as always…. LOL!

    This movie is a must-watch for Byung-Hun Lee and Min-sik Choi fans we guess!

  2. kamalachan says:

    I saw this movie too. I do have to say that it's probably the goriest movie I've ever seen. At least in current memory. It actually turned my stomach sour. Hard to believe that it was actually edited and had scenes cut for being "too violent" and what we saw is just what was left! I think Lee Byung-Hyun actually showed a lot of vulnerability in the scenes where he wasn't ripping someone apart or beating their heads in. Choi Min-Sik is intense and creepy, but I don't expect anything less from him, really. Kim Ji-Woon is one of my favorite directors. A Tale of Two Sisters is, to this day, one of the first Korean movies I recommend to other people who are interested in Korean film. Ji-Woon is quite the perfectionist and stays to himself, but he gets performances out of his actors that other directors might not be able to. I'm looking forward to his next film, which is supposed to be a US film, lets see what Western audiences make of him.

  3. Rodrigo says:

    The film is pretty gory with its use of blood and violence, but it tends to drag at times when it’s non-gory. Gotta admit I enjoyed those final minutes to close the film.

    • amy says:

      @Rodrigo, gore is pretty usual in the Korean vengeance films – this is probably not even the best of them, so you’re off to a really good start.

      • Rodrigo says:

        @amy, I think I might give ISTD a second viewing despite my thoughts of it being a “blood over substance” type of film – I mean, Choi Min-Sik might as well been a blood test dummy, lol.

        • amy says:

          @Rodrigo, I think you might like Oldboy… like, a lot. LOL Like I said, I Saw the Devil might not even be one of the best samples of these films.

  4. ghost says:

    @Rodrigo, you might also like to see films like The Chaser or The Yellow Sea, though not exactly vengeance films either.

    • amy says:

      @ghost, there are more types of Korean films than just the vengeance type, though. Sometimes they get too drowned in their own ‘blood fest’ and it’d be a pity if Korean films just become popular because they’re vengeance films… or K-horror. Just like it’s a pity that Chinese films get pegged for being martial art movies, and Japanese films get stuck on the J-horror genre or even more cult stuff.

  1. January 13, 2014

    […] I Saw the Devil […]

  2. October 7, 2014

    […] that gets released outside South Korea, as if films like The Chaser, Bedevilled or I Saw the Devil are the second […]

  3. May 4, 2015

    […] is Born (sorry, haven’t seen the film) and Ek Villain was -admittedly- a little too much like I Saw the Devil without the style (I did enjoy the villain build-up, though). What Mohit Suri has is the music of […]

  4. May 4, 2015

    […] una Estrella (lo siento, no he visto la película) y Ek Villain admito que se parecía demasiado a I Saw the Devil sin el estilo (aunque sí disfrute el enfoque al villano). Lo que sí tiene Mohit Suri es la […]

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