I Saw the Devil is not easy to watch, but hard to turn away from…

  (2010)

Let me start by saying Koreans are WHACK!  I’ve seen a few of their films and yeah…they’re some crazy people. Crazy and brilliant!  I Saw the Devil is an emotional journey. An intense story about a psychopathic serial killer and the secret agent that stalks him in order to seek revenge.  It is a graphic, gory, unflinching look at a monster which would be almost unbearable to watch, if not for the fact that it is, at its core, a sad tale of loss.  How far is someone willing to go for justice? Or Vengeance? 

The killer is perfectly played by Min-sik Choi (also famously in Oldboy–another Korean classic).  Min-sik is very convincing as a soulless monster–it gave me the willies.  Byung-hun Lee plays his counter–the secret agent who places his own soul in jeopardy in his pursuit of revenge for the death of his finance.  Byung-hun is quiet and stoic which makes his descent into darkness all the more disturbing and sad. 

If you have a strong stomach and do not mind delving into dark side of the human psyche, you will appreciate what director Jee-woon Kim has accomplished.  He has taken what could be a straight shock-horror film and has created a melancholic portrait of grief.  I could not take my eyes off the screen, but was exhausted by the end.  WHEW!

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