From Korean Director Kim Jee-woon (THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD and A TALE OF TWO SISTERS) comes another bloodbath that will put your sensibilities to the test, but ultimately will be worth the journey through hell. 

I SAW THE DEVIL opens with the brutal (and I mean brutal) death of the pregnant wife of Detective Soo-hyun (Byung-hun Lee) along a lonely stretch of icy road. Kyung-chui (OLDBOY’s Min-sikChoi) is the merciless serial killer who enjoys the hunt as much as the kill. 

Obsessed with wanting his wife’s killer to suffer as much as she did, Soo-hyun takes a leave from the police force to do some unsanctioned investigating of his own. When he finally finds Kyung-chui, he doesn’t kill him. Instead he tortures him and then lets him go, to repeat the process over and over again. 

But Kyung-choi is not a man to be pushed and he soon turns the tables on the grieving cop and the hunter soon becomes the hunted. 

I SAW THE DEVIL wades in dark themes of vengeance and retribution and suggests that while trying to slay the dragon, you can become a monster yourself. 

My only complaint is that by letting Kyun-choi free over and over again, Soo-Hyun allows the psychotic maniac to hurt and in some instances kill innocent people. It boarders on illogical and it’s certainly unforgiveable, but maybe that’s the point as it also strengthens the themes.

I SAW THE DEVIL is a gorgeously shot and directed thriller but it is also one of the most violent films you are likely to see. The carnage is graphic and bloody and it may prove too offensive for those with delicate sensitivities. But if you can stomach it, you’ll discover that it is necessary to tell the story much like in David Fincher’s SE7EN (1995) and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2011).


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JULY 23, 2014