Director: Jee-woon Kim
Starring: Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi and In-seo Kim
Duration: 141 minutes
I Saw the Devil was the first title that came up when looking at Korean horror films to quench my thirst for world cinema and I can see why.
The first thing that I loved about I Saw the Devil was how it wasn’t overly-glamorising Korea, it wasn’t the cute and cuddly Korea that we see all over the internet, it just looked like any city you can think of, just with, well, Koreans. I feel that this made it relatable to any audience, which made it easier to find familiarity. The intro scene pretty much gives you all of the information you need to know and introduces you to most of the important characters before the revenge plot begins which has an excellent effect on the viewer as it gets your mind racing literally minutes into the film, and helps you build a relationship with each character in your head, making you feel a certain way about each individual.
Onto the plot: This film is all about revenge on the killer of a secret agents’ girlfriend; sounds like your standard revenge title but the way they executed it (no pun intended) in I Saw the Devil was superb. Instead of just finding and torturing the bloodthirsty killer for two hours straight, the agent attaches a tracking device to the monster and sets about making his life hell AND torturing him for days on end. Letting him go about his regular business but always being there to fuck his day up without fail, some might call it overkill but I thought it was really innovative and definitely makes you feel like you’re doing the right thing after witnessing just how heartless the killer is.
For my first bit of Korean cinema I was really impressed. This ticked all the boxes for me and I feel it has something for everyone in it. I will definitely be indulging in more Korean horrors over the coming weeks, check it out!
Verdict 5 out of 5
Reviewed by Murray McLellan (@CaptainKroch)