Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Saw the Devil (2010)

Do you love Oldboy?  Ichi the Killer?  Then waste no freakin' time in getting your hands on I Saw The Devil.  I love Korean revenge/vengeance films and this one is no exception.

I was excited to see Min-sik Choi from Oldboy in this movie, and Byung-hun Lee is excellent as the heartbroken fiance out for revenge.  The story is simple enough -- Kim Soo-hyeon's beloved is the latest victim of serial killer Kyung-chul.  But instead of waiting for the police to sort things out, Kim takes things into his own hands, seeking out the killer on his own.  With help from his future father-in-law, the local police chief, Kim finds out the suspects in the case and goes after them, one by one.

His interrogation tactics are violent and painful to the point that people will confess to crimes they didn't even commit.  When he finds the actual murderer, he sets an extended plan into motion.  Feeling that just killing Kyung-chul would be letting him off way too easily, Kim begins a process of physical and mental torture in order to make the killer suffer as his fiance did.

I saw tons of similarities in this movie to favorites like Ichi the Killer, Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, and Lady Vengeance.  The subject matter is often pretty stomach-turning and the story definitely objectifies females in a way that these other films do not.  This didn't bother me exactly, as it was essential to the storyline as it revolved around a serial killer stalking young women.  The blood and gore was absolutely on-point and there were several times that my husband and I would yell, "ohhhhh!"

The ending fell a little flat for me....I actually thought it was going in the direction of Lady Vengeance but then it just sort of ended with a bang (chop?).  I loved the movie overall and will definitely watch it again.  I Saw the Devil really lives up to the hype.  I see lots of people comparing this to Seven.  I don't personally see the relationship, but to each their own.

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