Every so often, a hole must be filled. This hole is the deepest, darkness, most horrifying and brutally stricken hole a single person would imagine if they had the fortitude to ever do so. The reason this hole needs to be filled lies majorly with curiosity and morbidness. Human nature is quirky and our senses need to be overloaded with fear and shock when the time calls for it. Jee-woon Kim’s I Saw the Devil fills that hole and exceeds to overflow it with unmerciful loathing which will haunt you long after the credits roll.
A solitary man rapes and dismembers young women in order to appease his appetite for human suffering, but when when one of his victims turns out to be the pregnant fiance of a secret service agent and a former police chief’s daughter, he may have made a big mistake. The agent devises a plan to find his fiance’s killer and play a capture and release torture game in order to inflict as much as pain as the killer has caused the agent’s fiance. What the agent doesn’t realize is that this killer is relentless when it comes to getting even and nothing will stop his destructive path.
Genre fans rave how Jee-woon Kim’s The Tale of Two Sisters is the best thing since sliced bread, but I have to say that I Saw the Devil is his best work to date! The trials and tribulations of the two main characters will stick with you days, weeks or maybe even months after witnessing the their twisted game journey through the darkest of human souls.
Fate has brought two opposing forces together – good vs evil. The evil in Kyung-chul (played by Oldboy‘s Min-sik Choi) has made his life a grim tale of solitary and his only friends, or better yet acquaintances, are those who are just like him, yet he can be seen as an anti-hero in some cases, but his other, more dastardly, actions of senseless and emotionless slaughter of young women after he rapes them is pure cold blooded. On the other hand, the good in Kim Soo-hyeon (played by Byung-hun Lee) makes him almost superhuman as he implements his gifted secret service techniques and technologies to vigilante his way toward finding his finance’s killer. His torture methods aren’t perceived as inhuman as maybe Kyung-chul’s because there is a reason of justice to be conducted and we sympathize more with Kim.
Jee-woon’s has set the bar high for Korean thrillers that I can’t see any director surpassing this bone-chilling tale in the near future. Superb acting on all of the actors and intense scenes of in your face brutality. I Saw The Devil dons everything in a title and goes beyond it with a tornado like rampage. Magnet Releasing blu-ray edition has superior image quality; this reviewer strongly urges you to hunt down a copy and put your faith on hold or put your mind at risk with I Saw the Devil.