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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

[8.50/10] I Saw the Devil (2010)


I Saw the Devil (2010)

Ji-woon Kim's sure-to-become-a-classic thriller "I Saw the Devil" follows Kyung-chul, a maniacal serial killer who drives a yellow school bus and preys on young women. He captures and kills his victims, but their deaths are not the end of his madness. While the police have been aware of his actions for some time, they have never been able to put a name or face to his crimes. When the corpse of a retired police chief’s pregnant daughter surfaces, things change gears and the hunter quickly becomes the hunted. Yet it is not the girl’s father who swears vengeance, but rather her secret agent fiancĂ©, Joo-yeon, who decides to track down the perpetrator himself. Anyone with even the remotest information on the killer’s whereabouts is in for a bloody beating. But when his mission starts to come together, Joo-yeon morphs into quite a disturbing monster himself. The critically acclaimed Korean director of horror phenomenon, "A Tale of Two Sisters", delivers this violently brutal, yet mesmerizingly beautiful story of justice and revenge, that will linger deep in your mind long after the credits roll. The story, while slightly predictable, is wonderfully-executed, thrillingly suspenseful and enormously gripping, and it keeps you one the edge of your seat to the very end. "I Saw the Devil" is also hyper-violent, as it's filled with ruthless, gory and extremely graphic, yet thoroughly realistic scenes of violence that leave almost nothing to imagination. All this, combined with film's consistent intensity gives "I Saw the Devil" extra toughness and grit. With its pitch-perfect editing, smooth and silky editing, and Ji-woon Kim's skilfull direction, "I Saw the Devil" is near-flawless, technically. Ji-woon Kim's versatility as a director is noticeable, as he uses a wide range of camera angles and provides lots of great shots throughout the film. The opening sequence is hauntingly beautiful and it deserves a special mention. Furthermore, Lee Mo-Gae's grim, yet stunningly effective cinematography and low-key lightning add to the dark and unsettling tone of movie, and as a result, "I Saw the Devil" is not only compelling, but also a visually-atmospheric thriller, that succeeds on all levels. Acting-wise, "I Saw the Devil" is no less remarkable. Byung-hun Lee, best known to western audiences for his role as Storm Shadow in Stephen Sommers' 2009 blockbuster "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra", plays Soo-hyun - a top secret agent and one of the victim's fiancĂ©. Lee delivers a solid and very credible performance as Soo-hyun, who led by his fierce longing for revenge, stands against the brutal murderer all by himself. However, it's Min-sik Choi's performance that makes the biggest impression. Yes, he was incredible in "OldBoy", but here, he simply outdoes himself, as he portrays the madness and cruelty of his character so believably, it's astounding. He's so intimidating, disturbing and downright terrifying as Kyung-chul , that everytime he appears on screen, you find yourself feeling like one of his victims. He's that good. Harsh, uncompromising, brilliantly-crafted and thoroughly compelling, "I Saw the Devil" is a truly riveting experience, you won't soon forget.

10 comments:

Dempsey Sanders said...

ohhhhhh this sounds right up my street, will have to watch this one, thanks for the post george!

J-SON said...

I so want to watch this, this sounds like my kind of film. But I've no news as of now if this will be screening in my region.

Nebular said...

Demps, I was blown away how profoundly brutal it was :) You should definitely see this one. It hits US and EU cinemas next year.

Nebular said...

J-son, there was no screening here either, but I found a way to see it :) It was truly unsettling.

Jaccstev said...

I've been searching this film for the last couple days but I end up watching Dream Home and it also entertainingly gory according to my opinion. Have you watched it mate?
You said "I Saw the Devil" is hyper-violent, gory and extremely graphic. Is it on the "Martyrs" level of gory or below it?

Nebular said...

It wasn't as violent and gory as Martyrs, but it wa extremely graphic indeed. Nothing overdone here! It all looked very, very realistic.

Do you need a link for this one, Jaccs? :)

Jaccstev said...

Thanks mate, I think I just found the link and will get the film soon :)

Dempsey Sanders said...

I definately will do when it's out George, it does look very cool

Midnight Screening said...

So keen to check this one out - it's on the list!

Nebular said...

It was nightmarish-ly brilliant! You have to see it asap.