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Comments 1 - 15 of 37

Ralf's avatar

Ralf

I still find some of the plot devices in this film excruciatingly half-assed, but it really gets better with repeat viewings - plus, it's just exceptionally well-made. The cinematography is some of the best I've seen in any film, and its relentless brutality and awesome pacing just drew me in... again. Insane film.
8 years 4 months ago
Jordan95's avatar

Jordan95

Undeniably one of the most brutal and devastating films about revenge ever made, I Saw the Devil provides an intense and discomforting experience like few other films. However, I found it somewhat overrated; it's nowhere near Kim Jee-woon's worst film, that would be the still entertaining The Last Stand, but considering the consistent high praise it's been getting, I couldn't help but be slightly dissapointed by it.

Lee Byung-hun and Choi Min-sik give extremely committed performances, with Min-sik portraying one of the most disgusting and terrifying serial killers I've ever seen in a movie. It's a testament to Min-sik's acting that he takes this somewhat one-note character and makes him utterly monstrous. Every time you think he cannot surpass himself in depravity, he actually does. Byung-hun, in his third consecutive film with Jee-woon, makes palpable the despair and moral descent of his character.

Director Kim Jee-woon certainly pushes the boundaries of on-screen violence in a mainstream movie and although there are numerous shocking scenes of unspeakable brutality, there's a point around the halfway mark where the violence becomes so over-the-top that it loses quite a bit of credibility during some crucial sequences. spoiler

Despite my misgivings, I Saw the Devil is an shocking and extreme revenge film with a downright brutal and heartbreaking ending that proves once again what other South Korean films about the subject have already proven: revenge is worthless.
6 years 5 months ago
sabke's avatar

sabke

Absolute optimum in taking revenge! Very gory, so prepare!

"I saw the devil" reminded me in some way of "El secreto de sus ojos", but "El secreto de sus ojos" is more psychologically underlayed.

Min-sik Choi played his role very convincing, just like his perfect performance in "Old Boy". Actually, what I expected from the movie "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" I got delivered by "I saw the devil".
9 years 9 months ago
Siskoid's avatar

Siskoid

Korean serial killer-themed thriller I Saw the Devil, which fits the horror genre because of how gory the violence is (think Ichi the Killer), but is essentially a supercop revenge story in which the good guy adopts the villain's methods, terror and torture, to achieve his goals. If the film is trying to say there's evil accessible in everyone, the opposite isn't exactly true. Like many villains in Asian films, the serial killer is absolutely irredeemable and disgusting. There's no empathizing with that guy when the cop goes crazy, which I think is a weakness. Another weakness is that I Saw the Devil is at least 20 minutes too long. Lots of twists of fate, but it feels like we hit the climax and then have to suffer through another act. The cinematography is quite luscious and the action scenes well-choreographed, but be warned the horror is predicated on violence done to women. It's a horror trope I'm getting a little tired of, even when the intent is to make you squirm.
6 years 5 months ago
cubesofspinach's avatar

cubesofspinach

...I liked the taxi massacre.
9 years 5 months ago
dombrewer's avatar

dombrewer

Crashingly disappointing and infuriatingly bad - not only because Kim Jee-Woon made the excellent "Tale of Two Sisters" and "A Bittersweet Life" but also because so many viewers seem to love it; I can only think that many latched on to this hoping for "Oldboy" style thrills with a heavy dose of torture porn and didn't notice there was none of the moral framework or canny psychology of Park Chan-Wook's superb trilogy. For me this failed on almost every level - of course it's stylishly and expensively shot, and Choi Min-Sik does predictably good work with a very predictable serial killer role, but Lee Byung-Hun is weak as the blank supercop evidently as deranged as his quarry. He's not helped by a poorly written script and credulity stretching plot; the poorly conceived "revenge" he enacts on his fiancee's killer results in more death, rape and chaos through his selfish, idiotic quest and ultimately achieves nothing. Park Chan-Wook managed to reach that conclusion in far less time and with considerably less misogyny and cliche in "Lady Vengeance". At the two hour mark I was bored and hoping that Choi would actually get away and Lee would pay for his stupidity. No such luck.
9 years 8 months ago
ChrisReynolds's avatar

ChrisReynolds

Well made, exciting and OTT gory, but let down by the way the more disturbing and emotional content doesn't seem to mix well with the silliness of a lot of the violence. The killer reminded me of Wile E Coyote the way he would absorb a massive amount of damage but then be pretty much OK and carry on trying to kill people.
9 years 11 months ago
rhitwick's avatar

rhitwick

Good movie but too lengthy. Should have been 20 minutes less.
10 years 3 months ago
Eva1986's avatar

Eva1986

Disturbing! Love Min-Sik Choi.
6 years 6 months ago
Prof. Lumpcicle's avatar

Prof. Lumpcicle

Funny, I enacted the same form of revenge on a school yard bully who stole my milk money.
9 years 10 months ago
brokenface's avatar

brokenface

I suppose you can say it does what it sets out to do - brutal serial-killer revenge tale - but it's a pretty horrible, misanthropic film. Could certainly do with 30-45 mins trimming off it.

Give me The Good The Bad The Weird over this one, any day!
10 years 5 months ago
armyofshadows's avatar

armyofshadows

Very violent, overlong, and rather unfocused, but still thrilling, beautifully filmed and succesful in the conveyance of emotion. A powerful film dotted with moments of intense, believable sadness and great performances. A bit confused in terms of genre- it often feels like a horror movie (an effective one) but it also has a lot of thriller elements. Overall, an experience that studies the depths of human evil and the different forms it can take with masterful elements of suspense and drama despite some extremely brutal violence and a flawed script with a length that feels unnecessary.
10 years 5 months ago
Matt Addis's avatar

Matt Addis

This is not really "horror", more like an incredibly violent thriller. It's still excellent, though perhaps a bit too long. excellent take on the whole adage "to beat the devil you must become the devil"
1 month 3 weeks ago
Rashed's avatar

Rashed

Very Brutal !!
2 years ago
ReVision's avatar

ReVision

Very solid, but not as good as Oldeuboi
2 years 2 months ago

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