Revenge films tend khổng lồ be exceptionally heavy & nihilistic, and I Saw the Devil (2010) doesn’t falter on these points. As usual, I went into this totally blind and under the impression (for no real reason) that it was just a scary story, and what I got was a merciless bloodbath that"s painful in more ways than one. Big trigger warning for violence, gore, and the găng tay of The Most Dangerous Game. (Note: I’ve since learned that the international version edited out a very graphic scene of sexual assault, so bear in mind if you decide lớn watch!)

The movie opens on another late work night for government agent Kim Soohyeon (Lee Byunghun), who receives a call from his fiancée, Jooyeon (Oh Sanha). Alone on the side of the road, she"s waiting in the oto for her tow truck to lớn arrive when she"s approached by a man driving a hagwon minibus who offers lớn help her. In the meantime, Soohyeon instructs her to bởi vì what she already knows: wait for the tow truck, don’t xuất hiện the door. But locked doors aren"t enough to stop not-yet-convicted serial killer Jang Kyungchul (Oldboy"s Choi Minsik), who"s chosen Jooyeon as the next of many bodies left in his wake.

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With some help from her retired policeman father, a grieving Soohyeon doesn"t waste a moment in taking it upon himself to not only find Jooyeon"s killer, but to lớn give him a vengeful dose of the pain he caused her as well. This punishment comes quickly, as he finds Kyungchul the same day, beats him half lớn death, and then lets him go—but now with a tracker. From here it"s a trò chơi of cat-and-mouse, where Kyungchul grows increasingly tired of being strong-armed into submission each time he tries to hurt someone, and Soohyeon struggles time và time again to force Kyungchul into feeling even an ounce of remorse, to lớn no avail.

Visually, the movie follows the màu sắc palette mix in the poster, and it looks great if you don"t mind the content (detailed gore, psychopathic desire to lớn maim, general atrocities, etc). Serial killers are often depicted a certain way, but Choi Minsik plays Kyungchul extra cold; he makes murders seem lượt thích a habit that he indulges as a chore. This creates an unsettling dynamic between main characters. Soohyeon"s obsessive coping mechanism is torturing Kyungchul, who’s totally unburdened by fear or pain. As Soohyeon descends lớn a point of no return, his father-in-law advises that "he can"t become a monster to kill another monster"—and he"s not wrong, but he"s not right. Ironically, the most brutal scenes are actually helmed by Soohyeon, one of which he advises someone off-screen not lớn look và plug their ears. I didn"t listen, and I kind of wish I had.

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I Saw the Devil is a story where there are no winners. It"s bleak to lớn say the least, but I vị recommend it if crime thrillers are your thing. One of the most intriguing parts of the story is that it doesn’t go out of its way lớn be realistic, và it makes the fantasy come to life in a way that’s almost whimsical—secret agent Soohyeon beating up irredeemably bad guys? A tracker in Kyungchul’s body that has a perfectly audible microphone connection? It’s not entirely logical, but these kinds of story elements that just are the way they are & you have lớn accept it are always fun; which, in context, is a term used lightly.

While it’s a tough watch, stylish cinematography và an excellent score keep things interesting even when it gets repetitive & begins khổng lồ feel a little two-dimensional. There’s only so far a Good Guy vs Bad Guy story can diverge from the norm, but the satisfaction of watching Lee Byunghun whip his wife’s murderer more than once stays pretty fresh until the bitter, bitter end.