Writer: Hoon-jung Park (Screenplay) Jee-woon Kim (Adaptation)
Starring: Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Joon-hyeok Lee, In-seo Kim, Ho-jin Chun, Bo-ra Nam
Plot: A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer through a series of captures and releases.
Tagline – Prey For Revenge
Runtime: 2 Hours 22 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Story: I Saw the Devil starts as Joo-yeon becomes the latest victim of serial killer Kyung-chul (Choi), we see how this killer operates with no remorse butchery his victims, but this victim happens to be the former Chief of police daughter and fiancée of agent Soo-hyeon (Lee), who swears revenge, even with having any leads.
Given a shortlist of four potential suspects, Soo-hyeon goes out to get answers from any crime these men have committed, as we continue to see Kyung-chul kill his victims. Once Soo-hyeon knows the truth, he enters into a dangerous game of capture and release against the killer.
Thoughts on I Saw the Devil
Characters – Soo-hyeon is a special agent, engaged to the love of his life with a baby on the way. When his fiancée is murdered, he will stop and nothing using his connection to get the equipment to track and torture the man responsible. He shuts his whole life out to make this man pay, doing unthinkable things to get his own revenge. Kyung-chul is a serial killer, he abducts woman before butchering them, he has it down to an art form in his head, but when he picks the wrong victim he finds the tables have been turned on him.
Performances – Byung-hun Lee is fantastic as the broken police officer, he shows the complete lack of emotion his character needs as he seeks revenge. Talking of emotionless performance, but with all the psychotic you need, we have Min-sik Choi as the serial killer, you can see him planning every movement his character is making.
Story – The story follows a broken police detective that goes on his own path of vengeance against a serial killer which butchered his fiancée. This seems simple, but the detective will turn the tables the hunter becomes the hunted. This brings a new fresh take to the revenge genre, we are used to seeing a group picked off one by one, but going squarely head to head with the killer in this style shows just how far the revenge will go for this man. This is a story that keeps you on the edge from start to finish even being well over two hours long.
Action/Crime/Horror – The action focuses on the violence that both killer and police detective get involved in against the victims or each other, this does dive into the crime side of the film which is the cat and mouse elements and what these two do fill out the disturbing horror quota.
Settings – The film takes us around parts of South Korea as we see how the serial killer hunts his latest victims.
Special Effects – The effects when it comes to the violence is brutally realistic for each blow any character takes.
Final Thoughts – This is easily one of the best crime horror movies you will ever see, it takes revenge films to a new level making each blow as disturbing as possible and will test just how far you can watch these characters go.
Overall: Fantastic Brutal Revenge Thriller