I Saw The Devil Movie Review!


A good friend of mine recently recommended I catch I Saw The Devil. I must say it takes quite a bit for me to watch a subtitled movie, not because foreign movies can’t be good, but because a lot of them are bad and I have little patience sifting through the junk just to find the few gems. So, on a recent sleepless night, I decided to take the plunge. And holy cow, am I glad I did.
The action starts almost immediately with the kidnapping and subsequent brutal murder of the pregnant Joo-yeon, our hero’s fiance. Kim Soo-hyun, the fiance, turns out to be a South Korean secret agent. He enlists the dead girl’s father, a retired police chief, to help track down the muderous, Kyung-chul (played by Min-sik Choi, of Oldboy fame), a serial killer who has eluded the police while continuing his unbiased killing ways. Soo-hyun goes through a list of potential killers, dispatching each one with extreme prejudice, the highlight being a hammer to a serial killer/rapist’s manhood and leaving him for the cops to find. Our hero quickly catches up with Kyung-chul and prevents a grade school girl from meeting her heinous demise.
So an hour or so into the film the good guy catches the bad guy. How can that be. Movie over? Hardly! This isn’t your typical South Korean revenge flick. Soo-hyun releases Kyung-chul and even funds him, but not before planting a James Bond type tracking and listening device into the serial killer’s body. So an unbelievable game of cat and mouse ensues. But even that would get old were Soo-hyun simply catching Kyung-chul to intermittently torture him before releasing him again and again. Several major twists that M. Night only wishes he could achieve pop up, as well as a slew of other serial killers. Note to self, avoid South Korea for all vacation plans at it seems to have a higher ratio of deranged killing lunatics than most countries. As the movie continued, I constantly found myself wondering where it could possibly go from here. Needless to say the twists and action kept coming. Several days after my viewing, I still can’t stop thinking about this movie, specifically the major twist, which obviously I will not ruin for you, and the incredible ending.
From a filmmakers point of view the movie is brutal yet beautiful. Each shot is carefully choreographed with action or precisely set up to utilize color and lighting. I was also extremely impressed with the writing. An early scene in the movie involving Kyung-chul’s family seems to be a throwaway attempt to show a sense of normalcy he once had. I seriously underestimated its importance as it plays a major role later in the story. The movie also clocks in at 141 minutes, extremely long for most action style films, but the pacing never has you checking your watch. And if you’re like me, don’t worry, the dialogue is sparse so the subtitles never get in the way. I easily give this movie 4.5 out of 5 Nerdskulls! I Saw The Devil is currently available on Netflix streaming (as are many other South Korean revenge films like Oldboy) so I highly recommend you check it out!

Like it? Share with your friends!


I'm a true child of the 80s from a small town near Cleveland, Ohio. My all time favorite topics are Star Wars, slasher films and Cleveland sports (despite the misery it causes). I narrowly avoided law school, instead choosing film school. I have been accused of being a walking IMDB, but I take it as a compliment!

One Comment

Your email address will not be published.