I Saw The Devil (2010)


Pros
  • Choi Min-sik is absolutely brilliant, perfect balance between humorous and full blown psychotic
  • Hyper-stylized, the cinematography is gorgeous
  • Pitch black humor
  • Cannibalism
  • Unpredictable, plenty of twists and turns to the story that keeps you guessing
  • The 'action scenes' are exciting and simple (and completely, utterly brutal)
  • Nice to see the serial killer have some type of personality rather than being a complete mystery and one-dimensional
  • Getting to see the killer's perspective a lot of the time amps up the tension and makes the movie more complex
  • The final showdown between the two characters is incredibly satisfying
  • It's one of the most entertaining revenge thrillers of all time 

Cons
  • He's already a flagged offender with no explanation?
  • An American remake is already in the works
  • One over the top (or ludicrous) scene towards the end involving a car

Score: 9/10

I'll say this now, as far as thrillers go, I Saw the Devil is one of the best of the millennium. It's heart-wrenching, unpredictable, scary, and oh so tense. The movie is incredibly violent and draws a ton of tension through said imagery and if you can muster the courage to watch, it's incredibly enjoyable.

Devil is not only incredibly bleak from a story standpoint but also the cinematography takes things to the next level. It's incredibly stylized and vivid (reminiscent of Fincher), it truly looks fantastic. Also, Choi Min-sik is amazing as the serial killer, as well as Lee Byung-hun as the hunter. It always irks me when we see the bad guy as incredibly one dimensional and devoid of emotion. Here, we see a ton of the movie through the killer's perspective so we get to see some great acting from Choi Min-sik. He's a loose cannon ready to go off at any moment.

The story sounds somewhat simplistic, a serial killer murders the wrong women and the husband comes looking for him. But instead of turning him over to the police and having the movie be one long manhunt, the husband slowly and methodically punishes the man for his misdeeds. But what makes the movie so exciting and satisfying is that the serial killer simply does not learn from his mistakes. He goes from one bad decision to the next, all the while he is being hunted down and consistently maimed for said decisions. It's simply, incredible.

Anyone with a short attention span or someone who needs bloodshed to be entertained should find a lot to like about this movie. It's very fast paced, visually entertaining, and unpredictable (cannibalism may or may not make an appearance). I Saw the Devil is one of the tensest movies I've seen in years. Again, if you can handle extreme violence and can enjoy a very mean-spirited movie, this is a must see.