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I Saw the Devil (2010)

Ang-ma-reul bo-at-da (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama, Horror | 12 August 2010 (South Korea)
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A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer through a series of captures and releases.

Director:

Jee-woon Kim (as Kim Jee-woon)

Writers:

Jee-woon Kim (adaptation), Hoon-jung Park (screenplay)
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2,537 ( 16)
16 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Byung-Hun Lee ... Kim Soo-hyeon
Min-sik Choi ... Kyung-chul
Joon-Hyuk Lee ... Agent (as Lee Joon-Hyeok)
Bo-ra Nam ... Section chief's daughter
Moo-Seong Choi Moo-Seong Choi ... Tae-joo
Kap-su Kim ... Planning team deputy head
In-seo Kim ... Se-jung
Gook-hwan Jeon ... Squad Chief Jang
Ho-jin Chun ... Section Chief Oh
Tae-goo Eom Tae-goo Eom ... Detective 4
Yeong-Seon Kim Yeong-Seon Kim ... Nun 1
Seung-ah Yoon Seung-ah Yoon ... The Cannibal's Girlfriend
Seo-yeon Park Seo-yeon Park ... Woman at pension (as Park Seo-Yeon)
Jin-ho Choi Jin-ho Choi ... Planning director
Mi-nam Jeong ... Taxi burglar 2
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Storyline

SPOILER: Jang Kyung-chul (Choi Min-sik) is a dangerous psychopath serial killer. He has committed infernal serial murders in diabolic ways that one cannot even imagine and his victims range from young women to even children. The police have chased him for a long time, but were unable to catch him. One day, Joo-yeon, daughter of a retired police chief becomes his prey and is found dead in a horrific state. Her fiancé Soo-hyun (Lee Byung-hun), a top secret agent, decides to track down the murderer himself. He promises himself that he will do everything in his power to take bloody vengeance against the killer, even if it means that he must become a monster himself to get this monstrous and inhumane killer. Written by jck movies

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Abandon all compassion. [Scandinavian Blu-ray release.] See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

12 August 2010 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

I Saw the Devil See more »

Filming Locations:

South Korea

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,567, 6 March 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$128,392, 24 April 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Byung-hun Lee, the protagonist, in an interview said that it was the first time that his film got restricted by the South Korean censor board. This made him want to see the film even more. The second time it got restricted, he was worried that the film won't screen at all. He admitted that he agreed that he was worried the fans won't be able to see the film. See more »

Quotes

Kyung-chul: Why do you look like you stepped in shit? -
[as his latest victim realizes her predicament]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title card unfolds with a scene in the background. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Final Hit (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

I Want to Love You
Written by Kwang Hyun Park
Performed by Kwang Hyun Park
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Haunting but beautiful.
18 November 2010 | by inkgrenadeSee all my reviews

Whenever I see a negative review of "I Saw the Devil", the critic always mentions (scornfully) that the movie is ultra violent and portrays women in horrifying circumstances. Yes it is, and yes it does.

But this isn't a Hollywood slasher flick. The kills in this movie are not gratifying and aren't meant to be. The women being killed are not scantily clad models running through forests from men wearing masks. There is nothing pleasant or "cool" about these scenes; they make the viewer uncomfortable, they unsettle, they bring one's mind into very dark places. It gives us a peek into the madness that every man is capable of, and does so realistically and without pulling its punches. This brutal realism makes people uncomfortable, and prompts negative reviews. This is understandable, but unfortunate. I believe that a movie should be judged on more than the amount of blood the viewer is comfortable seeing on-screen. To these people, please, do not watch Korean revenge thrillers if you are uncomfortable with torture or blood.

But enough of that rambling. This movie is excellent. Beautiful cinematography contrasts the stark, dimly lit scenes where the murders, or gritty fight scenes, occur. The camera work is simple but effective; the viewer is often treated to close-ups of both Byung-hun Lee and Mik-sik Choi, and their facial expressions tell us more than dialogue ever could. There is also contrast between Lee and Choi. Lee, clean and stoic, and Choi, filthy and madly expressive. They compliment each other very well, and play off of each others strengths effectively.

The story itself is typical of revenge films, but fantastic in its execution. Lee's character experiences a profound loss at the hands of Choi's character, and in the process of seeking revenge begins to resemble the man he so hates. The line between "victim" and "aggressor" becomes blurred between both characters. This is where the film shines. There is no black and white in "I Saw the Devil"; the viewer is left with shades of grey.

As for the acting, it was all done very well. As I mentioned, Lee and Choi work well together, and all supporting cast members did an excellent job. Choi portrays his character in an incredibly convincing manner, shifting suddenly from calmness to manic anger, but never in a way that feels unnatural or forced. Lee's character is quiet and much less expressive, but he does very well in showing immense amounts of emotion through just his eyes or subtle movements of his body. A memorable performance from them both.

As for flaws, the only thing I can think of is the strange, perhaps unrealistic behaviour of the police. Lee is a member of the NIS, and is very skilled when it comes to remaining hidden, but that shouldn't make him untouchable when directly provoking police officers or driving on the wrong side of the street. Still, though, it's a very trivial complaint that isn't worth a deducted point.

A confident 10/10 from me. If you are comfortable seeing serial murder portrayed realistically, and are able to appreciate more than just gore, please, do yourself a favour and watch this film.


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