Film Review:I Saw the Devil (악마를 보았다)

I Saw the Devil is a film that is not for the faint of heart or the squeamish.

This next film is one that is not for the faint of heart or the squeamish. I repeat, this film is NOT for the faint of heart or the squeamish. I Saw the Devil is by far the hardest film I have ever watched. It is a psychological horror and thriller film that was so well done and leaves such an impact on the viewer, that you will find it on many “Must Watch” lists.  Kim Jee-Woon took a classic revenge trope and twisted it on its head, creating a very violent yet stunning film that makes you truly think, “Am I willing to become the worst possible version of myself in order to enact revenge?”


Starring my top two favorite actors, Lee Byunghun and Choi Minsik, they bring two characters of our worst nightmares to life. Lee Byunghun plays a trained secret agent, Kim Soohyun, whose fiancée was tortured and murdered by Choi Minsik’s serial killer character, Kyung-chul. It isn’t your typical revenge film. I Saw the Devil heavily plays on the psychology of the matter and will cause you to want to turn away more than once, but the acting done by these two cause you to keep watching, because their performances are so believable, it is scarring.

This is a film that truly highlighted the writing, directing and acting. The film keeps you on edge the entire time during the chase and you are always wondering, “What will Soohyun do next? When will his revenge end?” The amount of violence in this film is quite horrific, especially when you see the pain and darkness that Soohyun falls into as he smartly commits these violent acts against Kyung-chul. We are used to seeing serial killers in films and we are used to the amount of discomfort they make us feel as we watch their process, but we aren’t used to seeing the type of revenge that is displayed in this film. It is an incredible film that was done extremely well, but it will still take me some time, maybe a few more years, before I am able to revisit this film.

Where to watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Year: 2010
Starring: Lee Byunghun, Choi Minsik
Directed by: Kim Jeewon
Written by: Kim Jeewon, Park Hoonjung
Won: 16 wins and 19 nominations.


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